Healthy Baked Squash Pasta Boats

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never touched a spaghetti squash.  I find the appearance and texture quite perplexing so I’ve never brought myself to buy one.  Plus, I have a real issue (I’m going to call it a full-blown phobia) of pumpkin/gourd innards. Growing up I never wanted to carve pumpkins because the smell and the slimy insides made me want to gag.  To this day, I cannot get near the inside of a pumpkin.  Squash has less of an odor and fewer stringy-yucky insides, so I figured I’d give it a try.  I’m sure glad I did because I’ve been on a squash kick lately and I’ve gotten the whole family involved.  I love that an entire cup has a mere 10 carbs and around 50 calories.  I had a little fun with mine and made little boats out of them so that my kids could enjoy them in a fun way.  I used chicken sausage for the kids, but if you want to save on a little fat and get a bit more protein, toss in some cooked chicken breast cubes instead.

Filling, Nutritious and Low Carb

Filling, Nutritious and Low Carb

INGREDIENTS:

1 small-ish spaghetti squash

4 small cooked chicken breasts (about 14 ounces)-cubed (or buy ready-made Just Chicken from Trader Joe’s)

1 1/4 cup Pasta Sauce (I used Bien Good Organic Pasta Enchilada Sauce)

1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder (or you could use fresh)

1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash garlic and onion seasoning

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons crushed non-fat croutons

salt and pepper

(other options: roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, spinach)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Carefully slice squash longways.  Scoop out seeds and stringy parts. Place flesh side down in a 9×13″ pan and add 1 inch of water.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  It should be tender.  Overcooking leads to a mushy texture. Remove, but leave oven on. Let cool slightly.

3.  Meanwhile, heat sauce, chicken and seasonings together.

4.   Use a fork to shred the insides of the squash.  Add the “noodles” to your sauce to coat well.

5.  Place the noodles back into the shell.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.  Top with your croutons.

6. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese starts to melt.

Remove and serve.

Serves 4- About 1 1/4 cups squash each

Calories per serving: 292.  Protein: 28, Carbs: 25, Fat: 9

Slice and discard insides

Slice and discard insides

Use chicken sausage or prepared chicken cubes

Use chicken sausage or prepared chicken cubes

 

Forked

Forked

Place in a bowl, if you like

Place in a bowl, if you like

Fun boats for two

Fun boats for two

 

 

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