Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Lasagna" Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

So like I mentioned last week, I'm on a carb cutting kick. Believe me when I say this is difficult for this pasta lover. In the past, I have tried to find healthier alternatives to my pasta cravings, which lead me to consider spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a winter squash whose insides look like spaghetti once you cook it and scrape it with the fork. How fun! The blogs I read promised it tasted just like actual spaghetti. Perfect! The answer to my "trying not to gain a million pounds but I just love food so much" prayers! The first time I made it I thought I would make "spaghetti" and meatballs. And then I tried and it was... disappointing. Those bloggers that tell you it tastes just like spaghetti are lying liars. 

Like Kale, Spaghetti Squash has become very popular around the interwebs. And also like Kale, most of the time it is not that great (except for my amazing Kale Soup obviously). After my first spaghetti squash experience, I assumed I would just never cook with it again. However, I found this lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash recipe on the Closet Cooking blog, and thought there just might be enough (low fat... still healthy) cheese and meat sauce to cover up spaghetti squash's bland taste. It was great! Almost refilled my faith in spaghetti squash again (almost). Plus, the ingredients are cooked in the squash half, so you don't have to use a bowl or plate if you don't want to (or haven't done your dishes in awhile). It is like nature's bowl. 

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
From Closet Cooking

1 spaghetti squash
2 Tbs. oil (I used grapeseed)
1/2 lb/ ground turkey
1/2 chopped onion
1 clove chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
8 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. chopped basil
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squagetti squash in half, remove the seeds, and brush the insides with 1 Tbs. of the oil. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. 

Cook the turkey over high heat until cooked through and then set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, heat the rest of the oil, and then add the onion. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and crushed fennel, and cook for another minute.

Add the turkey, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, paprika, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until the spaghetti squash is done. 

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and basil. Once spaghetti squash is finished roasting, remove from the oven and, with a fork, scrape the sides to fluff up the "spaghetti". 

L: Spaghettified, R: non-Spaghettified
Add the cheese mixture, making sure to sufficiently combine with the squash. Top with the meat mixture, and then with the mozzarella cheese. 

Broil until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Watch it carefully to avoid burning the top. 



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