Stuffed Spaghetti Squash [Recipe]

Sometimes it’s the little changes you make that add up and create a bigger impact on your life – i.e. substituting one ingredient for a healthier alterative. One of my favorite ingredient swaps is to use roasted spaghetti squash in place of pasta.

One of the biggest benefits of eating spaghetti squash is that it contains 9% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, while also delivering a range of nutrients, including vitamins C and A, Potassium & Calcium. It also contains folate, which supports the formation and development of new cells and helps prevent birth defects, making this squash an ideal food for pregnant women.

Spaghetti squash is super easy to prepare. Basically you just cut it in half, remove the seeds and roast for about an hour until tender at 400*F. From there, the possibilities are endless. I like to stay pretty simple and stuff my spaghetti squash with my favorite spaghetti sauce. It creates a meal that I can prepare pretty easily on a weeknight. Let’s face it, after a long day of work, the easier your supper comes together, the less likely you are to indulge in junk foods or takeout.

It’s almost embarrassing how easy this recipe is. To be honest, I wouldn’t even call it a recipe, more like a rough guide. Give it a shot though and let me know what you think!


Print Recipe
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Course Main Dishes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheese divided
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce * see notes
Course Main Dishes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheese divided
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce * see notes
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400*F. While your oven is preheating, carefully slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, leaving just the flesh. Rub a little bit of olive oil into the flesh, then salt & pepper the cavity.
  2. Place the spaghetti squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake for about an hour or until the flesh is tender.
  3. While your spaghetti squash is cooking, prepare your spaghetti sauce. If you make your spaghetti sauce from scratch, you can control the amount of salt and sugar used. I like to add cooked onions and browned hot Italian sausage to my sauce.
  4. Once your spaghetti squash is cooked, fill the cavity with your sauce. Top each half with 1/4 cup of cheese and cook until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
Recipe Notes

3 cups of spaghetti sauce is equal to one regular jar of sauce. That doesn't include any add-ins such as ground beef, beans, or anything else of the sort. If you have left over sauce after stuffing your squash, save it for another day or simply spoon it over your squash when you serve it.

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Week 37 Update [Breech Baby Confirmed]

Week 37 was a bit of a rough week, more so emotionally than anything. Robb and I went on Tuesday to my ultrasound appointment and they confirmed that Lil Bean was breeched (Lil Bean and I both checked out healthy otherwise). On the bright side, we did get to see Lil Bean waving at us and learned that he has a fat lower lip (he must get his lips from me). The technician also stated that it appears that Lil Bean is currently in the 90th percentile and weighs a little over 8 pounds (she said that she could be off a pound either way).

37 Weeks!

When we met with the doctor, he gave us a few options – we could try external cephalic version (ECV), which is an attempt to physically turn Lil Bean so that he’s head down. There’s about a 50/50 chance that it would work and no guarantee Lil Bean would stay that way until it’s time for labor. He also stated that it could be risky for Lil Bean depending on why he was breeched. We could just see if Lil Bean would turn on his own or we could go ahead and schedule a cesarean. He told us to take the weekend to discuss our options and do some research but our minds are made up.

I’ll be calling Monday to schedule my C-section. It’s a bit ironic because at the very beginning of my pregnancy, I wanted a home birth (which Robb nor my mom felt comfortable with as this was my first pregnancy).

It’s not what either of us wanted and it is a bit upsetting. We are both disappointed that we won’t have the “full” birth experience – the anticipation of if “it’s time”, the rushed journey to the hospital, Robb hearing me moo like a cow, etc. My pregnancy has been so easy this entire time and I’ve been so confident that I would give birth naturally that a C-section never crossed my mind. Ever.

But that’s okay. I know that if it was meant for Lil Bean to turn then he would have. It feels like he has tried but he just can’t make it happen. It could be many things – umbilical cord wrapped around something, he could be stuck because of my size versus his size, or it could be something with me (I did see where the technician notated that my placenta was in a different position than what is common). My health and Lil Bean’s health is what matters most. If I lived in a larger city with more options, I would maybe attempt to give birth vaginally but where I am, I need to make the best choice for us. Besides, I don’t want to end up in a situation where I have to have an emergency C-section after being in labor for hours upon hours.

Our doctor did a good job of explaining things, especially the timeline. Basically once everything gets started, it’ll only be about 45 minutes until I get to touch Lil Bean.

On a lighter note – here’s some other pictures from last week!

Belle has become addicted to cuddling with me during my pregnancy – not that I mind, I love her warmth!

The obligatory Thanksgiving plate photo – yum.

Cranberries that I made – I LOVE cranberries and made sure to buy an extra bag to throw in the freezer.

Shrimp Po’boys and Remoulade [Recipe]

Being raised on the coast, I grew up surrounded by fresh seafood to the point where I won’t order seafood typically in a restaurant if I have my doubts on its freshness. I hate frozen seafood as it tends to taste a bit… fishy to me.

A few months ago, my grandfather went and purchased several hundred pounds of fresh shrimp at a ridiculously cheap price so all of us in the family bought a few pounds off of him. Robb and I ate a couple of pounds freshly steamed and froze a few more pounds knowing that we would need to make it a point to eat them before they ended up freezer burned.

Enter shrimp po’boys.

The finished product – yum!!

My mom started fixing shrimp po’boys a few years ago when we were just looking for something new for dinner. I absolutely fell in love with them. Our shrimp po’boys are ridiculously easy to fix – fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, and baguette, but it is our remoulade sauce that elevates the dish.

