Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Silliness

On Tuesday night, I got together with two of my closest friends, Blair and Kerry, for a night of catch-up and yummy eats, all while partaking in some good old fashioned healthifying (as far as I'm concerned, this is a real word now).

Cuties - and I'm apparently a giant now?
Like many of my friends, Blair and Kerry have been very health-oriented for as long as I've known them.  Blair is a rock star at working out and eating healthy, and Kerry is a physical therapist, so it comes with the territory that she is in terrific shape and eats well.  Not to mention they are both hilarious and two of the nicest people you will ever meet.

We headed off to the grocery store to pick out stuff to make a healthy meal, and decided on the following:
  • White Wine Spritzers with Fresh Mango
  • Spaghetti Squash with Tomato & Meat Sauce 
  • Asparagus, Tomato & Feta Salad (a concoction courtesy of Kerry's mom)  
We started our initial food prep (getting the squashes ready and putting them in the oven), then headed off on a leisurely two mile walk (approx 3800 steps according to my pedometer) around the neighborhoods of Georgetown.  The walk was easy-going and took about 40 minutes - such an easy and fun way to hit almost half of our 10k steps for the day!

We returned and the food prep began in earnest.

With the wine spritzers in hand, of course.  Cooking is always more fun when you have a wine spritzer in hand.
The meal was ridiculously good.  On almost every healthy food blog I follow, they rave about the idea of using spaghetti squash in place of regular pasta to eliminate unnecessary carbs and sugars and to in their place fit in another serving (or two, or three!) of veggies.  I had been jonesing to finally try it, and I am so glad we did - though the texture is nothing like pasta (it's crunchy!), the stringy quality is very similar to spaghetti noodles, and when covered in sauce, it's a fun, revamped version of the classic meal.  YUM!

The finished product, sans spritzer.

Without further ado, here is our Tuesday night menu:

White Wine Spritzers with Fresh Mango  

Printable recipe
1 glass = 0 WW points+

Inspired by this recipe from LaaLoosh.

Ingredients:
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups flavored seltzer water
Fresh mango (peeled,  cored and cubed)
Ice cubes



We divvied out the wine and flavored seltzer water (in our case, we used grapefruit flavored Perrier) among three wine glasses, dropped in 5-6 pieces of mango into each glass, and then added the ice cubes last.  Light, refreshing, and very reminiscent of white sangria.  I think I'll be pulling this one out over and over again this summer.  Feel free to use a different flavor seltzer water if grapefruit isn't your thing.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato & Meat Sauce

Printable recipe 
2 cups squash + a little more than 1/2 cup of sauce (with meat) = 4 WW points+ 
If you use olive oil to brown the meat, add 1 WW point+

Ingredients:

2 spaghetti squashes (each slightly smaller than a football)
1 jar Classico Fire-Roasted Tomato & Garlic Sauce
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
Olive oil or cooking spray

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°F
2.  Cut the spaghetti squashes in half, length-wise
Yes, Kerry.  Just like that.
3.  Scoop out the seeds
Scoop Scoop!
4.  Brush the halves with olive oil (or cooking spray)
5.  Fill a baking dish with an inch of water, and place the halves pulp-side-up in the dish
6.  Bake the squashes for one hour
7.  Remove the squashes from the oven, and use a fork to shred the pulp
 (it should have the consistency of spaghetti)
8.  Put the shredded squash in a bowl, serve hot!
Blair is ready for spaghetti!


Meanwhile, for the sauce: 
1.  Drizzle some olive oil or cooking spray in a skillet
2.  Add the ground turkey to the skillet, brown it
3.  Add the pasta sauce, stir until well combined and heated
4.  Serve over the shredded squash, as you would normal spaghetti sauce!

Asparagus, Tomato & Feta Salad

(1 cup = 2 WW points+ - and only if you're liberal with your feta intake)

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 cluster of tomatoes on the vine
4 Tbsp reduced fat feta cheese (we used Athenos)

1.  Use hands to break off the tough ends of the asparagus stalks
2.  Cut asparagus in half, put in large pot and boil for 10 minutes
3.  Chop up tomatoes into large chunks, put into a large bowl
4.  Add the hot asparagus to the bowl
4.  Add the feta cheese
5.  Stir to combine
6.  Serve warm!



This is a real rock star meal - and it's super low in WW points+.  My entire meal (and I was stuffed!) only cost me 10 WW points+ (and only because I got second helpings of the spaghetti squash/sauce). 

A win-win all around.  I hope you enjoy it as much Blair, Kerry and I did! 





3 comments:

  1. Yumm recipes, can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Ooh - This looks so delicious, Biz! I especially want to try that yummy salad at the end. Thanks, also, for posting that delicious sounding drink. I can't wait to try it out, especially on a warm day. How was the grapefruit with mango combo?

    Side note - Might I recommend seitan in the pasta sauce for folks looking for a protein-rich meat-free option? It's easy and and gluten-based (not soy-based) for folks who aren't into tofu.

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  3. Oh, and the pics are hilarious and a perfect addition!

    ReplyDelete