[Paleo] Spaghetti Squash

The Paleo Solution

So, if you’ve read my previous post regarding my January ambitions, you may have noticed that I mentioned that Jon and I will be “going-Paleo” for the month.  Some of you may be wondering, “What the heck is Paleo?!” while others may be thinking, “I’ve heard of that but I don’t really know too much about it.”  Of course, there may be a few of you out there thinking, “You’re only doing this for a month?!  It’s a lifestyle.”

Regardless of which camp you fall in, I hope you’ll be supportive! 🙂

Disclaimer:  I am not being sponsored in any way to write this post and/or support The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.  I am merely sharing a New Year’s Resolution and attempting to live a long and healthy life with Jon.

I am by no means an expert on Paleo but I did just finish reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.  Before reading the book, I was highly skeptical but Robb does an excellent job of explaining why you should eat like our Paleolithic ancestors did (go buy a copy!).  In a nut shell, The Paleo Solution promotes eating like a “caveman” would… lean proteins, fresh wild-caught seafood, colorful fruits and veggies.  Sounds like common sense, right?  Well, Paleo doesn’t allow you to eat any grains, dairy, beans, or unnatural sugars.  That’s right, not even whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, or dark red kidney beans!

Tip:  This brief intro to Paleo does NOT do the diet/lifestyle justice.  Check out Robb Wolf’s website for a much more indepth review… or just read the book!

Now that you have a general idea of what Paleo is, join me for the month of January as I share Paleo-inspired recipes!

If you’re a carb-lover like me (hello pizza-pasta-potato people!), you’re probably cringing at the thought of 31 days with no pasta.  That means no mac & cheese, no lasagna, no chicken noodle soup… you get the picture.  So what can you substitute in for pasta?  Spaghetti squash!  I know, I know, it’s a vegetable but just go with me on this one.

Before trying this recipe, I had NEVER had spaghetti squash before.  I admit that it’s not quite as satisfying as real pasta BUT one cup of it only has 41 calories and it’s so versatile.  After it’s been roasted, you can eat it plain, seasoned with any spices/herbs you desire, or treat it like pasta and top it with sauce!

So how do you cook one of these things?

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (F).  Set your squash on a large cutting board and pull out your biggest baddest knife.  Warning: You may have to put some muscle into slicing your squash!

Tip:  Jon and I weren’t sure how big of a squash to buy so we ended up buying a 5lb one.  This was WAY too much for only two people (unless you want a lot of leftovers!).  Next time we’ll go with a 2-3lb squash.

Spaghetti Squash_Prep

Slice your squash in half lengthwise.

Spaghetti Squash_Sliced

Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the middle and discard.  Then, lightly rub the olive oil on the flesh and season with salt and pepper.

Spaghetti Squash_Seasoned

Place the halves on a (lined) baking sheet and roast for 45-50 minutes.  Remember, this roasting time is for a 5lb squash – adjust accordingly.  You’ll know when it’s done when the edges start browning and you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.

Spaghetti Squash_Roasted

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the squash to cool for a few minutes.  Once it’s cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the insides of the squash.  Believe it or not, the flesh will pull into strings… hence, “spaghetti” squash!

Spaghetti Squash_Shredded

Once you’ve shredded your squash, you can doctor it up any way you like!  Jon and I chose to treat it like spaghetti noodles and top it with marinara sauce for a side dish.  The next day, we ate some leftovers and lightly seasoned it with garlic powder and onion powder.  Surprisingly satisfying!

Spaghetti Squash_With Sauce

Spaghetti Squash_Plain

[Paleo] Spaghetti Squash

Inspired by Executive Dining’s Nutritionment

5lb spaghetti squash serves 6-8 as a side dish, 3-4 as a meal

Ingredients

  • 5lb spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. Slice the squash in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the middle and discard.
  4. Lightly rub the olive oil on the flesh and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the halves on a (lined) baking sheet and roast for 45-50 minutes.  Remember, this roasting time is for a 5lb squash – adjust accordingly.  You’ll know when it’s done when the edges start browning and you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the squash to cool for a few minutes.
  7. Once it’s cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the insides of the squash.
  8. Once you’ve shredded your squash, you can doctor it up any way you like!  (i.e. with spaghetti sauce or with spices/herbs)

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29 thoughts on “[Paleo] Spaghetti Squash

  1. Zach and I LOVE spaghetti squash! It’s amazing how filling it is and how much one little squash will make, isn’t it? I’ve been curious about the Paleo diet for a while now, so I’m very curious to see how you and Jon do over the course of the month. Please keep us updated and good luck!! 😀

  2. Yayay! I ❤ spaghetti squash. For Christmas, my aunt made this fabulous spaghetti squash dish with parsley and parmesan and apparently she doesn't even cut the squash in half, just bakes it whole! This is going to save my life because I've been trying to chop open squashes with my really lame, dull knives and wrestling with huge, rolly squashes and sharp items is super scary for me (give me measuring cups and spatulas any day!). I think she bakes it at 375 for about an hour, rotating it in the oven (no pan, no nothing) a few times so it doesn't get scorch marks. Just passing this along in case you ever feel like not whipping out your big, bad cutting equipment 🙂

    Your method of rubbing oil, salt and pepper on it does sound tasty though! Someday I'll get my boyfriend to cut one open and try it!

    • Ahhh, how interesting. Not having to cut the squash would save me a TON of time and effort. I’m def going to give this a try next time (assuming I’m not in a hurry to eat haha). Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  3. I love love love Squash spaghetti, and I have a great paleo recipe for it. MMMM I think I shall do that next week and tag you in it! thank you for sharing your resolutions! I certainly will be following for inspiration!

    Laura

    • I was a little intimidated too because I had never cooked with one but it’s honestly SO easy. Plus it’s fine to turn the flesh into “spaghetti.” 😉

  4. Yippie! GO Paleo!! When I first started spaghetti squash was one of the first things I tried! I think it was the last too : ) I’m not a pasta person in general and I just wasn’t a fan. Also unless you have read the ingredients chances are store bought pasta sauce has sugar, sneaky boogers. I have an AWESOME bread / pizza recipe you should give a whirl sometime, I love using the flat bread to dip in soups and just munch on for breakfast sometimes. Also learn to loveee sweet potatoes, I eat them about 4 days a week by buying 2 and cutting them in half! Pizza / bread recipe: http://abetteryeartoabetterlife.com/2012/12/16/paleo-pizza-holiday-party/ I promise you won’t be disappointed!!

    • Thanks for sharing the bread/pizza recipe – I’m really excited to give it a try. I see that it calls for coconut flour and almond flour but can I use all coconut flour?

      As for sweet potatoes, Jon and I already LOVE them. We literally split one between us every day! 🙂

      • I’m not sure… I have never tried but I think I’ve heard that coconut flour is a little denser. I got my almond flour (5lb bag) on amazon for a pretty decent price!

    • Thanks! It’s so easy and I love how versatile it is. I definitely recommend putting some sauce on top though as it’s a little bland on its own. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

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