Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Skillet
Last night was the first time I made this dish. I’ve been in the mood to try satisfying meatless meals and something easy to prepare & fairly quick to cook. It’s a keeper. This one is filled with goodness like mushrooms, chickpeas and marinara sauce. Plus it’s only 143 calories per serving for those of you watching your weight. Why Spaghetti squash? (see bottom for some of the health benefits). This squash possesses an uncanny resemblance to spaghetti strands when cooked, and for this reason is known as vegetable spaghetti which makes the dish when combined with the rest, taste somewhat like a vegetarian lasagna. You can add other veggies like zucchini, red bell peppers or broccoli. It was delicious especially with the added sriracha hot sauce (I always zip it up with a little heat on the side).
Serves: Makes 8 cups
- 1 (3 lb.) spaghetti squash
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ tsp ground oregano
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce (your favorite kind)
- 1 ¾ cups (no salt added) chickpeas, rinsed & drained
- ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (animal rennet-free for vegetarian)
Additional veggies to add (optional of course) with the onions & mushroom: red bell pepper, zucchini and/or broccoli, and a little chopped jalapeño for zing.
- Here’s the best way to cook spaghetti squash! Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub a little olive oil and salt on the inside, and roast in the oven cut-side down. OR;
- Using a large, sharp knife, pierce the spaghetti squash in several pieces.
- Place the spaghetti squash in a glass baking dish and cook in the microwave on high for about 15 minutes, turning the squash halfway through cooking.
- Before handling, let the squash stand until slightly cooled. Using a fork, twist out strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet, set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic, oregano, pepper and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the reserved spaghetti squash, marinara sauce, chickpeas and parsley.
- Spread the spaghetti squash mixture into an even layer in the skillet. Top with the Parmesan cheese.
- Place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve.
Serving size: 1 cup | Calories: 142.9 cal | Fat: 4.1g | Saturated fat: 1.0g | Carbohydrates: 22.1g | Sugar: 6.7g | Sodium: 182.6mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Protein: 7.5g | Cholesterol: 3.3mg
Weight Watchers Points: 3 (SmartPoints), 4 (Points+), 2 (Old Points)
Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is also rich in the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin, which promote optimal cellular function. Folate is also found in this bright-colored vegetable. Folate supports the formation and development of new cells and may help prevent birth defects, making this squash an ideal food for pregnant women. This nutrient can also help filter out homocysteine from your blood and promote cardiovascular health.
Potassium, a mineral that maintains proper muscle and nerve function, is also present in spaghetti squash, making it helpful for people with high blood pressure. Manganese, a mineral that assists in bone and tissue heath, metabolism, calcium absorption, and nerve function, is another key component. Spaghetti squash also contains the essential minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
Another reason to consume spaghetti squash is for its omega-3 and omega-6 fats content. Omega-3 fats are associated with the prevention of inflammation, which may cause heart disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. On the other hand, omega-6 fats are linked to proper brain function. It is critical to maintain the ideal 1:1 ratio of these fats.
Not bad for starters eh?
Above taken from Dr. Mercola Website