I’ve made it nearly through my first week of Whole30. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I really focused on making delicious, flavorful and satisfying meals to help keep me on track. I don’t know about you, but when I’m trying to lose weight, I don’t like to feel like I’m dieting. I just want really great food, that will not only satisfy me, but the non-dieters that I’m feeding.
This hearty meat sauce, that’s both Whole30 and Paleo compliant, is bulked up with mushrooms and spinach and served over spaghetti squash, and won’t leave anyone feeling deprived. As a matter of fact, they’ll be asking for seconds.
It’s pretty simple to pull together. First get the squash in the oven, then while it’s baking, make the sauce. You should be able to have this on the table in under an hour.
I’ve lightened up this dish by using ground turkey and mushrooms. Coarsely chop the mushrooms, so they blend right into the sauce and add to the meatiness.
Tomato paste thickens the sauce, while a touch of balsamic vinegar adds adds a bit of a tang and deepens the flavor. Basil and spinach freshen the dish.
Serve the hearty meat sauce over spaghetti squash. Pure deliciousness!
If you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash before, you’re in for a treat. It’s easy to prepare and kinda fun to eat. Simply cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scrape the seeds. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can roast the seeds just like you would with pumpkin seeds.
Place the two halves, cut sides down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove and cool for about 10 minutes or just until cool enough to handle.
Use a fork to gently scrape the flesh of the squash pulling into spaghetti like strands. That’s it…simple!
- 1 large spaghetti squash , about 3 to 4 pounds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 8-ounce package mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey , chicken or beef
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 3 cups baby spinach or kale
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Arrange squash, cut sides down on baking sheet. Place squash in oven an bake 35 minutes or until it can be pierced easily with a fork.
While squash is baking, add remaining olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add onion and salt and cook 5 minutes or until softened.
Add mushrooms and garlic and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender.
Add ground turkey and cook 5 minutes, until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up turkey.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsmamic vinegar and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in spinach and cook 1 minute or until wilted.
Remove spaghetti squash from oven and cool for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Use a fork to gently pull the squash flesh from the peel and to separate the flesh into strands. The strands wrap around the squash horizontally — rake your fork in the same direction as the strands to make the longest "noodles".
Serve the meat sauce over the spaghetti squash.