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Low-Carb Pho with Spaghetti Squash

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this recipe! It’s so full of flavor and nutrients; I highly recommend preparing a batch if you ever need a health boost or hug in a bowl.

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I’m not sure what’s been going on with me lately but I feel as though my body is tired and for lack of a better word/phrase, beginning to “crap out on me.” I’ve always considered myself to be a very healthy individual but lately, I’ve noticed some some different things going on… not sleeping very well, coming down with a cold (got tested for COVID and it was negative- thank goodness!), feeling stressed. Even though there have been some major life changes happening, my immune system is typically very strong.

So, in an effort to keep my body and immunity strong, I like to prepare dishes that are loaded with different vegetables, spices and herbs to kick my immune system into high gear. What makes this recipe so special? The broth. I let spices and herbs infuse the broth for at least 4-5 hours so there’s a rich, full-body depth to the broth that goes unnoticed. This dish is PACKED with warm and spicy spices such as cinnamon, star anise, clove, peppercorns, ginger and garlic. It truly is the best thing for your body to consume whenever you’re feeling under the weather or simply want to incorporate more nutrients into your diet.

Typically, pho is served with a large side of rice noodles but in this case, I wanted to go a low carb route which is why I substituted the rice noodles for spaghetti squash. I’ve been having a love affair with spaghetti squash lately as it’s so simple to prepare and pairs perfectly with anything. I honestly didn’t miss the carb-y rice noodles in this dish and I don’t think you will either! This recipe is A MUST. Highly recommend by me and my husband. 🙂

Take care of your beautiful body!

XX,
JJ

Low Carb Pho with Spaghetti Squash

This recipe is delicious, simple and un-pho-gettable!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • 8" square cheesecloth + kitchen twine
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Ladle
  • Baking Sheet
  • Cutting Board & Chef's Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 lb Spaghetti Squash half lengthwise & seeded
  • 2 oz Olive Oil
  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 3" piece Fresh Ginger peeled & sliced
  • 4 cloves Fresh Garlic peeled & sliced
  • 4 fresh Thai Basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Cloves
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Shallot cut into rings
  • 1 cup Shiitake Mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 Limes juiced
  • Assorted Toppings such as: julienned carrots, thinly sliced jalapenos, thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, basil, lime wedges, sriracha, soy sauce

Instructions
 

Preparing the Soup

  • Heat 1 oz olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the shallot and half of the shiitakes to the pot and saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes. *Do not crank up the heat as you don't want vegetables to brown.*
  • While veggies are cooking, create your bouqet garni (spice bag).
  • Place ginger, garlic, basil, peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon and clove on a double-thick 8" square of cheesecloth. Bring up the corners and tie with kitchen twine.
  • Add the chicken broth to the pot with shallot and shiitakes.
  • Bring the broth to a gentle simmer (do not boil!) and add the raw chicken thighs into the soup.
  • Add the spice bag along with 2 tsp turmeric.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Roasting the Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise.
  • Using a spoon or fork, scrape the seeds out of the squash.
  • Pour 1/2 tsp olive oil onto each half and sprinkle with kosher salt & freshly ground black pepepr.
  • Place the squash halves cut-side-down onto a baking dish or foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Using a fork, prick the backside of the squash, making 6-8 indentions.
  • Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully flip the squash halves over. Using a fork, scrape the pulp and set aside for the soup.

Back to the Soup…

  • Remove the chicken thighs from the soup and shred with two forks. Add back to the soup.
  • Add the remaining shiitakes to the soup and allow to soften in the hot broth, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Season the soup with salt to taste.
  • Stir in the juice from 2 limes.

Assembly

  • Add the spaghetti squash to the bottom of a bowl.
  • Ladle the soup over the squash and top with desired toppings.
  • Eat and feel all of the goodness igniting your body!

Notes

Nutritional Information:
170 cal
7 g fat
7 g carb
1 g fiber
1 g sugars
For a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken. You may either add extra mushrooms or substitute with tofu. 
Keyword Pho

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