In case you haven’t heard, January 4th is National Spaghetti Day! To celebrate, we’re sharing our favourite healthy low-carb spaghetti recipe that’s made with spaghetti squash instead of traditional wheat pasta. This recipe is 100% plant-based, making it a delicious lunch or dinner option for anyone following a vegan, vegetarian or paleo diet. As a recipe that’s sugar, wheat and gluten free, this healthy version of spaghetti is sure to support the dietary and health goals you’ve set for the New Year. If baking spaghetti squash feels a little out of your cooking comfort zone - don’t worry. Spaghetti squash is extremely easy to make, and only takes a few more minutes to cook than regular wheat pasta. All you have to do is cut the squash in half, place it in the oven in a glass baking dish for twenty minutes and let it cool before scooping out the “spaghetti”.
Spaghetti Squash vs. Whole Wheat Pasta: Which is Better For You?
When comparing the nutritional value of spaghetti squash to wheat pasta, you may never want to use wheat pasta in your spaghetti recipes again. Spaghetti squash is just as filling as whole wheat pasta thanks to its high fibre content, but only contains 7 grams of carbohydrates per cup. In comparison, wheat pasta typically contains at least 37 grams of carbohydrates per cup and sometimes more, depending on whether it’s whole grain or white pasta. And that’s not the only health benefit that makes spaghetti squash the ideal pasta substitute: spaghetti squash contains several vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in wheat pasta such as the antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium. Since spaghetti squash is a root vegetable, it’s eaten in its whole form rather than being processed. This means all of its nutrients stay in tact. Spaghetti squash is a complex carbohydrate that provides the body with steady, slow releasing energy and helps to brighten skin with its beta carotene content (a form of vitamin A that gives it a bright yellow hue). Traditional wheat pasta is considered a processed food that loses many of its vitamins, minerals, and fibre during the refining process. When the fibre is removed from carbohydrates, you’re more likely to experience blood sugar crashes and spikes (have you ever felt really tired after eating pasta!?). You may also notice that in just a few short hours after eating, you’re left craving extra carbs or sugar to help get your energy levels back up. The blood sugar crash and spike mechanism also causes your body to store the excess carbohydrates as fat. Now that you understand how beneficial spaghetti squash is to your health, let’s get to the recipe!
Low Carb Spaghetti Recipe (Serves 2 generously)
For the pasta:
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- 1 small zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- ½ tsp chili flakes (or more if you prefer extra spice!)
- ½ cup spinach
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- black pepper and sea salt to taste
- 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp Botanica coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the insides, just as you would a pumpkin.
3. Fill a glass Pyrex baking dish with approximately 2 inches of water.
4. Place the spaghetti squash face down into the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. In a medium-sized skillet, melt coconut oil on medium heat.
6. Saute garlic for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Add the rest of the veggies, sauteing for approximately 8-10 minutes.
8. Reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
9. When spaghetti squash is cooked, scoop out the squash and top with spaghetti sauce. Enjoy!