Spaghetti Squash stuffed with tomato and herbs, and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts for protein. This is an easy, healthy, and delicious dinner for a busy weeknight.
Guess what? Spaghetti squash only has thirty one calories per cup?! Guess what else? You can eat it right out of its shell!!! Don’t you just love food that helps you keep your girlish figure, and can also be its own vessel?
This spaghetti squash with tomato and herbs is one of my favorite recipes because you can literally treat the squash as if it’s spaghetti. Since it’s a “pasta” dish, you get to stuff that squash with rich, nutty olive oil, and tomatoes, and fresh basil and oregano, and garlic, and of course some red wine. See why I like this squash?
As I said in the beginning of the year – like two weeks ago – this is the year for simple, locally sourced, seasonal food. This recipe is simple, and it’s as close to locally sourced and seasonal as I’m going to find in the middle of January in Chicago. The ingredients are all whole foods; no boxes, cans, or bags were opened to make this. Unless you count the bag that the walnuts came in.
To make this colorful dish you’re going to start with the spaghetti squash. Cut the pretty yellow gem of a squash in half length wise. The best way that I’ve found to cut a squash safely is to dig the point of a sharp chef’s knife into the center of the squash, firmly hold the far end (the part you’re not cutting), and press the knife down into the flesh of the gourd. Rock back and forth until the knife cuts through, then turn it and do the same to the other side. Be careful, and if you know of a better way, let me know.
Once you’ve cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and brush a light layer of olive oil over the flesh. Salt and pepper to taste and put the squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake it for approximately 45 minutes. It will come out nice and caramelized on the edges of the squash, and when you rake a fork through the center it will separate into spaghetti like strands. Have fun and fluff up the flesh of the squash until there isn’t any more to fluff. Hmmm….. that sounded. Never mind.
While the squash is cooking, toast the walnuts and sauté the onions, garlic, herbs, and tomatoes. You’re going to want to deglaze the pan with some red wine, so you might as well pour yourself a glass to enjoy while you’re cooking. Isn’t that part of the joy of cooking? I think so.
When everything is done, it’s time to marry the squash and the tomato mixture into a heavenly culinary matrimony. Drizzle a little olive oil on the squash and then spoon half of the tomato and onions on top of the squash, and then sprinkle the toasted walnuts on top. Voila! Dinner is served. Isn’t eating vegan the best?!
Does this look like a lot of food? Yes it does. Should you feel guilty for eating that much food in one sitting? No you shouldn’t. Remember, one cup of spaghetti squash is only thirty-one calories. And seriously, there aren’t a lot of calories in tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs. The walnuts and the olive oil are the only thing that carry a heavy calorie count, and who the heck cares, because we all need healthy fats in our diet.
This is the perfect way to start your week off right. It’s easy to make, low in calories, healthy, delicious, satisfying, and pretty. What else could we ask for?
Question – how are you doing with your Veganuary challenge? Are you still in it? I believe in you, so I’m going to assume that you are. Email me or leave a comment if you have any questions or success stories that you want to share, I love hearing from you.