Spaghetti Squash- a great pasta substitute!

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Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.00.24 AM My family loves pasta! You can never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs at the Ward house. However, as a healthy alternative, lately I have been experimenting with Spaghetti squash!  Spaghetti squash, a type of winter squash, gets its name from the pale-yellow flesh that can be fluffed into stringy, pasta-like threads. It has a very mild flavor and, unlike other winter squash, does not have much sweetness. So you can use spaghetti squash in both savory and sweet dishes!

Nutritional Information: (All values are per cup)
  • 42 calories per cup, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database
  • Very low in fat, with less than 0.6 grams of fat per cup 
  • 28 mg of sodium
  • 10 grams of total carbohydrates per cup (4 grams come from natural sugar in the squash, and 2 grams come from dietary fiber)
  • 1 gram of protein
  • All essential vitamins are found in trace amounts in the flesh of spaghetti squash
  • Vitamin C and vitamin B-6 are the vitamins found in highest concentration in the squash
  • Contains the minerals potassium (109 mg), calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium
  • Contains omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids
Healthy Body Benefits:
  • Good choice for weight-loss or weight-management plans because it will fill you up without adding a lot of calories or fat to your daily total.
  • Helps regulate digestion, reduce constipation, and lower your cholesterol.
  • Improves growth and repair of body proteins, aids in wound healing and supports your immune system.
  • Aids in building muscle, metabolizing carbohydrates and maintaining proper muscle function in your body.
  • Potassium in the squash makes it the ideal diet for people with high blood pressure.
  • Functions as an electrolyte, helping to regulate fluid balance and the acidity, or pH, of your blood, which is essential any time you sweat heavily or lose body fluids.

There are so many different, delicious recipes you can make with spaghetti squash! Here are a few of our favorites! Hope you enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash with Feta, Olives, and Basil

Photo

Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti Squash, halved length wise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can Italian style tomatoes, 14.5 oz
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 1 can chopped black olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet
  2. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on baking sheet and heat for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife can be inserted with little to no resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside for 10 minutes
  3. While spaghetti squash is baking, heat oil in a medium skillet over med-high heat. Sauté onion until tender. Add red pepper and cook for three minutes more. Add garlic and cook for two minutes more. Add tomatoes and cook until warm.
  4. Use a large spoon or fork to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place into a large bowl. Add tomatoes mixture. Add olives. Toss until well mixed. Garnish with feta cheese and basil
  5. Add grilled chicken on top if desired!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Photo by www.jamhands.net

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 c milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tbsp extra for topping
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil and stab spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place in dish and bake for 1 hour. Let cool 10-20 min. Using a large knife, cut spaghetti squash in half and let cool. After it cools a little, spoon out the seeds and strands in the middle.
  2. For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute while stirring. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Photo by www.thecomfortofcooking.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. Mexican oregano
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Roast squash on a baking sheet for 50 minutes. Let cool another 30 minutes, then cut in half. Spoon out the seeds, then using a fork, scrape up the flesh.
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper and red bell pepper. Saute 2 minutes. Add cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute another minute. Add the beans, corn and cilantro. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the lime juice and give one last stir.
  3. Add in half the “spaghetti” to the bean mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season accordingly. I probably tossed in a little more salt at this point.
  4. Switch oven to broil.
  5. Stuff each squash half with the mixture and top with grated cheese.

Let me know which one is your favorite spaghetti squash recipe!

Blessings, Caroline