Oven Roasted Tomato and Spinach "Spaghetti"
This recipe combines some of my favorite flavors I would normally eat with traditional flour-based pasta, but is incredibly low calorie and low-carb. Spinach and tomato together never gets old for me; add some garlic and I am in food heaven. Lately I have been experimenting more and more with squashes since it is squash season and decided to make this meal, which is Whole 30, Paleo and Vegan compliant. What ever your fancy, this meal fits the bill for any clean living lifestyle. Spaghetti squash is only 30 calories for a cup and has 7 grams of carbs per serving. Going into the holidays I am eating as clean as I can knowing that I will be presented with all kinds of heavy meals and sweet desserts. To lead up to Thanksgiving, I figured I would set myself up feeling great by eating this veggie rich dish for lunch at work.
1 spaghetti squash, seeds removed and roasted
2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes
4 cups of spinach
3 cloves of finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the squash in half long ways and scoop out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the squash cut side up and baste with about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Place into the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
MEG'S TIP: Similar to pumpkin seeds, you can roast spaghetti squash seeds in the oven and have a great snack. Note that they are high in fat; one cup is about 280 calories and offer about 60 grams of fat and 11 grams of dietary fiber. If you are following a ketogenic diet, eating these will be great for keeping you full during the day. Check out my toasted pumpkin seed recipe for how to cook the seeds for squashes.
While the squash is cooking, prep the cherry tomatoes. Place both pints of tomatoes into a bowl and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat the tomatoes and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
After the timer has gone off for the squash, add the sheet of tomatoes to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are starting to look roasted/skins are starting to peel. Once cooked, remove both the squash and tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool. With a fork, turn the squash into noodles.
In a nonstick pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until it is becoming aromatic. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes, squash, and spinach and saute for about 5 minutes. (I stirred everything together and covered for 5 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste, remove from the pan and top with pine nuts. Enjoy!
MEG'S AFTERTHOUGHTS: I recommend toasting the pine nuts to add a good toasty nut flavor if you are going meatless on this. Just heat a pan over medium low heat, add 1/4 cup of pine nuts and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the nuts are turning golden brown.