Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" with Veggie & Ground Turkey Sauce. YUM!

So pasta has roughly 200+ calories a cup and doesn't really offer a whole lotta bang nutritionally speaking. Spaghetti squash on the other hand has just 42 calories a cup, 0 grams of fat and a mere 10 grams of carbs! What is not to LOVE?? If you answered nothing, ding, ding ding, you are correct! There is another reason to love it though, you don't have to watch it like that finicky pasta on the stove. Once this squash is in the oven it takes care of itself and you can focus on the sauce and sides (or work on your 25-page research paper!)
Just get a large spaghetti squash, cut off the top and bottom, and then stand it up and cut it on down the middle lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stringy stuff with a sharp spoon (kind of like carving a pumpkin). I know of two methods for cooking the squash. The first method is to take a large glass baking dish and fill it with two inches of water. Place the squash cut side down and cook for 40 minutes at 400. Another method is to use a deep baking sheet and put the squash on it cut side up with 1/4 cup of water on the bottom of the baking sheet. You can sprinkle garlic salt and pepper (or herbamare) on the squash and cook it 45-50 minutes. I prefer the baking sheet method because it makes the "spaghetti" a little firmer and the first method is pretty mushy in comparison. When it's done you just take a fork and scrape out the squash and it will be stringy like spaghetti. Top with your favorite sauce or ours. We like it with lean ground turkey, a can of diced tomatoes, diced onion, minced garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini. Cook the meat with onion in an extra large skillet first and then add all of the other ingredients (veggies first so they cook), add in can of diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic salt. Stir in a jar of pasta sauce as the last step (I like the new "smart" sauce, it has 40% less calories than regular sauce and you can get it at grocery stores such as Ralph's. Cover and let simmer until sauce thickens (it can cook for a long time and the flavor just gets better, just keep it on a low heat). I serve ours with garlic bread made with low-carb flaxseed bread from sprouts. It has 45 cals a slice and 8 grams of carbs (almost half of which are fiber!). Just spread a little light butter and sprinkle with garlic salt and garlic powder. You can throw these on a baking sheet and place them in the oven with the spaghetti squash when it has about 8-10 minutes left; just watch it closely so it doesn't burn. ENJOY without guilt!

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