When I was trying to decide what my belly wanted for dinner, it didn’t take me long to start salivating at the idea of some oven baked pasta with some melty cheese and garlic bread.
I’m kind of obsessed with spaghetti squash these days, so any time I’m looking to cure a pasta craving in a healthful way, it’s my go-to-gourd. Okkkk… so it’s a squash, not a gourd (and yes I googled it).
I can remember being a young teenager and watching my mom scrape out spaghetti squash as the rest of the family piled mounds and mounds of traditional spaghetti noodles on our plates. Back then, I didn’t get it. And, I was wayyyyyy to stubborn to even taste the squash. Even when my mom swore up and down it tasted good, I wanted NOTHING to do with it.
Ohhhhh how the tables turn.
Over the past year or so, spaghetti squash has become a weekly staple in my meal planning. I’ve made it with turkey, chicken, sausage, veggies, chili… I even tried to use it as a pizza crust once, though that didn’t turn out nearly as well as I had hoped. One thing I’ve never tried is using spaghetti squash to make an oven-baked pasta dish. Tonight was the night my friends!
First up, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees. I oh-so-carefully sliced the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the seeds, then sprinkled on some salt and pepper. I put the squash halves cut side down on a cookie sheet that I had sprayed with cooking spray. Into the oven for 30 minutes (for a smaller squash, check for doneness after 20 minutes).
Meanwhile, I cooked up 4 ounces of 99% fat free turkey breast in a small skillet. Once the turkey was white, I tossed the turkey onto a plate to hang out.
Meanwhile, I chopped up 4 baby bella mushrooms and some red onion and minced up 3 cloves of garlic and sautéed in the same skillet I used for the turkey.
Once the veggies were soft and onions were caramelized, I added 1 cup of Nature’s Basket Garlic tomato sauce, tossed the turkey back in, and then seasoned everything up with some garlic powder, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and onion powder.
I let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
Around that time the spaghetti squash was done, so I used a fork to scrape out all the squash leaving the squash strands in the skin rather than dumping onto a plate.
Next, I tossed 1/2 of the sauce onto each of the squash halves, then topped each with 1 lite babybel cheese round that I had roughly chopped up in my food processor.
Spaghetti squash + yum-o sauce + babybel
Into the 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes (until the cheese was mellllllty!):
For my “garlic bread” I sliced up half of a ciabatta roll, and topped each half with a couple squirts of butter spray, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and a bit of parmesan cheese. Then I popped them into the oven for five minutes until the cheese was melted and the bread was crisp
Xtreme amount of grub:
Strike that… Xtreme amount of DELICIOUS grub:
You know that look Homer Simpson gets when he sees a doughnut? You know, eyes rolled back into the head and quivering lips with drool running down? That’s how I look when I look at this picture:
Stats on one half of the baked spaghetti squash with 1/2 of the meat sauce and cheesy goodness: 281 calories, 35 g carbs, 7g fat, 26g protein, 8g fiber.