I used to tell people that I didn’t care what I ate, as long as I could eat for a long time without the calories adding up too quickly. Of course, this was back in my 100-calorie snack pack and Splenda-in-my-coffee days, but there’s part of the last statement that still rings somewhat true for me. I think it’s fair to say that as a Holistic Nutritionist, I love food and I thoroughly enjoy the act of eating, especially when in good company. While I’m not one for wolfing down my food, I do still enjoy sitting down with friends or family, chatting and taking the time to savour each bite and chew my food thoroughly. The difference between then and now is that now that I’m fuelling myself up on real wholesome food, I actually get full and know where to stop. Whereas in the past, that 100-calorie packed air wouldn’t sustain me (hm … wonder why) and I would still be starving even after 3-4 of them. We could easily branch into a “why diets don’t work” chat right now, but you came here for Spaghetti Squash, so we’ll save that tangent for another day.
If you’re one of those people who also likes to extend their lunch or dinner time, savour each bite without feeling like you “overdid it”, you will love spaghetti squash! Having meals like this in your back pocket is always helpful, but especially around the holiday season when we tend to go a bit more overboard than we might usually. The beautiful thing about spaghetti squash is that it serves as a low-carb and low-calorie (but who’s counting, anyway?) whole foods-based alternative to your conventional pasta. I’ll dabble in rice pasta from time to time, but if I’m staying true to my goal of eating as much non-prepackaed or boxed food (even healthy alternatives) as possible and more whole foods, then spaghetti squash is the answer! Spaghetti Squash is also loaded with an array of vitamins, nutrients and dietary fibre – meaning it will help to fill you up to prevent overeating or from grazing in your snack cupboard later on.
When shopping for spaghetti squash (which I encourage you all to do this time of year, since it’s in season), you’ll want to look for one that is heavy for it’s size, with a firm, dry rounded stem (this helps to keep out bacteria). If it has cracks and soft spots, you may want to continue your search a bit longer. Preparing spaghetti squash is even easier (see the recipe below), but deciding on what you want to top it with is the most fun part! I went with a classic bolognese here for all of my pasta lover’s who might be looking for a healthy alternative. Try this on for size!
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1-2lbs grass fed organic antibiotic & hormone-free beef (Beretta is great!)
(vegan/vegetarian option: 1 can chickpeas or black beans or sliced tempeh)
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6-8 mushrooms, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp grapeseed/avocado/coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp red hot chilli flakes (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp hemp seeds (to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice spaghetti squash length-wise and place face down on a baking sheet. Place in oven for 30 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork through it. Begin preparing sauce while it cooks.
- Drizzle oil in a medium-large pot on medium heat and begin to sauté garlic, onions and mushrooms. Add beef until cooked (no red remaining).
- Pour in diced tomatoes and spices of your choices (sea salt, oregano, red hot chilli flakes). Simmer for ~25-30 minutes to allow flavours to absorb.
- After the 30 minutes, remove spaghetti squash from oven and scoop out the middle seeds into the compost bin. Holding the spaghetti squash with an oven mitt or a dish towel, begin to shred the spaghetti squash with a fork and set aside into a large BPA-free container or bowl.
- Prepare by making a bed of spaghetti squash and topping it with the Bolognese sauce. Sprinkle with hemp seeds (use this like you would parmesan). Enjoy!
What’s your favourite thing to top spaghetti squash with?