Welcome! I am so happy you chose to gather around my table. My name is Mia Swinehart and I am a registered dietitian with a passion for simple healthy recipes, women's hormonal health, and overall wellness!
Spaghetti squash is probably my favorite in terms of a veggie pasta substitutes- it’s easy to make and can make for such a satisfying dish when you pair it with the right things! I roast my spaghetti squash at 465°F every time, and depending on the size of the squash its usually ready in 30-40 minute. My trick is to put it skin side down and spray the inside with avocado oil- this works great for me and I love the texture I end up with!
There’s also zucchini and spinach in this dish. both are easy veggies to work with and provide the punch of micronutrients and fiber that I love from greens! This ends up actually being quite the colorful dish- and full of flavor!
If beef isn’t your thing, then you can sub ground turkey or chicken if you add some oil to the pan. You could also leave i tout entirely and add some extra finely chopped veggies. Beef will release a little more natural fat allowing you to brown it without adding oil to the pan, so whenever you are subbing in turkey or chicken in a recipe be sure to add some oil! Nothing worse than everything getting stuck to your pan.
This dish is a pretty easy clean up and a great way to get more comfortable with healthy cooking at home! It’s simple and the flavors in this dish are so so good.
You can totally use any marinara sauce here that you love or homemade if you have some! My favorite is the Rao’s brand from the store, but i also opt for the store brand sauces whenever I’m on more of a budget. Just make sure there are no added sugars in your marinara sauce— companies sneak sugar into so many unexpected/unnecessary places. Always read your labels!
If you’re dairy free, you can definitely sub your favorite dairy free cheese here! Again, just be sure to read your labels. Dairy substitutes can often be loaded with fillers and super processed ingredients.
You can make this dish your own with different veggies you have on hand, too.
I know you guys will love this one. Make sure to let me know if you try it!
1 lb ground grass fed beef (can sub ground turkey, but you will need some oil in the pan)
1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups marinara
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
1 tsp avocado oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
Roast spaghetti squash at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until tender enough to shred into spaghetti-like strands. *You can do this the night before if you wish and store shredded squash in the fridge
While spaghetti squash is roasting, heat a 10” cast iron skillet or large oven safe pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, for 10 minutes.
Once meat is cooked through and onions are translucent, transfer to a large bowl.
Add 1 tsp avocado oil to the pan, then add zucchini, frozen spinach, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. stir and cook for 5-7 minutes until zucchini is softened. Transfer to the bowl with the beef and onion.
Once spaghetti squash is done and cooked enough to handle, shred it into the large bowl with the beef and veggies. stir with marinara and 1/2 cup of the cheese until everything is well combined.
Return mixture to the pan, then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 400°F for 12 minutes.