Tag Archives: Superfoods to the Rescue

Superfood of the Month: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a popular winter squash. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, including ivory, yellow and orange. Orange has the highest amount of carotene. Spaghetti squash stands out from other varieties for its thick, pasta-like fibers and is often referred to as “vegetable-spaghetti.” Its low-carbohydrate, nutrient-rich strands are a suitable alternative to cereal noodles, especially for people with gluten sensitivity.

Spaghetti Squash

•Like other winter squashes, spaghetti squash is a low-calorie vegetable. A 100g serving provides just 31 calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, and is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Dietitians recommend spaghetti squash to help control cholesterol and lose weight.
•Its flesh, along with its strands, contains a good amount of dietary fiber. This roughage binds to cancer-causing toxins and chemicals in the colon to protect against inflammatory bowel disease, cancers and diverticulitis.
•Spaghetti squash carries antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin C and carotenes. Vitamin A is a powerful, natural antioxidant, and the body needs it to maintain the integrity of skin and mucosa. It is also an essential vitamin for healthy eyesight. Research suggests that natural foods rich in vitamin A may help the human body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
•Spaghetti squash boasts higher B-complex vitamins, such as folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), than in those found in pumpkins.
•It is a modest source of minerals, such as zinc, copper, calcium and phosphorus.
•Spaghetti squash seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, minerals and vitamins.

Turkey Bolognese & Roasted Spaghetti Squash
•2 carrots cut in chunks
•2 celery stalks cut in chunks
•1 large onion cut in chunks
•2 T cloves garlic minced
•2 lb ground turkey
•1 cup dry white wine
•4 fresh bay leaves
•3-4 cups quality stock (chicken, beef, turkey, veal)
•1 cup milk
•1 26-28 oz carton or can tomatoes
•Salt and pepper to taste
•Parmesan (for garnish)
•Italian parsley chopped (for garnish)
•4-5 lb spaghetti squash
•2 T olive oil divided
•3 cloves garlic minced
•1 T fresh herbs finely chopped (oregano, basil, thyme)
•Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add carrots, celery and onion to bowl of full-sized food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. In a heavy Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add minced vegetables. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic. Stir to combine.
3. Add ground meat. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, break the meat and stir until it begins to brown, and caramelization appears in the pot.
4. Deglaze with white wine. Add bay leaves. Simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
5. Add stock. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until liquid reduces by half.
6. Add milk and tomatoes. Cover 3/4 of the pot with the lid. Simmer on low for 1-2 hours. Add additional stock as needed.
7. Sauce should be thick, but not dry.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Spaghetti Squash
1. Preheat oven to 400° (375° for convection).
2. Carefully slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
3. Scoop seeds from the center of both halves.
4. Place cut side up on a cookie sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
5. Roast until tender and barely beginning to brown, approximately 45-60 minutes depending on size (20 percent less in convection ovens).
6. Cool until the squash can be handled. Using a fork, remove the flesh from the skin to a large bowl. Set aside.
7. Ten minutes before dinner, heat a bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic. Stir until fragrant.
8. Add the strands of spaghetti squash. Stir 5-6 minutes.
9. Add fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Check for seasoning.

To Serve
Top spaghetti squash with a generous scoop of Bolognese. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley.