>Spaghetti Squash

Posted: June 9, 2011 in recipes

>Raise your hand if you’ve done the spaghetti squash-spaghetti thing?

My hand is raised!  

I am a HUGE fan of this healthy swap.  I never knew how much I loved Italian food until I started making my own (lower carb, less cheese) versions at home.  Using the spaghetti squash instead of actual pasta is BRILLIANT!  You get the same feeling of eating pasta with a much lower calorie cost.  Plus it’s easy to do!

Get this- 4oz of spaghetti squash has 37 CALORIES!  THAT’S IT!

This squash also provides key antioxidants called carotenoids.  And since I’m in chemistry…here’s some real squash science for ya:

Many of the carbs in winter starch come from polysaccharides found in the cell walls. These polysaccharides include pectins – specially structured polysaccharides that in winter squash often include special chains of D-galacturonic acid called homogalacturonan. An increasing number of animal studies now show that these starch-related components in winter squash have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties.
I feel like I just harnessed my inner Alton Brown with all the science!  🙂

Top it with a nice marinara (I like mine spicy) and throw any any other veggies + lean ground turkey breast.  That’s a winning combination.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Mushroom Marinara Sauce

  • Sauté onions and garlic in EVOO
  • Add in mushrooms and zucchini and sauté until tender
  • In a large stockpot add 1 can crushed tomatoes (I add 1/4 cup water too) and 1 smaller can of tomato sauce.  This varies depending on how much sauce you want and how thick you want it.
  • Spice up the sauce – try using oregano, basil, garlic powder, Italian spice mixes, crushed red pepper, a little salt, etc…
  • Add the veggies into the sauce
  • In another pan brown the Jenny-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast (yes, use this kind even though it’s about $2 more expensive)
  • Once cooked, add the turkey to the sauce
  • Simmer the sauce on low for 30-55 minutes
Spaghetti Squash:

I cook this the lazy easy way:  in the microwave.  You can also roast it in the oven and I have been told (by Kim) that this provides a better flavor.  To microwave, however:
  • Use a knife to poke holes in the squash
  • Microwave on a microwave safe plate for 8-12 minutes depending on the size.  It should feel squishy when it’s done.
  • Let it cool.
  • Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds.
  • Use a fork to shred the squash into a “spaghetti” like consistency.
Top the shredded squash with the sauce and enjoy!

There are also many other ways to use the versatile spaghetti squash.  Like in a frittata or in a pancake.  These recipes are just legend to me, however I’m going to do some investigating and see if I can tackle them.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

I hope you have fun trying this easy, healthy swap.  I love things I can eat a lot of with very little calories.

What’s your favorite “healthy swap”?

Love and squash, 
Carissa & Kyle


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