Monday Meal – Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

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We checked out the Farmer’s Market in our new town and I was excited to find some great buys!  A ginormous spaghetti squash, tons of peppers, zucchini and some gourds for our fall decorations! Now what to do with this giant spaghetti squash, hmm . . .  I made the family a spaghetti casserole a month ago, so why not try it with this squash?

 

So  why spaghetti squash? 

It contains lots of nutrients such as vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium and many more.  A one-cup serving contains only 42 calories, 0 grams fat, 28 milligrams sodium,10 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber and 1 gram protein. This is a great low-carb alternative to pasta.

 

See, the squash is about a foot long! I had double-check with the lady at the Farmer’s Market to see if this really was a spaghetti squash! I have never seen one this large at the grocery store, ah, yes, the goodness of getting produce homegrown!

lg squash

These can be a beast to cut so I cut several slits and threw it in the microwave until the skin was soft.  This large squash took about 15 minutes!  Try them in five minute increments.

cut slits

Good thing it didn’t explode, my microwave would have been a mess!

in microwave

Cut in half and place in a pan with a 1/2 cup water.  Microwave for another five minutes, or until soft.

in pan w water

Now once the squash is soft, get rid off all the seed and pulp.  Looks just like the inside of a pumpkin (same family!)!

cut out seedsseeds out

Now, start to scrape out the good stuff with a fork.

scrap with forkshredded

I pat the spaghetti squash dry with a paper towel to decrease the excess water.

To the squash add one egg and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and mix.

pat dry w toweladd egg and cheese

Egg, cheese and spaghetti squash.  Spread mixture into an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.

add egg and cheese 2spread in pan

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the edges turn brown.  I added some nice chunky spaghetti sauce and turkey pepperoni.  I really like the taste of the turkey pepperoni but don’t go crazy with it, it does contain lots of sodium since it is a processed meat.  Processed meats are not a fav of mine, but come on, it’s pepperoni!  Everyone needs a little pepperoni once in a while.  Smile

baked in dishadd pep and sauce

Add sauce, pepperoni and cheese!

add sauce add pepp add cheese

Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted!  I think it looks pretty!

baked

Here she is!

IMG_3466

I thought it was yummy but that is also because I could eat spaghetti squash raw. I like the taste and texture of any squash. My family, however, well . . . my two-year-old gobbled it up. My five-year-old on the other hand did not like the texture of the squash. She said, “Remember when we had acorn squash, it tastes like that!” Wow, good memory! I made acorn squash probably about three to four weeks ago and I even put some butter and brown sugar on it and she still did not like it.  As for my husband, he at it (I think to be a good role model) but not his favorite.  Every time I try to make a substitute for a meal, he will make the comment, “Can’t we just have normal tacos (pancakes, the list goes on . . .)? Well honey . . . .

 

Needless to say we got into a very long discussion about food, healthy foods and the rest of the pick eaters in America.  I finally understood his point about making healthy substitutions for different foods.  Ironically we both just watched the Dr. Oz episode where Hungry Girl makes over tacos for a busy family. One of the kids in the family tried the tacos with soy crumbles and kindly said, “They are ok . . . “ on national TV.   I thought to myself, I don’t blame you kid, I really don’t like soy crumbles either because it tastes like soy NOT like “normal” tacos.  Dr. Oz said to the kid, “Are you kidding me, these are good!”  Ok, so my husband’s point was why not try making a new and exciting dish that highlights spaghettis squash, not pizza or spaghetti.  Hmm . . . well I realized he was right like the rest of America, people just want their normal dishes, not a crazy substitute. 

 

So my homework for this week, try making a fantastic dish using spaghetti squash that my entire family will eat and want more!  I still have a half squash left so I will be trying some things out, wish me good luck!

 

By the way, I pretty much ate the entire pan of spaghetti squash pizza casserole, so if you enjoy spaghetti squash here is the recipe!

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

Ingredient

2 cups shredded spaghetti squash

1 egg

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2/3 cup spaghetti sauce

20 turkey pepperoni slices

2/3 cup shredded cheese

Preparation

Combine spaghetti squash, egg and Parmesan cheese.  Spread mixture into an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. Top with sauce, pepperoni and cheese.  Bake for another 12 minutes or until cheese melts.

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