Warning!! Squash overload! Seriously though, who doesn’t love some creamy, rich, buttery, squash? Just another one of the many reason I love fall. This little number laid before your eyes is beaming with flavor and nutrients. Who knew something so pretty and so delicious could be so fabulously nutritious? And all it took was one little substitution. You see this isn’t your ordinary spaghetti. Nope, I’ve replaced the “traditional” carb-laden, zero-benefit spaghetti noodle with a antioxidant-rich vegetable noodle from the spaghetti squash. –>INSERT CLAPPING<– You’re clapping right? This deserves an applause.
Once home to loads of unnecessary filler, you now have something so marvelously healthy you could eat a heaping bowl full and not suffer any consequences. No one will ever know our little secret that there is no pasta in the making of this dish, just veggies. Pretty awesome, huh? So spaghetti squash it is. If you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash or if you have you must know one little thing. There is a right and a wrong way to cook it to get those uber long noodles we all dream of. I mean don’t we all dream of noodles you can twirl around your fork? Thanks to Beth over at Eat Within Your Means you can now fulfill your noodle dreams. –>INSERT MORE APPLAUSE<– But before we get to her amazing tutorial, I think it’s time for a little (drumroll please)…
Knowing your food, the source, quality and what it does in your body is a super important component to health. Knowledge is power! And if you don’t give a rats, then just bear with me and all the other food nerds out there. Here’s the scoop (no pun intended) on spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash has a higher water content than most other winter squash varieties however it still holds its own in the nutrient department. Spaghetti squash provides modest amounts of carotenoids, which are plant substances that the body turns into vitamin A in the body. It contains a good ratio of omega-3 fatty acids helping to prevent heart disease, cancer and inflammation in the body as well as just enough omega-6 to promote brain function.
Just another tid-bit, spaghetti squash also contains compounds that are very beneficial to prostate health and used for the treatment of benign prostate enlargement. It is rich in beta carotene, which prevent atherosclerosis and is low in carbohydrates, helping people with insulin resistance. The carb load of spaghetti squash is significantly less than traditional pasta which on average has an additional 30 plus grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Not to mention it is a vegetable. A VEGETABLE! And all vegetables are a good thing, providing ample nutrients that help the body to function at its prime. The moral of the story, eat more vegetables and this is just one easy, simple and delicious way to get all of the flavor and nutrients of pasta without all of the negative consequence. –>INSERT FINGER WAGGING<– EAT. YOUR.VEGGIES. Now how do you cook that darn thing and get those uber long noodles we’ve talked so highly about? Seriously, check out this post on How To Cook Spaghetti Squash over at Eat Within Your Means.
I must say, well done Beth, well done! And as a side note, she uses a pressure cooker –>SQUEAL<– A girl after my own heart. I mean I haven’t whipped out the benefits of a pressure cooker and how fabulous and so “in food fashion” they are but nutrient wise, they are an amazing little contraption to have and to use. A pressure what? Don’t worry I’ll get more into the benefits later on. You may just be adding it to your Christmas list. Although you could probably go to a garage sale and find one for penny as most people feel it is outdated, slightly dangerous and not “in style.” They are so wrong (says the food fashion guru). Okay that is wishful thinking. There I go dreaming again.
And now that you had your food intelligence lesson for today lets talk about the serious amount of veggies this little number contains. You have one, spaghetti squash as the base and two butternut squash as the sauce plus the crispy sage to finish it off. Pretty amazing and so full of flavor. After you cook this, no one can complain that veggies are boring, bland and lack flavor. Nope, never again. Now go get cooking and yes, just buy the fresh sage at the grocery store. IT.IS.WORTH.IT! Fry it and put it on anything. Experience the fresh herbs, nothing compares. Now go fool your family into thinking they are getting a gourmet spaghetti recipe. No need to tell them it isn’t flour pasta. Shhh, it’s our secret.
- 1 medium-large spagetti squash, cooked
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, separated
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (up to ¼ teaspoon for spicier pasta sauce)
- Sea salt and/or kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups broth
- 1 lb country or Italian sausage.
- Garnish: Parmesan Cheese, freshly cracked Salt & Pepper
- Cook spaghetti squash as tutorial showed.
- Add coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot add sage and cook until just crisp. Transfer to a small bowl and season with sea salt.
- Meanwhile add an additional 1 Tbsp oil to skillet and add squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions are translucent about 5-10 minutes.
- Add broth and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes or until squash is softened and broth has reduced in half.
- Place ingredients (minus crisped sage) in a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile place skillet back on stove and add sausage. Cook until done.
- Drain sausage and place back in skillet with spaghetti squash noodles and butternut sauce to desired liking (may not use all of pureed squash. Save the rest for another recipe).
- Mix well to coat all of the noodles and sausage.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese, freshly cracked salt and pepper and fried, crispy sage.