When my doctor told me my test results showed I was allergic to gluten, eggs, and dairy, she also told me she wanted me to do a candida cleanse for six weeks. This involved also being basically grain-free, which meant no pasta. No pasta for 6 WEEKS!
Enter my saving grace: the spaghetti squash. This is such a captivating cucurbit. To me it is literally like magic.
The only tricky part is cutting into it. What I find to be the easiest way is to first cut off the stem end (about a 1/2″ of it). This gives you a more stable platform for cutting. Place it cut-side down, and then cut downwards (See picture below). It’s important to have a good, strong knife to do this. Be careful!
I enjoyed the spaghetti squash so much then that I still have it often even though I can now have gluten-free pasta. I know that there are gluten-free pastas out there, but to me spaghetti squash is a more filling and low-calorie meal (I mean, four cups of the squash ‘noodles’ is under 150 calories).
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, 1/4" dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups loosely packed spinach, roughly chopped spinach
- 1/4 cup minced basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash, cut-side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a fork can easily be inserted into squash. Once it's cooked, remove from oven and flip the squash so cut-side is up. This makes it so the squash doesn't get watery. Let squash cool slightly. Scrape squash into strands with a fork.
- While squash is cooking, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until onions are softened and begin to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for about a minute.
- Add spinach and spaghetti squash, stir until spinach begins to wilt. Add pine nuts, basil, and toss to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.