A veggie that we have really enjoyed is: Spaghetti Squash – of which you knew would be the topic since it is the title of this post! 🙂
Something that Greg loves for dinner is “Spaghetti Bake”… something I started making this summer in Colorado. More recently he has been asking for: Spaghetti Bake with Spaghetti Squash! This is a much healthier version of the original creation as it has many more nutrients and less overall carbohydrates. Since it is “National Nutrition Month” I thought it would be a good post.
- A One cup serving of Spaghetti Squash on a basic level has: 42 calories, 10 grams of carbs, 2.2 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of protein, and only 0.4 grams of fat.
- A one cup serving of enriched plain white spaghetti noodles has: 197 calories, 39.7 grams of carbs, 2.4 grams of dietary fiber, 6.7 grams of protein, and is low in fat with barely under 1 gram.
As you can see, the main difference in the two is the carbs (which is very important, but of varying importance to different people)… and the carbs are what make up the main caloric difference. But on a macro-nutrient level, the pasta is enriched (it has some vitamins and minerals put in it) but the difference is the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that are present in the squash. It is so much better to get our nutrients from real foods that contain the vitamins and minerals naturally.
The Spaghetti Bake:
First I cut the squash in half, clean out the seeds and slimy stringy matter. Then bake it in a 300-325 degree oven (~40 minutes or so) face down in a little bit of water (cover with foil). This can be done in a microwave covered with plastic wrap in about 5-7 minutes time. Do whichever suits you!
… in the meantime I cook my meat sauce, only I make it pretty meaty and thick so it will set up later. You will know the squash is done when you can fairly easily scrape the flesh out and it “noodles” up like so…
Once my meat sauce is done, I stir the “noodles” together with it and put it in a casserole dish – 9×13 pan most often… then top it with whatever cheese I want and bake it at 350 for a few minutes… enough to heat through if all my ingredients were not hot… and of course melt the cheesy goodness on top.
I have made the spaghetti bake with only noodles (usually whole wheat), or only spaghetti squash (Greg’s favorite with lots of meat)… and sometimes a combination (Beka’s favorite). If you do the noodles, cook them accordingly and stir them in with the squash and meat sauce!
Enjoy and remember this is a great way to incorporate a healthy veggie into a meal… and even sneak some in for the family (should pass the test of picky eaters because it disguises in very well!)