For those of you who have already read our zucchini post, you know that we love coming up with alternative ways to create pasta-style dishes without the heavy carb load. Granted, zucchini strands are a far cry from chewy wheat pasta, but hey, this is one really delicious dish!
In the same spirit (and for those of you intimidated by the large, hard gourds found in the supermarket), we wanted to share our process for making spaghetti squash. Trust us, it’s super easy and fun to boot.
First, some facts. Spaghetti squash is a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium (great for lowering blood pressure). It also has one QUARTER of the carb content of regular pasta. That means it will have little impact on blood sugar swings, especially combined with some nice protein and a dose of healthy fat. If you know anything about the Nourishing Gurus, you know we are all about balancing blood sugars for managing weight and reducing sugar cravings 🙂
To get started, simply choose a medium size squash from the supermarket or health food store. It will look something like this:
To cook squash, preheat oven to 350F. Take a LARGE sharp knife and cut it right down the middle (I sometimes chop off the stem, but you don’t have to). This is what it will look like on the inside. Scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings from the center with a spoon and discard.
Turn it face down on a baking sheet, and pierce with a fork a few times. Then bake for about an hour, until fork goes easily through skin and you can feel flesh is soft.
Once cooked, it will look something like this:
Now you just pull out the strands with a fork and scoop into a bowl. You will be able to remove everything right down to the skin. You can now use the spaghetti strands for whatever recipe strikes your fancy!
Following is one of our favorite recipes, but the possibilities are endless. Use it in place of any pasta dish you already make. Its also yummy mixed with a little organic butter (or ghee) and sprinkled with salt and pepper, tossed with pesto, or drizzled with olive, sea salt, basil, and a little fresh organic Parmesan cheese.
“Spaghetti” and Meat sauce (suggested servings: 4-5)
1 medium spaghetti squash, baked
1 Tbs coconut or avocado oil
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1 pound ground turkey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
32 oz tomato sauce, low sugar
For the sauce
In large saute pan, heat coconut oil. Add onion and zucchini and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Brown ground turkey in a soup pot over medium heat. Once cooked through, add sautéed onion/zucchini mixture and season with onion and garlic powder. Pour tomato sauce over turkey veg mixture, and add in mushrooms. Bring sauce to a boil; turn down to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.
For the spaghetti
Cut squash in half; scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings with a spoon and discard. Place halves in large baking dish, cut side up. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over both halves and drizzle with olive oil. Place baking dish on middle rack of oven and bake for 40-80 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on size of squash. To test for doneness, insert a fork into the squash. If strands pull away easily from the skin, it’s ready. Better to bake longer to prevent squash from being crunchy or underdone.
Pour sauce over spaghetti and enjoy!
Are you ready for The Great Veggie Challenge? It will be running from April 17th – 21st but you can sign up now. Get tips, recipes, and have tons of fun learning how to incorporate more veggies into your day and boost your energy, weight loss, digestion, immune system and much much more. Details and sign up HERE.