Sunday, September 11, 2011

Savory Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage

Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash that shreds and looks like noodles.  It is a great low-carb substitute for pasta and can be extremely versatile and delicious.  It is quick and easy to make and can really cut down the calories in a meal.  Typically a serving of pasta (1/2 cup) has about 200 calories.  Switch to spaghetti squash which only has about 42 calories per 1/2 cup to slim down.

Varieties of winter squash (Butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and pumpkin) are a great source of carotenes, B vitamins, Vitamin C, fiber and potassium!  Diets high in carotenes lower the risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Cooking:  You can bake or microwave the squash depending on how much time you have.
To bake: Preheat oven to 375. Cut the squash in half (lenthwise) and remove the seeds.  Bake for 45 minutes or until soft and stringy.
To microwave: Cut in half (lenthwise) and remove seeds.  Place in a microwave safe casserole dish (the inside down) and add 1/2 cup of water.  Microwave for 8-10 minutes.
Tip: The squash seeds can be roasted with some salt and pepper just like pumpkin seeds (375 for 25 minutes).  Use them as a topping for salads, soups, or as a crunchy snack!

This is a one dish dinner that was ready in a snap.  Serve with a side salad for a satisfying and delicious dinner!  Chicken sausage is a better option as it is lower in fat than pork sausage.  There are a variety of brands and flavors to keep your taste buds entertained.  It freezes well so stock up when its on sale!


Savory Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage
Serves 4

1 medium sized spaghetti squash, cooked
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 links of chicken sausage*, cooked and sliced
1 medium tomato, diced

Add olive oil and garlic to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the spaghetti squash by scooping it out of its shell (it should shred easily if it is fully cooked)  Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 10 minutes or until it is hot.  Serve immediately.
*I used Sundried tomato and basil chicken sausage and it was amazing!

Nutrition Facts:  1 cup
270 calories, 12 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, 18 g fat, 4 g fiber, 600 mg sodium

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