We had a wonderful week in North Carolina for Thanksgiving and we fortunate to be able to stay in a beautiful lake house in Lake Norman (thanks, Allison and family!) which had a huge and fantastic chef’s kitchen. I absolutely love cooking for crowds so I was in my element all week long.
The night before Thanksgiving, I decided to try out this recipe. Many members of the family are on a low-carb diet and I always like to try something new. When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light magazine, I knew I had to try it. I have a bit of a thing for spaghetti squash right now! This is a low carb and low fat meal.
I love how everything is piled into the spaghetti squash “boats” so that you can exercise some portion control (although you may be tempted to steal a bit from your neighbor’s plate during the meal) and you can serve it with a light side salad. It does take some prep work but it can easily be prepared for the family as a weeknight meal. You can make them vegetarian by simply omitting the ground turkey and replacing with some portabello mushrooms or eggplant for extra texture. Here’s my take on the recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again this month!
- 2 small to medium spaghetti squash (one half for each person)
- 1 pack lean ground turkey
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms – preferably baby bella
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- (You can prepare the squash in advance if you’d like) Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
- Place squash halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands.
- Wrap strands on a clean dish towel and squeeze until barely moist. This is a necessary step or the spaghetti squash boats will be really watery. Place spaghetti squash halves (or “boats”) onto a baking sheet.
- Heat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Make the spinach-mushroom topping. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the spinach and cook briefly (1 minute) until it wilts.
- In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and mushrooms with the spaghetti squash strands, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, and half of mozzarella cheese.
- Make the tomato sauce: add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add the can of tomatoes and oregano and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Increase oven temperature to 425°.
- Spoon tomato-turkey sauce evenly into the bottom of each squash half. Top evenly with squash-spinach-mushroom mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.
- To brown the tops of the squash, broil/grill squash for 1-2 minutes under a high broiler/grill.