Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cooking with Kathy: Turkey Spaghetti Squash

A friend and I decided to go out to breakfast after church.  It was 9:30, several hours after I usually have breakfast so I was ready to have something yummy.  Can I just say how horrible restaurants are for what they try to get away with?  Of course everything looked scrumptious because I was extra hungry but I did slow down enough to at least look at the descriptions of the breakfasts because they include the calorie count (at least out here in California).  I even pointed it out to my friend and we both just sat there wondering what we could have that wouldn't include all of our calories for the day in one meal.  She's not really watching her intake like I am but she was even floored.  I did manage to pick something out that was okay, but man did I want to work out afterwards.

This got me thinking about why being educated and aware of what I'm eating is incredibly important.  I've been setting my daily calorie goal at 1500 to trick my mind because I'm really striving for somewhere between 1200-1300 calories per day.  It's working because 1500 seems like a lot so I end up having under 1300 most of the time.  Whatever works, right?  For dinner tonight, I decided on my favorite go-to veggie: spaghetti squash.  Anyone that knows me knows that I love, love, love spaghetti squash.  I replace pasta with it any time I get the chance and I really don't miss regular pasta at all.  It's got 10 grams of carbs per cup in it instead of of the 40-60 grams of carbs found in a half-cup of noodles.  Besides, it's a veggie so I get a two for one.  I made Turkey Spaghetti Squash for dinner so I thought I'd share with you.  Each serving of this stuff is 272 calories and super filling!


1 cup of spaghetti squash
1/2 cup of pasta sauce (I used a heart-smart variety so it was low in everything)
4 oz. lean ground turkey
minced garlic

Start with a large uncooked spaghetti squash.  Costco has them, two for $5.  Grab a plate and a large butcher knife.  Some people will put their spaghetti squash in the oven and cook it for 60-90 minutes.  Yeah, not me.  Take that big knife and stab that squash about 20 times in different places.  It's actually therapeutic if you've had a rough day!  Put it on a microwave-safe plate and cook it for 30 minutes.  The time for the squash actually depends on how big it is.  Sometimes 20 minutes will do, but this guy needed 30.

While that's cooking, saute your lean ground turkey in the minced garlic.  You can use cooking spray or even a little extra virgin olive oil to prevent the garlic from burning and giving extra yummy flavor (it's a healthy fat!).  I cooked an entire package to use for other meals, but all you need is four ounces.  And, yes, I did end up weighing my ground turkey on a kitchen scale to make sure I wasn't eating too much.

This is also the time to let your pasta sauce simmer.  When I do use ready-made sauce, I will often times throw in other spices.  Tonight I threw in basil and rosemary.  I know, rosemary is weird but I just felt like it.

When the spaghetti squash is ready to be pulled out of the microwave, be careful because it will be scorching hot.  In fact, I'd recommend you wait a few minutes before you cut into it because you can burn yourself from the steam.  I've done it before.  When you're ready to cut into it, you know it's done because it will be very easy for your knife to slice into it.

When you open it up, you'll need to scoop out all of the seeds with a spoon.  Then take a fork and start scraping from one end to the other.  This gives it that pasta look.  It helps your mind believe you're eating pasta if it looks like it, at least I found that to be the case.

That size of a spaghetti squash makes seven servings, so I now have plenty for other meals.  The last step is to combine everything into one fabulous concoction.

All of that for under 300 calories is pretty amazing.  I completely see why it's so much better to make food at home.  It's fun to go out to restaurants for sure, but I know I will pay for it in one way or another.  Making this at home makes me feel so much better knowing that I'm not eating tons and tons of calories.

Water Challenge Day 45:  Drank 120 of 182 ounces 


happyinca said...

THANK you for posting this recipe! I've only done it the long way and consequently, haven't made it very often :-) I've been meaning to look up the microwave directions. It looks delicious!

Kathy said...

I'm so glad you can use this! I swear by the microwave version because it's so easy and doesn't take forever to cook this way.

Caitlin R said...

Thanks for this recipe!! Yum!

Tamzin said...

This is one of my favorite meals!!! I also love to make "turkey pucks". Turkey meatloaf but baked in a muffin tin.

Kathy said...

Sounds yummy! I'll have to give that one a try ;-)

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