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  • Writer's pictureKaren Dettore

Pass the pasta and squash it

We are so fortunate to have so many tasty nutrient dense foods available. One of my favorites is spaghetti squash. So, here’s the skinny, one cup of squash has 42 calories, 10 grams of the “good” carbohydrates (brain fuel), 1 gram of protein and 2.2 grams of fiber. For those of you that have been following me (thank you by the way!!) you have heard me say so many times how important the color of your food is and this little gem it is bursting with flavonoids - beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that are essential to the human body. It also contains the antioxidant vitamin C, B6, manganese, pantothenic acid, and niacin (helps with cholesterol, the bad one), just to name a few. A diet rich in the nutrients contained in spaghetti squash will help reduce cholesterol, constipation, heart disease, stroke and can be beneficial when you are trying to lose weight.

Many people substitute spaghetti squash for regular pasta. I will not tell you it tastes the same because it obviously doesn’t, but if you suffer from diabetes or IBS, this substitution will help avoid blood sugar spikes caused be the refined pasta. Not only does it help avoid the blood sugar spikes, it is a great source of fiber, which, as we all know, keeps things moving in our digestive tract. We all want that!!

Since this squash does not have a strong flavor it pairs well with many spices and sauces. The peak season for spaghetti squash is October through March, although you can find it in the grocery store all year round. When purchasing this squash, it is preferable to not have any spots, it should feel heavy, and still have a stem. When it is ripe it will sound hollow when tapped. An uncooked squash can last in the pantry for about a month. I like that! You can also roast the seeds and eat them, talk about versatile.

This is a recipe that calls for pasta, but we will substitute spaghetti squash.

Thank you to Kitchn (yep spelled that way) and a little tweaking by yours truly

Lemony Brussel Sprouts & Breadcrumb Spaghetti (squash 😊)

1 lb. spaghetti squash (cooked)

3 cups Brussel sprouts (roasted)

1 ½ cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs

4 Tbls Olive Oil (a little extra for the sprouts and squash)

1 clove garlic chopped ( I am a garlic fiend, so I would use 2 or 3 cloves, one is never enough for me when it comes to garlic and wine 😊)

Zest of two medium lemons

2 Tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ cup white wine

½ cup Vegan protein broth (this is not a vegan recipe, unless you want it to be, the broth is the thickener we miss because we don't have the pasta water)

Freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt

Red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400°

Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds (Keep them if you want to roast them). Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Poke some fork holes in the bottom of the squash and place cut side down on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the squash. It should be fork tender. Cool cut side up, then fluff with a fork.

Recipe thanks to Love & Lemons

Now for the Brussel sprouts…easy peasy!

Trim and rinse them, slice in half from top to stem and place on a lined cookie sheet (I like parchment paper or foil). Drizzle with olive oil, season with garlic salt (or kosher if you prefer) and pepper. Roast in the oven while the squash is cooking. Timing is different since the size is varied. I like to cook mine for about 15 - 25 minutes, when the outer leaves are crispy, they are done. Those crispy leaves are more addicting than potato chips!!

While that is getting it’s YUM on:

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan (non-stick if you prefer and large enough to fit all the ingredients) add the breadcrumbs and ¼ teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and toasted, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add half of the lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl.

Wipe out the pan with a paper towel if necessary, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan add the garlic and red pepper flakes, sautee until soft and lightly brown Add the wine and cook until reduced in half then add the protein broth, cook about 2 minutes to warm. If the Brussel sprouts aren’t ready yet remove from heat. Return to heat and add the Brussel sprouts when they are ready, with all the crispy pieces (if you can keep yourself from eating them all!!) Then add the forked spaghetti squash, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, mix well.

Remove from heat and stir in the remaining lemon zest. Taste and season with salt and pepper and lemon juice if needed. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese to serve. Serve with a nice arugula and tomato salad.

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