Half Your Plate: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash - thrive360
If you’re looking for a low-carb alternative to pasta noodles, swap in spaghetti squash. Ground beef, mushrooms and lentils. Add ooey gooey cheese for that sumptuous mealtime happiness.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, low-carb, pasta alternative, ground beef, mushrooms, lentils, cheese, vegetables, recipe
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Stuffed spaghetti squash

Half Your Plate: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

The first time I tried spaghetti squash was thanks to a garden centre mistake. The squash was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law. She was horrified when the butternut squash seedling she planted sprouted a yellow orb of spaghetti squash. I promptly transformed the fibrous squash into a delicious, cheesy mess.

For this recipe, I wanted to try something other than scraping the cooked squash halves into strands. Something that would translate into fall comfort food. Enter my favourite combination of ground beef, mushrooms and lentils. Add ooey gooey cheese for that sumptuous mealtime happiness.This recipe is also a clever way to fill “half your plate” with vegetables without being literal about it. Each serving gives you at least three servings of vegetables

Disclosure: I’ve been asked to blog for the Half Your Plate campaign, which is a partnership between the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. The campaign encourages Canadians to fill half their plate with vegetables and fruits as an easy step towards eating right.

 

SPAGHETTI SQUASH 101

How to buy: Look for a squash that’s heavy for its size, with no soft spots or bruises on its rind.

How to store: Keep in a cool, dry, dark place for up to two months, or at room temperature for one week. Once cut, cover refrigerate for up to five days.

How to prepare: Wash squash before using. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds and stringy fibre before cooking.

Nutrition: If you’re looking for a low-carb alternative to pasta noodles, swap in spaghetti squash.

One cup of cooked spaghetti squash (2 servings of vegetables) delivers:

  • a mere 44 calories
  • a source of fibre (2.3 grams)
  • a source of folate (13 mcg)
  • a source of magnesium (18 mg)
  • 192 mg potassium

(source: Canadian Nutrient File)

 

Half Your Plate: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Serving Size: 4

Half Your Plate: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash or 2 small
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef*
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 cups of chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1 can (540 mL/19 oz) of lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ½ can (796 mL/28 oz) crushed tomatoes**
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (TexMex, Monterey Jack or cheddar)
  • 1 tsp chopped chives (optional)
  • Feel free to sub in ground chicken or turkey instead of beef
  • **Store the remaining tomato sauce in a covered glass or plastic container (good for 5 to 7 days). I usually double up the meat sauce recipe so I use the whole can.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut end off squash, and slice lengthwise. Scoop out seeds until halves are hollow.
  3. Brush olive oil on cut rims and place cut side down on parchment-lined baking tray.
  4. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until fork tender.
  5. While the squash is cooking, prep the meat stuffing.
  6. In a large pot, cook ground beef on medium-high heat until brown (about 5 to 8 minutes).
  7. Reduce heat to medium.
  8. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and salt. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Add mushrooms, lentils and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Take squash out of oven once cooked.
  11. Spoon beef mixture into squash “bowls” and top with cheese. Sprinkle on chives if using.
  12. Broil in oven until the cheese is melted to your liking.

 

 

Depending on the size of the squash, you might have meat sauce left over. You can use it to top pizza, serve in lettuce cups at another meal, or freeze for a busy day.

Have you made stuffed squash? What’s your recipe?

 

  • Zannat
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