Running Maryland's Recipe of the Week: Food for Fuel
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 18:26    PDF Print E-mail

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Tomato, Quinoa Sauce and Kale Chip Garnish







by Sandra Gallagher

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Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes



Pasta: 1 large Spaghetti Squash

Sauce: 2 8 oz cans of mostly drained Italian Diced Tomatoes

1 Cup dry of Quinoa

1 8 oz can of Kidney Beans

1 Cup cubed Zucchini

2 Tablespoons of minced garlic

2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning

Topping: 4 stalks of Green Kale

1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fine Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese to taste

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Squash: Pierce the squash in several places with a fork, then in a Pyrex dish, place the whole spaghetti squash in the oven to cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Sauce: Cook 1 Cup of dry quinoa according to the packaging (typically 1 Cup of dry quinoa in 1 1/4 Cup of water until all water is absorbed).

In a medium skillet, combine tomatoes (mostly drained), kidney beans, zucchini, garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, add cooked quinoa and continue to simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.

Garnish Topping: With 15 minutes left in the squash cook time, prepare and bake the kale chips as follows: Cut the kale off its stem and cut or tear the leaves into approximately two inch pieces.  (Precision is not important here). Place the leaves in a bowl.  Add extra virgin olive oil and toss until leaves are thoroughly covered.  Spread the leaves evenly on an ungreased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes, checking to be sure it does not burn.  When cooked it will shrivel and dry.  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Remove squash from the oven when a pierced fork can be removed easily.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and while using pot holders, slice the squash in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and then using a fork, 'string' the squash by scraping the squash vertically, repeatedly until all of the inner contents are removed from the skin.  Splash with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and toss gently.

Prepare plate with squash and sauce, add cheese if desired.  Then crumble the kale chips on top of the dish and serve.

Why It's Good for You:

Using spaghetti squash in lieu of pasta cuts your calories substantially.  1 Cup of cooked white pasta equals approximately 220 calories, whereas 1 Cup of cooked spaghetti squash equals approximately 40 calories.  That's a huge reduction!  But before you get too excited, it's important to know that when you cut the calories with this dish, you also loose a substantial amount of energy providing carbohydrates;  there's 42 grams of carbohydrates per cup of pasta to 10 grams per cup of spaghetti squash.

Now, as active people, we need calories and carbohydrates.  They are our friends.  Cutting calories and carbs too much will have a negative affect on your energy and performance levels.   So we're not saying that cutting these energy sources is always the way to go. What we are saying is that you want the best source of whole food nutrition that you can get from every meal, and occasionally swapping out your go-to grain pasta with a veggie source is a good bet.

Spaghetti squash is jam packed with essential nutrients such as fiber, beta-carotene, manganese, amino acids, Vitamins A, C and B 6, and don't forget that it's filled with water, thus adding to your day's water intake.  It does lose the head to head battle with pasta in the protein category, but our sauce more than makes up for any short comings in this area with the protein packed kidney beans and quinoa.






Last Updated ( Friday, 02 November 2012 07:27 )
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