Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Herbed Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage


Spaghetti squash is a tasty vegetable that I love to cook with. Its mild flavor makes it easy to pair with many different ingredients. Despite its name it does not taste like spaghetti but when prepared correctly, looks like it. Sometimes often toss it with pasta sauce and parmesan cheese for a low carbohydrate side dish. I’m not saying I always substitute this for pasta, but it does fulfill my craving from time to time.

Spaghetti squash has a lot going for it. It is a low carbohydrate, high fiber food that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That is one claim that white pasta can’t make! 1 cup of spaghetti squash only sets you back about 42 calories and 10 g carbohydrates (compared to 220 calories and 43 g carbohydrates in regular pasta). It is an excellent source of Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamin C, manganese, and B vitamins.

To balance the meal and make it filling I served this dish with a slice of hearty bakery bread and a side of wilted spinach (one of my favorites).

How to Prepare
I often cook it in the microwave due to time constraints. I find that it tastes just as good as when it is baked, but is done in a fraction of the time. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place downward in a microwave safe dish with 1 inch of water. Microwave for about 3 minutes per pound (10-12 minutes for a medium-large squash). It should be soft and easy to scoop out. Allow to cool for a few minutes, scoop out the insides with a fork.

To bake the squash: cut in half and remove seeds. Place downward on a baking dish with 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Scoop out the insides with a fork.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, more for sprinkling
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
12 oz of chicken sausage

Directions:
  1. Bake the spaghetti squash as described above
  2. Cook chicken sausage until thoroughly cooked and slice ½ inch pieces. (Some are fully pre-cooked and you omit this step).
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add squash, tomatoes, herbs, and cheese. Toss well. Add sausage and serve hot.


Nutrition Facts: 1.5 cups spaghetti squash, 1 chicken sausage link
265 calories, 16 fat (3g saturated), 11 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 19 g protein, variable sodium (based on brand of sausage).






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