Squashes and root veggies are in season and if you haven’t tried spaghetti squash yet, now is the time! Spaghetti squash makes for a wonderful alternative to pasta and I love it for Meatless Monday dinners with sauteed tomatoes and kale.
Spaghetti squash possesses an uncanny resemblance to spaghetti strands when cooked, and for this reason is known as vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, vegetable marrow and “squaghetti”.
Spaghetti squash is a variety of the winter squash and has a mild taste similar to pasta. It is often used as a healthful substitute for pasta due to its low carbohydrate levels. Spaghetti squash can be added to a variety of dishes, such as soups and stews and when served as “spaghetti,” it can be topped with a wide variety of pasta sauces. Spaghetti squash is significantly lower in calories than traditional pasta. A 1-cup serving of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories, while 1 cup of cooked pasta has 221 calories. If you are following a low-calorie diet, consider substituting spaghetti squash for pasta. Doing so can save you 180 calories per cup. Spaghetti squash has a high water content. One cup of cooked squash contains 143 grams of water. Foods high in water can increase your daily water intake. They also typically are lower in calories than foods with little or no water content. Spaghetti squash is also a good source of fiber, with 2.2 grams in a 1-cup serving. Spaghetti squash also contains beta carotene, which can help improve eye and skin health, maintain a strong immune system and can help prevent infection.
- 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into small pieces
- 5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, halved
- A sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons refined coconut oil
- Sea salt
- Fresh pepper
- Fresh herbs (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. First, slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil along with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Place squash face down on a lined baking sheet (I prefer using parchment paper) and cook for about 45 minutes – until tender.
- While the squash is baking, get the kale, tomatoes, garlic and onion ready. Next, place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in a pan over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes (until garlic begins to brown) and then add tomatoes and kale. Cook for a few more minutes until tomatoes are tender and kale begins to soften.
- When squash is done cooking, remove it from the oven and let cool a few minutes so you can handle it without burning yourself. Using a fork, scrape out the insides of squash, which will come apart in strands. Place strands in a bowl and mix with kale and tomatoes. Sprinkle with fresh herbs to taste.