Spaghetti squash is one of those unique vegetables that you can easily transform into a pasta without the use of a spiralizer. With spiralizers being a food trend now (I see zoodle recipes and pins everywhere), you can turn almost any veggie into a pasta. But today we are going old school and using spaghetti squash and a fork to make a veggie noodle “pasta.” So if you didn’t get on the spiralizer band wagon, don’t worry….there is no need with this healthy recipe.
Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash that is low in calories and fat and contains vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A,vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber.It can definitely help you cut calories and lose weight when you use it in place of pasta. For comparison, 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories and 1 cup of cooked whole grain spaghetti ranges from 180-200 calories. Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, adding more veggies in your diet is always good for your health!
Spaghetti Squash with Italian Herbs
1 Large Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
Reduced Fat Cheese (if desired)
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Rinse off squash and use a knife to poke holes in the squash so steam can escape during cooking. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. All squash to cool slightly before cutting open. Cut open, remove seeds and scrape out strands of squash with a fork, set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add garlic, basil, parsley, black pepper and salt. Stir and heat for a minute or two until fragrant. Add squash strands and mix until warm. Finish with champagne vinegar. Serve and top with cheese reduced fat cheese if desired. For extra protein you can add a little chicken or tofu. (Leftover chicken from the night before makes a great topping)
****Recommendation: Cooking the squash in the oven does take some time so you can do this the night before or pop it in as soon as you get home from work and get in a work out during the cook time. Alternatively, the microwave is another option for cooking.
The Super Bowl is next weekend so I thought this would be a great time to post a chili recipe. Chili is super easy to make and there are thousands of variations. If you are having people over to watch the Super Bowl, a chili bar with various toppings could be a fun, no fuss, self service way to feed your guests. Just make sure you have healthier topping choices such as avocado, jalapenos, hot sauce and reduced fat cheese or reduced fat sour cream.
In my turkey chili recipe I use lean ground turkey, reduced sodium canned beans, canned tomatoes with no salt added, fresh veggies and spices. I like using a combination of fresh and canned ingredients because chili should be an easy, hassle free recipe where you just combine everything and let it cook. The turkey, beans and veggies make chili full of protein and fiber which can help you feel full and satisfied (and then maybe you won’t munch on all those potato chips during the game 😛 ). You can also check our my “Game Day” board on pinterest for more recipe ideas. And for all the vegetarians out there, I do have a Hearty Veggie Chili recipe you can check out.
20 ounces Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Chipotle powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne
1 16 oz Can Reduced Sodium Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 15 oz Can Reduced Sodium Black Beans
1 28 oz Can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
1 Jalapeno – Diced, seeds removed
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion
Spray bottom of a 5 quart Dutch oven with cooking spray and turn heat up to medium. Add ground turkey and spices to pan. Cook until turkey is browned, about ten minutes. Add peppers and onion. Cook for another 5 min, mixing well. Add tomatoes and beans (don’t drain liquid) and cover. Continue cooking on medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 10- 20 more minutes to cook down the liquid to desired thickness.
Butternut squash is a great fall and winter staple. There are so many things you can do with it, such as making a flavorful soup or just roasting it with your favorite spices. It is fairly low in calories and fat, full of potassium (great for blood pressure), vitamin a (good for vision) and fiber (can help get those sluggish bowels moving). Also, it does not spoil as quickly as some other veggies, so you don’t have to worry as much about it going bad before you have a chance to use it. The only thing that bothers me about butternut squash is cutting it up….I am not best with knives. However, I have found that poking some holes in it and putting it in the microwave a few minutes does help soften it up so it is easier to cut. You can then continue to cook however way you like after you have the squash slightly softened and cut up.
I love little mini breads topped with deliciousness, so a few weeks ago I decided to make an appetizer that was a seasonal take on bruschetta. Instead of a tomato basil topping, I decided to make a kale and butternut squash topping. And I also added some goat cheese because cheese is delicious and of course adds a little calcium that most of us don’t get enough of. For my recipe I used Udi’s gluten free french baguettes but if you don’t need to make it gluten free you can always just use any other baguette type bread…preferably one that contains some whole grains.
Butternut Squash Crostini
3 Udis Gluten Free French baguettes (freezer section)
1 T Olive Oil + extra for brushing on bread
1 Butternut squash peeled and diced ~6 cups
4 Cups Chopped Fresh Kale
1 Teaspoon Ground Sage
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
6 oz Goat Cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice baguettes into 1/2 inch slices after bringing frozen baguettes to room temperature. Brush 1 side of each piece with olive oil, using a pastry or silicone brush. Put slices oil side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cook for about 5 min on top rack of oven or until bread appears lightly toasted around edges. You may have to make in batches. Remove from oven and turn oven down to 400 degrees.
Add butternut squash and kale to a large glass baking dish. Mix in apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and sage. The kale may look like an excessive amount but it will bake down. Stir until evenly coated. Bake in oven for 35 minutes in lower rack or until butternut squash is cooked through (if you bake on top rack, kale may burn a little). Top olive oil side of bread pieces with a thin layer of goat cheese and butternut squash mixture just prior to serving.
Hi, my name is Caryn and I am registered dietitian nutritionist in Florida, but an Ohio native. I currently work full time in Miami, am raising a beautiful baby girl with my husband, and am working tirelessly on growing my own business. I love eating healthy but hate overly complicated recipes and doing dishes. Come join me on my journey to a healthy and happy life!