It’s officially fall here in the Midwest; with the cooler winds and leaves transforming into the gorgeous red’s and oranges that we all swoon over. As excited as I am to experience everything that fall has to offer; such as going to the pumpkin patch that offers homemade apple cider donuts, to Halloween parties, to sipping Kahlua spiked hot cocoa and coming home to a delectable aroma coming from my crock pot; I am sad to goodbye to the flavors of summer and pack away our grill.
With fall, tags along the comforting, cheese bursting, hearty casseroles and dishes that makes everyone all warm and fuzzy on the inside and so is the mindset that our ‘summer bodies’ are gone too; unless you’re are the privileged ones that pamper themselves with a beach vacation while the rest of us in the Midwest are stuck in one of our lovely snow storms everyone’s knows and loves. Well, let me present to you the skinny, literally, on spaghetti squash. There is no better time to give this delicious winter squash a try. The nutritional stats blow pasta’s out of the water. Spaghetti squash contains 42 calories per cup, with 10 grams of carbohydrates, with 2 grams being fiber; while pasta contains anywhere from 180 to 210 calories per cup, and roughly 43 grams of carbohydrates and fiber grams varying based on plain or whole wheat varieties. Talk about a great low carb substitute! Granted spaghetti squash presents a mild flavor, appears to be similar in shape of spaghetti, I can’t lie to you (that would ruin our imaginary friendship…) and say it tastes exactly like pasta. I would hate for you to go diving in thinking your answers from the low carb gods were answering. Wa-wa.
But what spaghetti squash does have going for it is an amazing ability to transform a usual, carb filled, cheesey dish into a delectable dish that is worthy to be on your weekly dinner rotation. These types of dishes are my savor and reintroduced pasta dishes into our house, as a women with PCOS and the underlining issue is insulin resistance, carbs are not easy for my body to process. I learned to transform our ever so popular rich, carb dense dishes into meals that were lighter on the starches yet did not fail to deliver the intense Italian flavors we were craving.
Spaghetti squash should not be feared with its oblong shape and seedy insides. They are quite simple to cook and easier to devour! Cut the squash in half and scrape out seeds. Line a rimmed baking dish with aluminum foil that is greased. Season the spaghetti squash with coconut oil or olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also season with any herbs your little heart desires. My latest favorite is Rustic Tuscan Seasoning from CostCo. It is fabulous on everything. But next week I will probably have a new fav. Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked. Test the strands by running a fork through; if they are still slightly hard and are crunchy when you taste them, place back in oven until al dente. Just like pasta! Once cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Once cool enough, it’s time to get your fork on! Start scrapin’ the strands to create your spaghetti.
There is endless ways to enjoy spaghetti squash. A few of favorites are (besides what I am presenting to you today…) from The Primalist, Garlic & Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash; also Dashing Dish’s Spaghetti Squash Low Carb Lasagna and my latest favorite from her, Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo. So this winter don’t fear losing that beautiful summer body with this guilt free, low carb and comforting dish that is sure to please everyone.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Olive oil, or Coconut oil
- Salt, pepper and herbs of choice
- Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs
- 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
- 6 sun dried tomatoes, in oil, finely chopped
- ¼ c of finely chopped parsley
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 jar of marinara of choice, this is my personal favorite
- Optional, parmesan cheese to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To prepare spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half and scrape out seeds. Line a rimmed baking dish with aluminum foil that is greased. Season the spaghetti squash with coconut oil or olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of choice. Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked. Test the strands by running a fork through; if they are still slightly hard and are crunchy when you taste if, place back in oven until al dente. Once cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Once cool enough to handle, scrap the strands to create your spaghetti.
- To prepare meatballs, combine turkey, sun friend tomatoes, parsley, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined. Don’t over mix as it will create a tough meatball. In a greased baking dish, add marinara; roll meat into golf ball size meatballs. Place in marinara filled dish, and bake at 375 degrees, for 15-17 minutes, or until no longer pink on the inside and the meat reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.
- Once spaghetti squash is complete, add to serving dish and add marinara sauce and meatballs on top. Garnish with cheese, if desired, and additional parsley!