I just want you to know I'm so happy to be here today to share this recipe with you and enjoy you coming to read this blog just as much as I emjoy writing it. This kitchen is truly for anyone in any walk of life, interested in eating healthy. Though many recipes call for organic ingredients if possible, they don't require them exclusively. Also it needs to be said that if you have a food allergy and read this recipe, let me know, and I'll be happy to include alternate ingredients you could use as subsitutes in the remaining recipes. For example, some of my readers are allergic to milk, so I always try to include milk subsitutes in recipes for these readers. By being aware, I can do the same for you!
Okay, so today's recipe is inspired by a popular dish among many of my readers, and of my family for years. It used to be one of our Monday meals in my house as well, and may be some of yours, because its so easy and convenient. Its spaghetti! It can be really healthy for you too if you fix it the right way, and it still tastes great!:)
SupEr SqUasH SpaGheTtI
*Have you ever seen a huge squash in the produce section thsats large and yelow? Its called spaghetti squash and I bet you didn't really know you can cook it like you can spaghetti did you? Yes you can! t contains noodle like pasta inside of the squash's shell!
IIts so good too! Now, if you're feeling less adventurous here or just a little close minded:)- then feel free to subsitute the squash noodles for whole grain noodles like whole wheat, which is fine:) However, I encourage you to give spaghetti squash a try. Its really neat to eat spaghetti this way, and virtually, couldn't be healthier!:)
1 spaghetti squash ( very large )
1 large jar of an organic style pasta sauce, preferably low sodium There are several good brands that are flavored with garlic and onion, or basil and garlic, etc. Pick your favorite:) Or you can buy a low sodium standard version of your favorite.
1 package of fresh white mushroom slices in the produce section
1 large zuccinini, sliced in half lengthwise, and then into slices ( half moon size)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large package of low-fat ground turkey meat like Butterball 97/3 % ( which means 97% fat free ) or Jennie-O Natural variety of fat free ground turkey
1 tbsp. minced garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp. basil
2 tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. black pepper
Did you know? Many canned pasta sauces contain anywhere from 500-1000 mg of sodium per half cup! 1000 mg is half of your maximum allowance for the entire day! Try to buy low sodium canned or jarred products whenever you can and always check sodium levels on all packaged foods. High sodium leads to high blood pressure, heart disease and dehydration which can harm you kidneys and other vital organs. Plus, you'll hardly miss the sodium when its not included. Its only added as a preservative, not so much for the taste.
Prep work: Poke holes in one side of the squash and microwave the squash in large microwavable bowl in water for 10 minutes. Let it cool on a glass plate for 10 minutes.
1. Cut the squash lengthwise and seeded it with a fork. The seeds can sometimes run deep so be sure to get them out. ( EXTRA TIP- If you like toasted pumpkin seeds, you can toast these seeds too the same way!:)- In the oven at 350 for 10 minutes on a nonstick baking sheet seasoned however you like )
2. Once you have the squash seeded, with the fork, pull out the noodle strands and place on a plate. You'll notice that there are TONS of noodles inside this squash. They are embedded throughout the sides of the squash, so keep scooping until you have them all:) Set aside in a large skillet.
3. In a separate skillet, in 2 batches, add the oil, the mushrooms, zuccinni, 1 tbsp. minced garlic ( or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder ), half the onion chopped and 1 tbsp. oregano, 1 tbsp. basil and 1 tsp. black pepper
4. Saute the vegetables, tossing well to coat with a spatula until everything begins to brown well, about 15-20 minutes. Again, do this all in 2 batches because the mushrooms cook faster than the other veggies so if you cook them all at one time, they will end up uneven with the other veggies.
5. Meanwhile in a separate skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, brown the turkey meat with the remaining 1tsp. black pepper, 1 tbsb. basil and 1 tbsp. oregano. Add the other half of the chopped onion and other tbsp. of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Brown well.
6. Finally, in large skillet or shallow pot, add the spaghetti squash, then the turkey meat, the marinara or pasta sauce and then the veggies. Sprinkle a little parsley as a garnish if desired and heat on low/med for 10 minutes and cover. This allows the flavors to set together and everything to get under the same heat.
7. Serve and enjoy a true traditional Italian treat you will love!:) Again, if you want to use noodles instead, simply use 1 small box of whole wheat noodles instead, howver if you want you veggies and a new pasta to try, try the spaghetti squash. It has a delicious noodle taste!
Okay, so there's your Monday meal~:) So delicious! If you just simply must have garlic toast to go along with it, then only have 1 slice and make it with whole wheat bread, and use Smart Balance buttery spread instead of butter.