I must admit I do love my pasta and I simply do not feel satisfied unless I've had some form of complex carbs with dinner. Flashback several years ago and I thought carbs were the devil. But then again, didn't we all? Carbs are certainly not the evil foods that make us fat. In fact, complex carbs help you fight the bulge by providing you with fibre, nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and hundreds of plant medicines to beautify, detoxify and keep you energized.
The key is to eat the right carbs, for you.
This recipe for Baked Spaghetti Squash is a wonderful side dish with a touch of pecorino cheese (or nutritional yeast if you want to veganify it) or as a main instead of wheat pasta. It's gluten-free and anti-belly-bloat and this falls into the category of the right carbs. It's a hypoallergenic food, meaning it is VERY low on the list of potential allergens.
1 organic squash*
A few gluggs of extra-virgin olive oil or 2 tbsp organic butter
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
Sprinkle of pecorino cheese or organic nutritional yeast
Now that you have your beautiful organic squash, you are going to need some elbow grease to cut it. I used a large chef's knife to cut it in half lengthwise. Then scoop out the goop. If you separate the seeds from the goop, you can bake them on the lowest temperature on a cookie sheet for 1.5 hours with some sea salt and enjoy as a snack!!
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Using a large baking dish, such as a lasagna pan, place the 2 halves of spaghetti squash face down with 1/4 inch filtered water. Bake for 50 minutes. Poke with a fork once it's done and if it is not tender cook for 10-15 minutes longer. Once it's done, remove from the oven and using a fork scrape out the squash. It will be stringy like spaghetti and come out very easily.
Pour EVOO over top of the squash, season with sea salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.
*Do make sure you buy organic spaghetti squash as it tends to absorb dieldrin (a banned insecticide that's still persistent in the environment) from the soil, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Serves 4 as a side dish. EnJOY!
Now for all you nutrition nerds out there, take note! Squash is a local veggie with superfood status! :)
Vitamin A (as pro-vitamin A carotenoids): Important for eye and skin health, growth and tissue healing, lowers cancer risk and supports the immune system.
Vitamin C: Important in the formation of collagen (skin), and therefore in helping support wound healing processes and maintaining healthy blood vessels. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, has immune-supporting and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Potassium: Helps regulate water balance and acid-base balance in the body, helps with protein synthesis, and glucose metabolism.
Fibre: Aids in detoxification & digestion by adding bulk to the stool and speeding the passage of the stool through the digestive tract , stabilizes blood sugar levels (reduces cravings), reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Manganese: A free radicalscavenging mineral.
Omega-3 fatty acids (as ALA): They are one of the most concentrated vegetable sources which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Antioxidant Powerhouses! They are among the highest available sources of certain carotenoids (including alpha- and beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin). These carotenoids, when partnered with other provitamins A, vitamin C and the mineral manganese make winter squashes antioxidant powerhouses.
Have a wonderful joyous day!