|Posted on August 30, 2019 at 6:15 AM|
Photo by Charlaine Martin, 2019.
Cooler Fall temperatures make us hungry for warm comfort foods. I've loved spaghetti squash for a long time, but recently rediscovered it's delicious swap for pasta. Spaghetti squash gets its name for the stringy texture of the flesh. Why bother spiralizing stuff when God set this up for us already? The stores around me had it on sale tempting me to buy one, which I cheerfully did. On the way to the checkout, I considered how I wanted to make it into a filling, yet nutritious, low-carb meal.
I've made an Italian version several times in the past, but thought, "Gee, I bet it can be made with taco filling!" A few extra tomatoes from my garden tempted me to dice them for this delicious meal, but time wouldn't permit me to do so. The taco meat in the Mexican version uses Spice Islands Taco Seasoning from Costco. I only use 1/2 the amount and add 1/4 cup of Pace mild salsa. In the Italian version, I used an lowfat gluten-free Italian turkey sausage I found at Cosco. By the way, every ingredient with a brand name is gluten-free at the time of writing this recipe for you. You can jazz it these up with other veggies like onions and peppers, jalapenos, black olives, portabella mushrooms, and more. I personally enjoy a great nut cheese by Parmela Creamery. It is amazing for this GF, DF, SF, EF girl! This recipe is as versatile as you choose it to be. I set it up with busy schedules in mind.
IPersonally, I like to make the filling first and set aside in the fridge. Other people I know like to do the squash first and set aside in fridge, while others do both at the same time. It is totally up to you.
We are having ours for lunch for our lunch date. Mmmm, Good!I hope you enjoy this low-carb delicious meal in a squash shell like I do!
Note: Spaghetti squash has 42 calories per cup, only 10 grams of carbs (whole wheat pasta has 37 grams, refined pasta 42 grams). It is loaded with fiber (2.2 grams), vitamin C, B6, Manganese, Niacin, Potassium, and pantothenic acid. Small amounts of thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and iron (Healthline).
1 small to medium spaghetti squash, pre-cooked and cut in half lengthwise with seeds removed. You can set this up and do other things in the kitchen nearby while boiling. Watch for boil-over, though. If your pan doesn't allow the squash to be fully submersed, then roll it over carefully with a cooking utensil like tongs halfway. Once it is removed and cools, you can finish it.
Filling Mexican Version (one half, double mixture for both halves)
1 to 1-1/2 cup taco meat (browned lean ground turkey or beef with your favorite taco seasoning)
¼ cup corn
½ to 1 cup favorite salsa
Mix ingredients together and spoon into hollow of ½ of squash. Lightly sprinkle low fat cheddar cheese on top. Place in refrigerator.
Filling Italian Version (one half, double mixture for both halves)
1 link lean Italian turkey sausage or 1 cup of browned lean ground meat seasoned with sea salt, garlic, and oregano
½-1 cup favorite spaghetti sauce (I use Newman’s Socarooni or Classico with peppers)
½ cup frozen chopped spinach
Mix ingredients together and spoon into hollow of ½ squash. Lightly sprinkle part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Here’s the Scoop
Wash spaghetti squash well. Place into large pot of water and bring to rolling boil. Cover and continue light boil at medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from stove. Drain out hot water and let sit for 1 hour to cool. Cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
If making each half with each version, wrap lightly oiled foil around the shell of each half with inside exposed and place in baking pan. Fill each half as described above. If only doing one version for both halves, foil isn’t necessary. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool after removing from oven for a few minutes. Scoop desired amount of squash and filling out for each person. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Nutrition Facts by Healthline. www.healthline.com/nutrition/spaghetti-squash#nutrition.