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In another life I was probably a little chubby Italian girl, because I sure do love pasta.  Growing up, spaghetti and marinara was a dinner staple in my household. I can remember it as if it were yesterday… a massive bed of spaghetti noodles covered with several scoops of red meaty sauce and topped off with loads of parmesan cheese.  Good thing my metabolism was skyrocketing when I was 12.  At twenty-six, I can’t afford to eat my weight in carby noodles anymore.  So when I do put them down, I try to eat just two or three bites of actual noodles, and focus on the sauce and veggies.  Eating this way takes a lot of discipline for me, so imagine my happiness when I landed on Emily’s blog and she introduced me to Spaghetti Squash!  When Spaghetti squash is cooked you can pull the insides apart and they turn into little strands that look just like spaghetti.  Angel hair to be more exact.  Her recipe really caught my attention, and I couldn’t wait to make my own.  So I went out, bought one of these dynamite squashes, and made a date with it for lunch today.  And I can promise you there will be many more dates to come *blushing* because after our first date we fell in love ❤

Spaghetti Squash adapted from Daily Garnish

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow spaghetti squash
  • 3-4 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 2-3 organic shallots, minced
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375*.
Put 1 cup water in a 11×17 glass baking dish, set aside.
Place squash on a cutting board, and using a very sharp knife cut the squash in half lengthwise.  Please note that this squash is very hard to cut.  Use both hands, place on firmly on the squash and use the knife in your other. Cut your way down evenly on both sides. Once you bust this baby open, scoop out all the gooey stringy guts and seeds and toss into the trash.  Emily suggested using a trash bowl for her waste so she didn’t need to run back to the trash can all the time, I liked her idea, except I used an old plastic baggy that I had under the sink.
Prepare your garlic & shallot mixture.  After you have minced them, put them together in a small bowl with a good mix.
Using a pastry brush, brush the inside and rims of your squash with a light coating of EVOO.
Then with a spoon spread the garlic & shallot mixture on top.
Sprinkle with sea salt & a generous amount of cracked pepper. Place your squash in the baking pan you set aside earlier, garlic sides facing up.
Cook for one hour.

If the sides of the squash look wrinkly and the flesh is pulling away from the shell, pull it out of the oven to test it, its probably done.  

To double check, take a fork and scrape about a 1×1″ section to see if the squash falls apart easily like spaghetti strands.  If not put it back in for another 5-10 minutes, and try again.

When you’re sure its done, take it out, and just let it cool in the pan for about 25 minutes. (while its cooling make your preferred sauce!)
Once cooled, place the squash in a large bowl. Take a fork and pull the flesh downwards into the bowl.
Then turn the squash the other direction and pull out the flesh that way til its completely removed and all that is left is the empty shell.
Now with your bowl full of noodles, add a little more sea salt and cracked pepper to taste and mix it around with a fork.
Top with your favorite pasta sauce and viola! Healthy “pasta”. (The one pictured I prepared for my bf so it has parmesan cheese on top.  A great vegan option in place of the parmesan cheese is nutritional yeast.  It has a cheesy nutty flavor and tasted perfect on this dish!  {For those of you who don’t already know – you can find nutritional yeast (also called Brewer’s yeast) at your local health food store. Its usually placed in the vitamin section or also in the bulk bins.  Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins – mainly B-12, contains 18 amino acids, and is a key ingredient in the vegan diet.}
This is so yummy you can scarf down the whole bowl and not have to worry about calories or carbs! I can’t wait for our second date!!!
xo Jennifer
What is your favorite Italian meal?  Do you also worry about calories and carbs when you eat a healthy plate of pasta? What is your favorite authentic pasta sauce? 
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