When I decided to go on a low-carb diet a few years ago to drop a few pounds, I was introduced to spaghetti squash. I’d never cooked spaghetti squash before and was a bit intimidated by the look of it. Since my first attempt at cooking a spaghetti squash, this vegetable has quickly become one of my favorite vegetables and I make it every time I make meatballs and tomato sauce.
Spaghetti squash is ideal when you’re on a low-carb diet. An entire cup of spaghetti squash contains only 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture. More important than that…it simply tastes great! When spaghetti squash is cooked, it looks like strands of spaghetti…how cool is that…
Another favorite way I prepare spaghetti squash is with just a little butter and parmesan cheese. But for now, this recipe is for spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs and tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is based on a recipe by Giada de Laurentis that I alter to suit my tastes.
My husband and I eat spaghetti squash in place of pasta all the time. If you’d like to substitute spaghetti squash for regular spaghetti but you are concerned your young children might not be on board with the idea, may I suggest that you try what worked for us. I prepare a 50-50 mixture of whole wheat (or regular) spaghetti and spaghetti squash. When mixed with the tomato sauce and the meatballs, the squash is unnoticeable.
1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the squash under cool running water and dry completely. Carefully cut off the ends of the squash.
Then cut the squash in half lengthwise.
Using a spoon, scoop the seeds and stringy insides out and discard.
Place the spaghetti squash on a baking pan, skin side down. Drizzle the insides with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash over and rub a bit of the olive oil that’s dripped onto the pan around the outside of the squash.
Turn the squash over one more time so the inside of the squash faces up. Cover the squash and pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow the squash to cool so it is easy to handle. Using a fork, scrape the cooked squash out of the rind and put into a large bowl.
1 pound of ground turkey
1/2 large onion (about 1 cup chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
I like to use a food processor to finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley. If you’re using one, pulse the food processor several times. If you aren’t using a food processor, finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley and place in a large bowl.
Lightly beat the egg and add it to the bowl. Continue by adding the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Using a large spoon, mix very well.
Add the ground turkey to the bowl.
For this part, I like to use my hands… Mix in the ground turkey with all the other ingredients in the bowl. Form the meat into 1-1/2 inch meatballs and place on a plate.
Using a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil on a medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, one at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
You just want to brown them on all sides which will take about 7 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to allow the oil to drain. Place the meatballs into the Tomato Sauce that is cooking in a pot. This will be where the meatballs will continue their cooking and absorb the wonderful flavors in that tomato sauce.
Allow the meatballs to continue to cook in the tomato sauce for about 30 minutes on a low heat.
Serve when ready.