Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Carbonara Paleo Pasta

People are obsessed with bacon. I mean, OBSESSED. Have you seen some of the blogs out there, dedicated strictly to bacon? It's unreal the heart felt love and passion that people have for smoked belly, and/or side, and/or back of a pig. I mean, those are super sexy parts on a male and I may be obsessed with them, but not so much when it comes to pigs. I like bacon, don't get me wrong, but you people who tear up at the smell of it have issues. I'm kidding, I tear up regularly when it comes to the smell of almond butter (only when made by Georgia).

Bacon used to be looked at as a saddle bag and muffin top-creating fatty food, but has now become a paleo dieters staple. Makes no sense. Ok, that's untrue, it makes a sh*t ton of sense. It's delicious. Bacon is stupid good. And us CrossFitters/Paleo-ers love fat, including fatty slabs of meat. Anyways, cooking with bacon and bacon fat makes everything more delicious. Cook some onions in bacon fat...BOMB. Cook some broccoli in bacon fat...BOMB. Cook paleo pancakes in bacon fat...EVEN MORE BOMB. So I decided to make a little pasta dish of my own, carbonara style, sans noodles, eggs, and cheese. So really nothing like carbonara other than the bacon, but I can call it whatever I want. It's my blog. And I'll cry if I want to.

What you need:
  • 1lb uncured bacon, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1/2lb chicken tenders, diced 
  • 1 can/jar artichoke hearts, cut in half or into fourths
  • 5-6 cups spinach (just get a crap ton and call it good)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
What you do:
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. You will first need to get your spaghetti squash cooked. Cut it in half, pull out the seeds and threads with a spoon. Be aggressive, and strong. Place open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin "gives" when you press on it.
  3. Now, pull out a large pan and place over medium-high heat. The higher the sides of the pan, the less bacon grease burns you will encounter. Don't say I didn't tell you. Add your cut pieces of bacon to the pan to let cook, stirring occasionally so the bacon doesn't burn. 
  4. Once the bacon is done cooking, use a slotted spoon to place the bacon in a bowl to add back to the pasta later and remove 1/2 of the bacon fat in the pan. I used a jar to place my bacon fat in so I can cook over things with it later.
  5. With 1/2 of the bacon fat remaining, add the mined garlic and diced onions to let cook down. 
  6. Once the onions begin to become translucent, add the diced chicken.
  7. When the chicken is almost done cooking, add your artichokes.
  8. Your spaghetti squash should be done cooking at this point so take it out of the oven, use a fork to de-thread it, and add the threads to the pan. 
  9. Re-add your diced bacon.
  10. Then add your spinach.
  11. Mix thoroughly to incorporate everything together
  12. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 minutes, or until the spinach slightly wilts.
  13. Consume!!

Sorry for the crap picture. Again. It was 10:43pm. Kitchen lighting. You know.
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