Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to regular pasta, because of it’s lower carbohydrate content (also low on the glycemic index), high fiber and high nutrient value. It doesn’t taste like pasta or really have the same texture, but it IS tasty. If this is new to you, your expectation should not be for the squash to be just like noodles. It’s a swap that is just different, and many people really like the taste (me included). The one thing I do recommend if you are busy and getting home late to make this, is to bake the squash the night before. It takes up to an hour and then needs to cool before you can handle it to scoop it out.
You can also try spiralized veggies like butternut squash and zucchini, in place of the spaghetti squash. These are available pre-prepared at Whole Foods (and probably other grocery stores as well). I found them in a box near the produce area. You can also make your own by using this handy little tool or this spiralizer which is larger but faster and more versatile. These noodles cook in a flash (don’t over cook!).
Since the butternut squash and beets don’t contain much moisture like zucchini, you can simply sauté these veggies with coconut oil. The zucchini noodles require an extra step to pull some of the water out before hand so your sauce isn’t watery. You can put the zucchini noodles in a colander and sprinkle with salt to draw out the moisture for about 20 mins. Just shake the colander to get it to drain well at the end, and toss in the saute pan with some coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter good for high heat cooking). They only need 3-5 mins to cook at med or high heat. You don’t want them to be squishy and soggy.
Here is “lazy” version of my meat sauce:
- 1 large jar of Organic Muir Glen tomato sauce (or another sauce that has less than 6 grams of sugar per serving)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach or kale
- 1 pound ground beef, turkey or chicken
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- Spaghetti squash or spiralized veggie noodles
- For the spaghetti squash:
- Cut the squash in half, lengthwise
- Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard
- Drizzle the cut side with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Put squash face down on a parchment lined sheet pan
- Bake at 400 for 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender.
- For the meat sauce:
- Over medium heat, add a few Tbs of olive oil to a medium sized pot
- Add the chopped onion and pepper and saute for 3 mins
- Add the ground meat and turn heat to med high
- cook until meat is almost cooked through
- Add the tomato sauce and frozen chopped greens
- Simmer for 15-20 mins
- Serve the sauce over top your “noodles” and top with parmesan and parsley