Italian Spaghetti Squash

This week at the farmers market I was pleasantly surprised to find fall squashes popping up at my favorite stands! Butternut, acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squashes…

Maybe you have yet to venture into the world of squashes beyond pumpkin pie and are left wondering, “what’s the big deal?” Squashes are not only rich in nutrients, but they are a fabulous replacement for many processed grains, making your meals more nutritious and helping you get more real food in your diet, without empty calories.

Once you realize how easy they are to prepare and use in everyday recipes, you’ll never shy away again!

Today, we feature the Spaghetti Squash:

So what’s the big deal? A squash that’s like spaghetti? Believe it.  Everyone loves a good spaghetti dinner, unfortunately a big bowl of pasta isn’t exactly a “balanced” dinner.

This is where spaghetti squash saves the day.

1 cup is about 45kcal, while 1 cup of spaghetti noodles are 220kcal! Spaghetti squash also contains 2 grams of fiber and provides magnesium, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium. It takes about 1 hour to roast but the time is unattended, so you can prepare the rest of your meal while it’s roasting away peacefully.

Here’s how to roast it:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
 
Using a large kitchen knife, cut the squash in half (you may need to give it a good whack)
Cut into two halves, then in half again (4 pieces)
Scoop out the seeds and discard or compost
In a casserole dish or baking pan, place squashes face down. Fill the bottom of the pan with water to just cover the entire pan
Roast for 1 hour or until marrow is tender and easily scrapes out with a spoon
Let cool slightly and scoop out insides, use in place of your favorite pasta!

Just to whet your appetite a little more, here’s one of my favorite recipes to use with spaghetti squash!

 

 

 

Italian Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash roasted (see post for instructions)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped (large chunks)
  • 1 colored bell pepper chopped (large chunks)
  • 1 pound broccoli fresh or frozen, chopped
  • 1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce such as Kroger Simple Truth Brand
  • 2 cups spinach fresh
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced, OR 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayyan or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped, optional
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Roast Spaghetti Squash at 400 degrees for 1 hour, according to post instructions. Prepare the rest of the meal while squash is roasting.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 min. Add in bell peppers and stir to saute.
  • Stir in ground meat and chop into small pieces; cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in chopped broccoli, tomato sauce, spinach, garlic, and seasonings; cover to steam until the broccoli is tender.
  • Stir in prepared spaghetti squash to evenly incorporate.

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