About eight months ago I made it a point to get healthier. I was not happy with my body, which was really bringing me down, but I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I love food. Like LOVEEEE food. I had tried dieting in the past, but whatever I tried I quit. And after I quit, somehow I ended up heavier than I was pre-diet. It was an awful cycle. So when I told myself I wanted to get healthier, I really meant healthier. No fad diets. No “get skinny quick in 6-weeks” plan. Just healthy.
I started cooking. A lot. And you know what I realized? Healthy is DELICIOUS! Absolutely freaking DELICIOUS! Take this Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, for instance. It has all the elements of comfort food: cheese, meat, tomatoes, cheese, and “spaghetti.” But this spaghetti I can eat as much as I want and not feel guilty. This spaghetti is subtly sweet which adds an extra dimension to my dish. This spaghetti is also freaking awesome leftover. (OK: pasta spaghetti is also great leftover, but since I usually don’t like leftover vegetables, I’m counting this as winning.)
I admit, cooking healthy did seem like a daunting task. I’ve read healthy blogs before and making everything from scratch seems like a huge pain in the a**. But I’ve found a happy medium. In that happy medium? This amazing recipe that takes about 60 minutes from start to finish. That INCLUDES cooking the spaghetti squash AND washing the dishes!! Yay!!! Now, time for the recipe.
Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Recipe adapted from Tasteful Pantry
2 small spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey
1 white onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons dried basil, divided
1 (15 oz) can salt-free diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1) Preheat the oven to 400F
2) Brush the inner flesh of the spaghetti squash with oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast, flesh down, for 30-35 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before handling.
3)While the spaghetti squash is cooking, heat one teaspoon olive oil in a large pan. Cook the turkey for 8-10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Put in a bowl, and set aside.
4) In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Once the olive oil is heated (it will start to shimmer), add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
5) While the onion is cooking, add 1 tablespoon basil, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, paprika, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to the cooked turkey.
6) Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel to the tender onions. Cook until fragrant, about one minute.
7) Add the bowl of the turkey/tomato mixture, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the spaghetti squash is cooked and has rested.
8) Mix together the cottage cheese and 1 tablespoon of the basil.
9) Once the spaghetti squash has rested, fluff up some of the inside of each spaghetti squash half. Divide the cottage cheese mixture, followed by the sauce, then the mozzarella.
10) Broil in the oven on high until the cheese has melted and turned a light golden brown, about 3 minutes.
11) Enjoy your delicious, healthy meal!