Anyone else completely over Winter? I mean like “I am done now, please usher in some sunshine and blue skies”? Ya, if I have to deal with another week of gray, drizzly, 40 degree weather I may just lock myself in my pantry and eat every sugar laden carby food I can get my little ol’ mits on!
I know I have mentioned, several times, that pasta is a weakness for me. Oh how I love it so, and especially during these cold dreary days. It just makes me uber happy to curl up, preferably wearing my fuzzy pajamas, to a big bowl of cheesy pasta. Can ya feel me my friends? Just the thought of it makes me all squishy inside!
Weird. I know. Moving on.
After my kitchen exploded with sweet treats over the holidays, and 10 pounds happily found it way to my butt, I have been determined to eat healthier, but not give up everything that I love. That goal can be wicked hard when it comes to pasta. I have done the whole wheat, which is OK. Quinoa pasta, which we actually really liked, but it is super touchy to cook (if you go a titch over you get moosh), and storing leftovers will result in a mushy, but tasty, bowl of “stuff”. So if you are a texture person, ya quinoa pasta would be rough for you. Plus, holy crap, have you seen the price of that stuff? I have to admit I was hit with a bit of sticker shock on that one.
So my little brain was working overtime trying to figure out how to satiate my cravings, without breaking the bank.
That was when I remembered something my Mom used to make. She would cook spaghetti squash and then top it with a jarred spaghetti sauce. I loved it, so I knew if I loved it as a picky kid I would enjoy it now. My only fear? Kevin. But I was determined to give it a try.
I casually mentioned the idea to him one evening while we were watching TV and was shocked when he said, and these were his exact words gang, “That sounds really good”.
Ummm so after I picked my chin up off of the floor, and felt his forehead to see if he was feverish, I grabbed my shopping list and wrote down everything I needed to make this for dinner the next night.
I stopped by my son’s work while I was out shopping and invited him and his fiance over to give it a try too. I am always in need of guinea pigs to test on.
I knew this was going to be a winner when A) I gave Kevin a big forkful of plain, yes I said plain, cooker spaghetti squash and he liked it, and B) when my son tasted the tomato/squash mixture and he loved it. I was on cloud 9!
So we all sat down to eat and not one bite was left by the end of the meal, it was that dang good!
Everyone has already asked when I am going to make it again, so I am determined to come up with some more dishes that include my new best friend, the spaghetti squash.
Do you have a favorite way to cook/eat spaghetti squash? I would love to hear about it!
Italian Style Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Get all of those wonderful Italian flavors you crave, minus the pasta and heavy cheeses. This Italian Style Stuffed Spaghetti Squash will have your family excited to eat healthy!
2 medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground Italian seasoned turkey
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 to 1 teaspoon (depends on the spice level you like) crushed red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce container low fat ricotta
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 cup low fat mozzarella, shredded
Thinly sliced basil for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Carefully cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Lay them cut-side down in a roasting pan or other baking dish, and add about an inch of water. Roast for 45 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the garlic and cook one more minute. Push the onions and garlic to the outside of the pan and crumble in the ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until no pink remains, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, and the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Use a fork to shred the inside of the squash. Leaving about a half-inch of squash inside the shell, stir the shredded squash into the tomato sauce.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, the parsley and salt.
Wipe out the roasting pan and arrange the squash shells inside, like bowls. Divide half of the tomato mixture mixture between the shells, spoon 1/4th of the ricotta mixture into each shell. Top with remaining tomato mixture.
Bake the shells for 15 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4th cup mozzarella over the top of each squash and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
Sprinkle basil over the tops and serve immediately.
Welcome! It is so nice to meet you. My name is Bobbi. I am the Mom of 2 great kids, and Nana to a beautiful baby girl Kylee, and a handsome little devil named Torin. I share my life and home with my awesome partner Kevin, and 2 furbabies….