This is one crazy-healthy-declicous-low-fat-low-calorie goodness dish!!!
I feel pretty pathetic that I have only recently discovered just how delicious spaghetti squash is as a healthy substitute for pasta, and how easy it is to cook. Although it does not taste like pasta, it does have an amazingly satisfying texture similar to spaghetti with a very subtly sweet but simple flavor that nicely picks up whatever other flavors you add to it. It truly is incredible how the squash literally shreds out of its shell in a spaghetti-like fashion after it is cooked.
I wanted to make a less traditional “sauce” for this recipe that was full of flavor and also really good for you. You can enjoy a huge bowl of this, knowing it is made almost entirely of veggies, no carbohydrates and very little fat. Enjoy this as a main course or as a side dish. Either way it will make your belly smile.
I must give credit to my friend (and amazing cook) Dawn Frattarelli who introduced me to spaghetti squash and gave me pointers on how to properly cook it. Thanks girl! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!
RECIPE TUNES (because everything is always better with music)
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 12 oz of asparagus (or 1 bunch)
- 2 medium roma tomatoes diced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 package (.75 oz) fresh thyme (one package)
- 1 package (.75 oz) fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (vegetable if you are vegetarian)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or oil of your preference)
- Kosher/coarse salt
- Ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese (Shaved, grated or whatever kind you like best all are great. This is to top it off with just before you eat. )
First the Spaghetti Squash:
NOTE: When I made this and took the photos below I was making double the recipe because I love to have lots of leftovers, especially when I am making something that is so healthy and yummy. So if the photos look like more than the recipe calls, that’s why.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Microwave the entire spaghetti squash for 5 minutes. This makes it easier to cut it in half.
- When it is done, carefully cut it in half and let it cool a few minutes. You need a big sharp knife. I found this amazing one at Ikea that I love. It looks like a meat cleaver but it is actually for chopping vegetables.
- Using a smaller knife (as seen in second picture below) with a sharp tip, cut along the edges of the seeds and the “guts” that you will need to scoop out. (This makes it easier to scoop them as seen below.) Using a larger spoon scoop the seeds and the “guts” out and throw them away. When finished it looks like the third photo here.
- When your squash is “gutted”, generously brush both halves with olive oil and then generously sprinkle them with salt and pepper. As seen here, I use a silicon brush to brush the oil on and I mix kosher salt and black pepper in a small bowl to use when I cook.
- Place the squash face down to bake them. This enables any water to drain out. Bake on 375 degrees for 35 minutes. The pictures below show the squash before baked, after baked and then turned back over after they are done. Allow them to cool. You can make the sauce while they cook and cool if you like.
- When the squash has cooled off, use a large fork to literally shred the insides aka the “meat” of the squash. I try and get as much of the meat as I can by using the side of the fork against the skin too. (Steps shown below.) Place your spaghetti in a bowl and set it aside.
Now for the asparagus, tomato and thyme broth:
- Generously coat your pan with olive oil and cook your chopped onion on medium-high heat until onions begin to look translucent.
- When onions are semi-cooked, add your diced asparagus, tomato, chopped rosemary, full sprigs of thyme, chicken stock, another drizzle of olive oil and two large pinches of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Carefully remove the thyme sprig stalks. (Much of the tiny thyme leaves should have come off the sprigs and are in the broth, some may still be on sprigs but still remove the longer stem pieces. I use a fork to grab them out from the sauce.)
- Add the juice of half a lemon, stir well and taste. If you need more salt, pepper or oil add it to your liking.
- Let everything cook on low heat a few more minutes, then turn off your burner.
- When you are ready to eat your dish, scoop some of your squash into a bowl then top it with your broth. You can add as much or as little of the liquid that is with the vegetables as you like. If you prefer little broth use a slotted spoon. I tend to like lots of sauce and broth.
- Sprinkle your parmesan cheese on top and it is ready to eat. Mmmmmm.