Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Seriously Good Spaghetti

If you haven't jumped on the band wagon for "clean eating," you still have time. If you're hesitating because you can't imagine a life without bread or pasta or comfort food, I encourage you to reconsider. My diet is full of whole foods and clean eating, but I've learned to not let it consume me or prevent me from having a thriving social life.

In case you're still not sold, just humor me and try out this easy, cheap and delicious recipe as an alternative to the traditional spaghetti. Why do us Americans like spaghetti so much? For my family (growing up as one of four kids), spaghetti was a quick meal to make in less than 30 minutes, and it fed all six of us (and the occasional neighborhood kids) for under $10, plus left-overs.

You can make the same cheap and easy meal a healthier way — like way healthier. Here's what you need.

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash 
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers (assorted colors if you want)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste (small can)
  • 2 cloves garlic (or garlic powder to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Extra veggies (broccoli, zucchini, carrots, etc.) *optional
  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground turkey (or beef) *optional
Consider the size of the squash before you buy one. An average-sized squash will probably feed four normal adults. But also note that this recipe makes great left-overs, so if you want to have something to munch on all week, buy a bigger squash.

Directions:
  1. With a decent-size knife, cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and nasty looking stuff in the center using a fork.
  2. Place both halves open-side-up on cookie tray in the oven. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  4. While that's baking, sautée the turkey in a pan at medium-high heat.
  5. Once the turkey* has no sign of raw meat going on, add the onion, garlic and bell peppers, and other veggies* and turn heat to low-medium.
  6. When everything's pretty much cooked through, add tomatoes and tomato paste to same pan, and let it simmer until your squash is done.
  7. When squash is a little brown on the top, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Lastly, use your fork to scrape the sides of the squash into a big serving bowl (or eat it right out of the flesh of the squash). Add salt, pepper and a little butter (if you want).
  9. Pour meat sauce on top of the squash and thoroughly mix it all together.
  10. Enjoy!
Let me know how yours turns out in the comments. :)

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