Chuck Gaidica: Spaghetti Squash Recipe

 

Editor’s note: Chuck Gaidica is a paid spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, where he works to have real conversations with local people about matters that affect their health.

Increasingly we are substituting spaghetti squash for pasta at the Gaidica household. It is part of our mission to be healthy and cut out calories.

Obviously, most of the calories are in the sauce. You can really reduce the calories by deleting the wine and brown sugar. We have not tried a sugar substitute yet, but it may be worth the try.

This is a relatively quick dinner to make with a loaf of bread and a fresh salad you are in business for a summer night.

Spaghetti Squash Recipe:

  • Spaghetti squash, cut the ends off, cut them in half length-wise and lay them in a baking dish.
  • Place a small amount of water in the base of the dish (about ¼”).
  • Place the squash in the dish facing the split side down in the water.
  • Microwave on high for 5-minute increments until squash is tender and tears out “like pasta”. You don’t want the squash too squishy. When you have several split squash in a dish it may take 15 to 25 minutes total time depending on the size and number of the squash in the pan. Just keep checking.

Sauce Recipe:

Mix in a pan the following:

  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (pick a favorite based on dietary needs and taste)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (Mrs. Dash will work for low sodium diets)
  • ½ cup white wine (add if desired)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (you can delete cut back on sugar as needed but it makes a great, sweeter sauce)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Cajun or creole season (to spice things up!)
  • Garlic salt to taste (again, you can delete if on a low sodium diet)

Optional:

  • 1 bag of turkey meatballs (de-frost in microwave and add to sauce. Cook in sauce for 5-minutes)
  • 1 can of mushrooms or fresh equivalent

Add sauce (with meatballs if desired) to the top of a helping of squash. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese as needed. Enjoy!

 

Share your tips for making the perfect spaghetti sauce with the Healthier Michigan team by leaving a comment below.

Photo credit: Personal Creations Flickr (main), Chuck Gaidica (gallery)

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