Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who needs pasta....

...when you have SPAGHETTI SQUASH?!?!?!

So, I have been wanting to try spaghetti squash for a long time but hadn't gotten around to it because I wasn't quite ready for a culinary adventure. And besides, isn't spaghetti squash something that those "super healthy, always talking about nutrition, gluten-free, clean-eating" people eat? Wait, that's me.  LOL After getting over my fear of taking on a culinary adventure AND realizing I have become one of "those" people, I make my way to the grocery store and select the smallest spaghetti squash I can find.  In case my culinary adventure fails miserably, I don't want a lot of waste on my hands. 

I also purchase items to make a quick and easy spaghetti sauce.

I get my spaghetti squash home and immediately do what any good cook would--GOOGLE how to cook spaghetti squash! LOL 774,000 results come up and after perusing the first three, I realize it should be relatively easy to cook the squash.

Basically, all I have to do is preheat the oven to 375, pierce the squash to allow steam to escape (wouldn't want any explosions), stick it in the oven, and let it bake for an hour.  Ok, I think I am up for the challenge.  I get my squash in the oven and begin making my easy sauce.

At the grocery store, I purchased a jar of OrganicVille Portabella Mushroom Pasta Sauce (sugar and gluten free).  I also purchased a 10oz bag of sliced baby portabellas and some 93% lean ground turkey.  First, I saute my portabellas with some non-stick spray.  In a separate pan, I brown my ground turkey and drain it once its brown all over.  Afterwards, I throw everything into a big pot and let it simmer. 

After my sauce is done, I just have to wait for my squash to finish, so I do what any good grad student would do to pass time--get on FB! LOL Pretty soon, time has elasped and I think I might have BURNT my squash.  I run to kitchen and remove it from the oven as quick as I can! Whew! I didn't burn it! :-)

Because I am in a hurry, I cut it open and scoop the seeds/inside out.  Looking at my little squash, I start to think, maybe I should have gotten a bigger one.  My sauce recipe yielded 6 servings.  This little squashy-poo looks like maybe one serving will come from it.  I was WRONG!  I get my fork and start scraping, and scraping, and scraping. One cup, two cups, three cups, FOUR CUPS of glorious squash!  Wow.  I didn't realize that I would be able to scrape all the way to the skin of the squash.  There was very little waste.

So, the moment you've been waiting for! How did it taste?!?! I sampled just a little of the squash and some of the sauce and it was SOOOOO GOOOD!  I couldn't believe it. I thought the squash would be mushy and that the taste would be overpowering.  It wasn't at all. 

This was one culinary adventure I am pleased to have taken.  I'll eat my pasta sauce with spaghetti squash this week for dinner!

For those who want the recipe and full nutritional info, keep reading!

Turkey Mushroom Sauce w/ Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 1 20oz package of 93% Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 Jar of OrganicVille Portabella Mushroom Pasta Sauce
  • 1 10oz Bag of Sliced Baby Bellas
  • Non-stick spray
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pierce squash all over. Place on baking sheet or in pan.  Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.
  3. Saute portabellas in non stick spray.
  4. Brown and drain ground turkey.
  5. In large pot, add sauteed portabellas, ground turkey, and pasta sauce.  Simmer until flavors integrate. 
  6. After an hour, remove squash from oven. LET COOL! Cut in half with a serrated knife.  Spoon out the seeds and pulp (like you would any other squash or melon).  With fork, scrape out the spaghettis (LOL!)
Again, my pasta sauce yielded about 6 3/4 cup servings.  And, I can have up to 1.5 cups of the squash when I eat it as a meal. So, based on that, here is the nutritional info. The carbs, protein, and fat fall within my required range and the calories are just around 250, which is what I try to consume at each meal.  All in all, I am quite pleased to be able to add this meal to my repertoire!

Turkey Mushroom Sauce Info (I used my handy-dandy Recipe Nutrition Calculator for this info!):
Protein: 21 grams
Carbs: 10 grams
Fat: 8
Calories: 190

Spaghetti Squash Info (1.5 cup serving size):
Protein: 0 grams
Carbs: 15 grams
Fat: 0 grams
Calories: 63 

Turkey Mushroom Sauce with Spaghetti Squash (one serving):
Protein: 21 grams
Carbs: 25 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Calories: 253

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