A remoulade is a sauce that typically mayonnaise-based with the addition of herbs and other spices. Our recipe is super simple but the secret is to fix it the night before to let all the flavors blend and meld together.

Remoulade for Po’Boys

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ⅔ cup ketchup
  • 3-4 tbsp minced horseradish
  • 1 tbsp creole seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix together and refrigerate. Best if made the night before.

I used House Autry fish fry seasoning to bread my peeled shrimp. I filled up a pot a few inches with vegetable oil, heated it up on medium high until the surface shimmered.

The finished shrimp. I tested the hot oil with a few shrimp of breading to test that it was ready then added the shrimp – SLOWLY – and fried for a few minutes. We don’t use napkins, so we used a piece of newsprint.

On Robb’s request, we steamed about half of the shrimp using some beer and a blend of Old Bay and a spicy seasoning that we had picked up at Whole Food’s earlier. The steamed shrimp were absolutely delicious and we certainly ate our fill of them!

Steamed shrimp!

Robb enjoying our feast before I fixed our po’boys.

Duck Bombs [Recipe]

When Robb and I first started dating, one of the first things I learned about him was that he loved duck hunting. He often regaled me with tales of the duck-based goodies he created after a morning of hunting. During our first year of dating, he fixed me meals made with goose, swan, wild turkey, and deer. But no duck. I always just figured that he caught too-few ducks and that he had earned the right to enjoy them on his own. After all, he is the one getting up at 3 or 4 in the morning and sitting in a blind in the freezing cold while I’m still snuggled in bed.

We’ve been dating a little over two years now and I’ve finally been able to enjoy a few duck dishes. But nothing compared to the duck bombs (as I have dubbed them) Robb fixed a few days ago.

There is no recipe really for this. To be honest, I’m not sure if Robb even knows what he did. He cooks instinctively, which is something that impresses me. He throws this-and-that into a pot, no measurements. Sometimes the food turns out delicious, sometimes the dogs get a large dinner that night. These duck bombs were a definite win.

He used a mallard and a wood duck, breasting them out to get 4 breasts. He pounded the breasts thin and then marinated them in Allegro and garlic for 24 hours (simply because he forgot to fix them the night before). After marinating, he rolled the duck breasts up with a sliver of jalapeno, smear of cream cheese and wrapped them in bacon.

He cooked them in a grill pan in a mixture of onions, olive oil, garlic, and jalapenos for about 10 minutes (I’m guessing) or until medium rare and tender.

We served the duck breasts with asparagus (marinated in garlic and Allegro as well) that was oven roasted until tender.

Delicious! Hopefully he’ll snag a few more ducks this season and we can recreate this dish!

What’s your favorite, most mouth-watering way to serve (or be served) wild game?

Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s Haul

Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been working on clearing out my pantry in anticipation for my quarterly Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods excursion. My boyfriend and I almost messed up. The weekend before Christmas, we went to Moore County to visit his family for the holidays. On our way up, as we passed through Raleigh, we decided that we would stop to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Cabela’s on our way home. Monday came and it was a dreary day as we set off back to our house with a truck full (and I mean jam packed) with gifts.

We stopped to Cabela’s but decided to bail on the other two stores. We were tired, ready to get home, and most of all – our truck was FULL! So we decided to stick to our original plan of making a day date of it while I was out on break.

That same Monday night, I attacked the kitchen in a whirlwind after we arrived home. I cleaned out our pantry – putting items that have been in our pantry for months – into a bag to donate to the local food bank (I ended up with two large bags full), throwing some expired items away. Then I started on the spices. There were spices in there from back in 2011! I let Robb go through everything before I tossed it and if he said keep it, we kept it (fair trade).

When we went to Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s the day after Christmas, neither of us were feeling at our best. That may have been why we didn’t go as crazy as I had anticipated. But that’s okay. It still ended up being a good “date” day for the two of us and I enjoy spending time with Robb. Even if it’s doing something that seems as mundane as going to the grocery store!

Here’s what we purchased:

 

Some of our favorite purchases were:

  • Growler of Ginger Kombucha from Barefoot Bucha (first tried at the Heritage Festival at Monticello) from Whole Foods (Me)
  • Olives from Whole Foods (Robb)
  • Creamy Corn & Roasted Pepper Soup  from Trader Joe’s (both of ours)
  • Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes (mentioned before in this post)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina Flour from Whole Foods (Me) – this is for homemade corn tortillas using the tortilla press I got for Christmas!

Molten Chocolate Macaron from Trader Joe’s – this thing is HUGE!

Since we went on Monday, we were able to take advantage of the Pasta Night at Whole Foods. For $12.99 we were able to get a pound of fresh cut pasta (our choice was spinach pappardelle), 16oz of Severino sauce (we went with the Fra Diavolo) and 4oz of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Our pasta night deal from Whole Foods with chorizo, mushrooms, and onions thrown in. Delicious!

A few nights ago, I was able to try out my new tortilla press. I know that a tortilla press is a weird thing to ask for but I love the idea of being able to make fresh corn tortillas. I still need to practice but I think I did okay! I paired my homemade corn tortillas with homemade pico de gallo, homemade lime crema, cilantro, coleslaw mix, and pan seared Alaskan halibut (with a adobo seasoning purchased from Whole Foods).

Tacos?? A good first try.

I’m already looking forward to our next trip!