Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic

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I happen to love spaghetti squash.  I think it’s a fantastic way to get your veggies into your day.  That being said, I have found that A LOT of people don’t particularly care for it.  Maybe it’s a texture thing?  Maybe their brain says “Nope, not spaghetti.  Nope.”  I understand that.  It’s cool.  BUT, I’m still determined to find a recipe that even non-squashers will like….well, try.

I saw THIS video on the ol’ Facebook yesterday and thought it sounded actually pretty great. A perfect combination of carb, fat, protein, and flavor.  Here is what you need to know:

Cheezy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli & Garlic
Makes 2 servings (I’d say closer to 3)

INGREDIENTS
1 small spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
S&P
4 cloves garlic (minced, I like to use the Pampered Chef garlic press.  I do not work for Pampered Chef….I just think this product is amazing!)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Cu broccoli florets
1/2 Cu vegetable stock
1 Cu Cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, & roughly mashed with a fork (I chose to omit this and sub with some leftover steak from the night before, cubed)
1/3 Cu nutritional yeast

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut about an inch off of the top and the bottom of the spaghetti squash and discard.
Cut the squash crosswise into rings about 1-inch thick, run a knife (or spoon) around the inside of the rings to get the seeds out.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over the baking sheet, then spread the squash rings over it
Coat each side evenly, then season both sides with s&p.
Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender (about 30 minutes)
Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside (Spaghetti squash is MUCH easier to handle if it has 10 minutes or so to cool)

Meanwhile….
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and red pepper (if using), season with s&p
Cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant (only about 1 minute)
Add broccoli and vegetable stock, turn heat down to low
Season with a little more s&p, cook until the broccoli is bright green & al dente and vegetable stock has reduced to about half
Add the nutritional yeast and stir everything together to make a sauce
If sauce is super thick and clumpy, add more stock (1 Tbsp at a time) until it’s thick and a little runny
Add the cooked squash and toss everything together.
Serve immediately
Get ready for a tastebud party

My Thoughts
First of all, I have never cooked spaghetti squash this way before.  I typically just cut the squash in half and let it cook.  I found that I really like roasting it this way.  It cooks a little more evenly. I’ll definitely use this method again.  As I watched the video tutorial, I copied down the recipe. Turns out, the recipe calls for red pepper flakes. I used red pepper powder.  Lets just say that the powder gives the dish a very powerful peppery punch that totally (in my opinion) makes the dish.   As I mentioned earlier, I left out the beans.  I typically avoid beans for the most part.  Sometimes my body just doesn’t do well with them.  Steak was a great sub.  Chicken would also work. Bacon… Really, any meat, I suppose would do. Or no meat.  Whatever tickles your fancy.

Have you guys tried nutritional yeast?  I know…I know, it sounds nasty icky gross.  BUT it’s actually not gross, and it’s packed with so much crazy goodness.  Basically it’s a deactivated yeast and looks like yellow flakes, kind of like fish food. It has a handful of vitamins and minerals, including some of the B vitamins, protein, and iron.  It’s actually used fairly regularly by  vegans and vegetarians for a little added nutrition. It has kind of a cheesy or nutty flavor.  I use it all the time when I cook, especially when cooking veggies.  It gives the dish just a little more flavor. I recommend trying it.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cheesy fish flakes.

Overall, this dish is definitely a win.  With hints of cheese and spice, the steak and broccoli compliment each other quite well.  There is so much flavor going on that even the biggest critic will be ok trying it.  This has officially been added to my list of favorites.  It also reheats very well, which is a HUGE plus in my book.  Leftovers on leftovers.  Try it out, change it up, let me know what you think!

-TPP

Original recipe HERE

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Almost 5 Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie

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You had me at spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash is just…good.  I’m ALWAYS looking for delicious recipes with it.  Juli of PaleOMG  posted this one recently.  She has some pretty fantastic food dishes on her website, so I knew this one would be great.

Ingredients
1 large spaghetti squash (about 600 grams)
1 pound italian sausage
½ yellow onion, diced
1 cup pizza sauce (no sugar added)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs, whisked
(optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies, basil, even cheese if you do primal)

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
3. Once squash is done cooking, remove threads and place in an 8×8 greased baking dish.
4. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add italian sausage and onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the sausage and it is broken up into pieces.
5. Add pizza sauce, dried basil and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.
6. Add sausage mixture to the 8×8 dish and mix well with spaghetti squash threads.
7. Lastly, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
8. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle of the dish.
9. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

First of all, the smallest spaghetti squash was massive so I used about 3/4 of it, saving the rest for later.  Another big tip is to check your ingredients.  Sugar can be sneaky in the pizza sauce as well as the Italian sausage. I was also a little intrigued with how the eggs would play in this.  They just help it to set…hold everything together.

A few thoughts.  I was a little apprehensive about baking this at 400 for an hour, but it turned out perfectly crispy…even without cheese. I do like crispy.  And honestly, I didn’t even miss the cheese.  True story.  This recipe has only 6 ingredients. Awesome.  It doesn’t kill the checkbook.  This takes a little time to cook, but it’s ridiculously easy and just as delicious.  The flavors went together perfectly.  When I have made spaghetti squash in the past, it has come out of the oven all mushy and gooey.  With this recipe, you cook it at a high heat for a short amount of time.  The “noodles” end up being drier, almost al dente if you will.  I dig it.  The dish wasn’t soggy when it came out of the oven.   This spaghetti pie is delicious just out of the oven as well as leftovers the next day.

Next time, I would probably add a few other ingredients.  I would probably add some peppers and mushrooms.  Maybe top with fresh tomato. Also, I would probably double the batch.  I eat too much at a time…it would be nice to have more leftovers.

This was comfort food for me.  Definitely a legit dinner option.

Recipe HERE.

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