Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spaghetti Squash with Hearty Turkey Sauce

I had to go on a marathon car trip this week. Seven hours in the car both ways in two days. Not a good thing for someone with stomach problems. First problem is the amount of sitting time with not much moving around, Exercise is essential for someone with digestive issues. You want to keep things moving so to speak. Second problem is the temptation to eat "bad" stuff for you when stopping in restaurants.
Here's my solution to the first problem. I knew the winter weather (temps in the teens or below with the wind chill) would prevent getting out of the car to take a few walks here and there along the route. With that in mind, I got up really early and did a sizeable chunk of my exercise before leaving. I did some additional exercise upon arrival. I followed the same plan for my return day. It wasn't perfect but it helped A LOT!
Food was a more formidable problem. Our travel route had mainly "Mom and Pop" cafes that offer typical American foods, such as hamburgers, chili, club sandwiches, etc. I would be lucky if I found anything that was "safe" for me to eat. My solution: pack my own food. I spent several days ahead of departure cooking extra food, such as soup, to take along in an ice chest. While my traveling companions chowed down on their burgers, etc, I pulled out some of my food and enjoyed a healthy, safe meal. Our servers were very agreeable when I explained the situation.
Again not perfect but better than being sick either on the trip or for days after returning.
I was definitely ready for something other than soup when I returned. One of my favorite recipes is Roasted Spaghetti Squash topped with Hearty Marinara Sauce. It replaces regular spaghetti noodles (which you can use instead because they are available gluten-free) with spaghetti squash, which is low-calorie and high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. I also still have a plentiful supply of them from my summer garden. Here's the recipe:
Ingredients for 4 servings:
2 small/medium spaghetti squash halved (Use 1/2 per portion)
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 small can tomato paste
1 onion chopped
2-4 garlic cloves minced
3 peeled and chopped carrots
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 bottle red cooking wine
Dried or fresh oregano, basil, parsley
Olive oil
Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from centers. Place the squash halves on a sprayed baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place in a oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the chunky marinara sauce. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add in ground turkey and brown up with a little salt and pepper. Remove the cooked ground turkey. To the same skillet, add and heat a little more olive oil. Saute chopped onion and garlic. Add in other chopped veggies (carrots and mushrooms). Continue sauteeing until soft. Add in a 1/4 cup red wine and tomato paste. Sprinkle in desired herbs. Cook until heated through. You may need to add more cooking wine to get desired consistency. Keep in mind it's going to be thick and chunky.
Serve by placing a spaghetti squash halve on each plate and top with a generous portion of the sauce. Sprinkle the top with more herbs or parmessan cheese if you can eat it (I'll pass on the cheese and stick with lots of fresh basil). It's delicious!


way-eye-C-it said...

Spaghetti squash is awesome!

fresh spaghetti squash seed

Sheree Welshimer said...

I totally agree. It's amazing stuff--very nutritious, delicious and low calorie.