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.
“Winter” has been full swing in South Florida the past few weeks…. which is actually pretty nice weather. Being from up north, it is “light jacket” weather to me, but I have seen quite a few people in winter coats and boots and a lot of people sick with colds. I did catch a bit of a cold the other week (wash your hands as often as possible and try not to touch your face!) so I made a nice warm soup with curry spices that really helped open up my sinuses and soothe my throat. Adding herbs and spices to soups and other foods is not only important for flavor but many spices also provide an array of health benefits. Turmeric, an essential ingredient in curries and curry powder contains a powerful substance called curcumin, which may decrease inflammation and provide many different health benefits. Some of these health benefits that have been studied include cancer prevention, memory improvement and treatment of arthritis.
If you are interested in more information on health benefits of different spices and how to use them here is a great link I found:
And now that you learned something today…on to making a delicious and nutritious soup!
Curry Chicken Tomato Soup
1.5 pounds chicken thighs – bone in
4 cups unsalted chicken broth
4 cups water
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1.5 cups chopped celery
14 ounces petite purple potatoes (about 8-9 potatoes), cut into bite sized pieces
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
Remove skin from chicken thighs and trim off as much excess fat as possible. Place chicken in a 5 quart Dutch oven with chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and allow chicken to cook for ~30 minutes. Remove chicken from broth with a slotted spoon and place on a plate or cutting board and allow to cool a bit. Turn heat back up to high and add potatoes, celery, tomatoes (along with any juices from the can) and spices to the broth. While the veggies are cooking, pull apart chicken with a fork and knife into bite sized pieces and discard bones. Once veggies are tender add chicken back to broth and turn down to simmer for a few minutes to warm chicken and meld flavors. Serve immediately.
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!