Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Kale
If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash yet you need to…like RIGHT NOW. It is so yummy and a great way to fill up without the extra carbs and calories. In addition to being absolutely delicious, it also has tremendous health benefits! Did you know spaghetti squash contains a wide range of vitamins?
A 1-cup serving offers 5.4 mg of vitamin C, which is almost 10 percent of the recommended daily intake, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Other vitamins include A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin K. A report from Colorado State University explains that obtaining your daily vitamins through food sources such as spaghetti squash may be more beneficial than taking vitamin supplements, as food contains several chemicals that work together, making the vitamins function more efficiently. Researchers from China, published in the January 2011 issue of “Journal of Environmental Science and Health,” report that the flavonoids found in plant foods work with vitamins and play a role in protecting the body from cancer.
A 1-cup serving of spaghetti squash also contains several minerals that are vital to good health. The dominant mineral is manganese, with 0.2 mg, which is 8 percent of the RDI. Manganese is needed only in small amounts, but it has a big job. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports manganese aids in the production of healthy bones, tissues and sex hormones. It also plays a part in metabolism, regulation of blood sugar, absorption of calcium and the functioning of the nervous system. Other minerals found in smaller amounts in spaghetti squash include potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, sodium, zinc and selenium.
The American Heart Association says consuming fiber on a regular basis improves health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowering cholesterol. Spaghetti squash contains a fair amount of fiber, with 2.2 g, or 9 percent of the RDI, per 1-cup serving. Fiber may also help in weight reduction as it makes you feel fuller longer.
Calories and Carbs
With only 42 calories and 10 carbs in a 1-cup serving of cooked spaghetti squash, this vegetable is a safe addition to any diet. A serving contains no fat unless you add butter or olive oil. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to high-calorie, high-carb traditional pasta. (source)
Recipe adapted from Oh My Gosh, Spaghetti Squash by My New Roots
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 5 stalks kale
- 4-6 cloves garlic, diced (use as much or as little garlic as you like – I like garlic so I added a lot!!)
- Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (hard sheep’s milk cheese)
- large pinch red pepper flakes
- olive oil
- sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
First, cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape away the seeds. Drizzle with a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and place face down on a lined baking sheet and cook for about 45 minutes.
While the squash is baking, prepare your kale. Grab the kale by the stem and strip the leaves from the stem with your hands. (I like to save the stems and use them later in my veggie juices!) Again, using your hands, tear the kale into small pieces and set aside.
Next, heat a couple Tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. To the oil, add diced garlic, a large pinch of red pepper flakes (more or less according to taste), and a pinch of sea salt. Let simmer for a few minutes until fragrant, then add kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and just starting to wilt. Remove from heat.
Remove squash from the oven. Use a fork to scrape out the inside which will come apart in strands. Place spaghetti squash in a bowl, and toss with kale. Top with shaved Parmesan or Pecorino and some fresh cracked pepper and enjoy!!
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