Today is our first true rainy day of the season, and it is finally starting to feel like Fall in San Francisco! As I browsed around the isles of Trader Joe’s yesterday, I felt inspired by all of the autumn gourds and pumpkin-flavored-everything to create a fall dish. My boyfriend, Rich, is preparing for his next MMA match on November 29th (I had previously announced he was competing on October 18th, but extenuating circumstances interfered), so we’ve been trying to be very conscious about healthy meal choices and proper nutrition around the house-which can be hard to do as the holidays approach! There will be time for those holiday indulgences soon, but he’s got to be fight-ready in just 4 more weeks.
Recently, I have discover the amazingness that is spaghetti squash. I tried it for the first time when I was on vacation in Florida at Rich’s parents’ house and loved the delicate taste and texture. When cooked, the meat of the squash shreds into spaghetti-like strands and acts as a great base for Fall cooking! I picked up a squash at Trader Joe’s…
…as well as this package of Heirloom tomatoes, in beautiful fall colors:
These lovely ingredients inspired me to create a homemade light and healthy Italian-style dish! Here is how it turned out:
Healthy Fall Spaghetti
1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
1/2 cup of mushrooms
3/4 package mini Heirloom tomatoes, each tomato sliced in half
1 cup of baby kale or spinach
1/2 lb ground turkey
a few dashes of dried basil, or preferable fresh basil
For the “pasta”
1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees. After cutting and seeding the spaghetti squash, brush the inside faces with olive oil. Place the two halves on a baking dish face down and cook for about 50 minutes
2. The spaghetti squash is done when the flesh shreds easily with a fork. Using a fork, scrap out the strands from the gourd on to a plate to act as the pasta!
For the toppings:
1. Brown ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Rinse in lukewarm water to drain any excess fat.
2. In a separate pan, sauté minced garlic and sliced onions with about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté for an additional two minutes.
3. Add the sliced tomatoes to the skillet, and reduce heat to medium. Heat until mushrooms are cooked and tomatoes are softened and juicy. Add the kale or spinach and allow to wilt slightly over heat (this will happen rapidly, it is easy to over cook!).
4. When the tomato mixture has finished cooking, stir in fresh basil (ideal) or a few sprinkles of dried basil to add a little Italian flair. Note: we are being especially conscious to not add salt to an entree
5. Lightly combined with the cooked ground turkey and serve on top of the cooked spaghetti squash
I loved the tangy taste from the tomatoes combined with the mild buttery and nutty flavor of the spaghetti squash. Plus, we were not left with that overly full feeling that comes from eating pasta. As a runner, I still have a special place in my heart for pasta. However, this is a fun take on traditional spaghetti!
Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone! Go Giants!