Saturday, February 9, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti and "Bread" Sticks

I am coming to realize that the key to my happily eating grain-free is to avoid not only grain-ful foodstuffs, like pasta and bread - but to avoid their grain-less substitutes for a good while, too - too get used to eating in a way that doesn't need starchy foods (or their substitutes) as an inevitable and necessary component of every meal.

We began eating this way last September, and we're only now playing around with grain-less bread recipes and re-working old favorite meals.  As a result, we're able to enjoy these on their own merits rather than instantly comparing them to what they replace.

Here's the truth of things:  foods like mashed cauliflower or riced cauliflower do NOT taste like mashed potatoes or rice.  They taste like cauliflower, and once you get that, they are awesome on their own  terms., but if you're looking to be fool into thinking you're eating potatoes or rice, you're going to be disappointed.

And spaghetti squash doesn't taste like pasta - it twirls like pasta (mostly), and it is a wonderful and delicious carrier for sauces, which is all you really are asking of your pasta anyway, right?

Spaghetti, macaroni, or baked pasta were staples on my weekly menu, often multiple times a week, and they were all on my list of 'comfort foods', as well as being frugal and delicious. It's been several months now since we've eaten anything like them, so I was really getting excited about making up a good spaghetti sauce to eat on top of some spaghetti squash (we've topped just about every other thing you can think of on spaghetti squash - but not spaghetti sauce, go figure).  Both Michael and I were laughing at how excited we were to eat what used to be a bored sort of 'it's-Tuesday-so-it-must-be-spaghetti' meal.

Ramping up the specialness of this sauce, we used ground veal from  the farmer rather than ground beef - ground pork is also good, but no matter what meat or meats you use, this sauce is otherwise the one I've been making forever. I'm quite happy to have it back in rotation!

Per the tomato products - use fresh-in-season or homemade paste if you got 'em.  I used canned, one of the few items we still buy from the center of the store... change is a process and I'm still working on that part.

Lynda's Simply Awesome Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
(serves 4)

1 spaghetti squash
1 T. coconut oil

 2 T. butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, or veal, or even chicken, if you want)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives, sliced

1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 small can organic tomato paste
1 cup broth
1 cup red wine
1 T. oregano
1 T. basil
4 garlic cloves, minced

Heat oven  to 350F.  Pierce uncut several times, and place in a baking dish coated with coconut oil.  Bake for an hour or until tender.  Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle, then cut in half around the *short* perimeter (this gives you longer strands than cutting longwise allows).  Carefully scoop out seeds and discard.  Using a fork scrape the flesh and remove spaghetti squash strands to a serving bowl.

While the squash is baking, make the sauce:

Heat fat in a large saucepan or small stock pot, and brown onions, mushrooms and ground meat until meat is fully cooked and mushrooms and onions are tender.  Add remaining ingredients, let come to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until ready to serve. Like all good spaghetti sauces,  this benefits from longer simmering times - but as long as it's reduced and thickened somewhat, it's perfectly tasty sooner as well as later.

Serve on top of spaghetti squash strands, and top with shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.

And that's not all!  We tried Divalicious' Bread Sticks (version 2, except no garlic powder) with these and they were very easy to put together - we popped them into the oven when the squash came out.  They are cheesy, hold up well to push around the sauce (and mop up the remains) and were super tasty, too.   I want to try them again with different seasonings and cheeses - and I'm also thinking this might just be a great base for a pizza.  So I'll be readdressing this recipe again soon.

All in all - fantastic, comfort food rich meal without grains.  Have it with some broccoli on the side, or a good spinach salad to get some greens going in there, and it'd be perfect.

Shared with:
Your Great Idea Link Party, A Favorite Thing, Sweet Saturday, Show & Tell Saturday, Simply Natural Saturday, Saturday SHOWlicious, One Creative Weekend, Get Schooled Saturday, Creative HomeAcre Hop, No-Rules Weekend, Weekend Show-Off, Think Pink Sunday, Sunday Show-Off, Sunday Linky Party, Creative Bloggers Party, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Craft-Create-InspireMom's Test Meal Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mealtime Monday, Make Your Own! Monday, Motivated Monday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Mop It Up Monday, Mondays with Countrified Hicks, Monday Funday, Mix It Up Monday, Marvelous Mondays, Manic Monday Linky Party, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Make It Yourself Monday, Made By You Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, Craft-O-Maniac Monday, Busy Monday, Trick or Treat Tuesday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy TuesdaySlightly Indulgent, Fat Tuesday Backyard Farming Connection Blog Hop, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth & Soul Hop, Family Table Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Show & Tell Wednesday, Seasonal Celebration Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Two Girls and a Party, Thursdays Treasures, Thursday Favorite Things, Transformation Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Hookin Up with HoH, HomeAcre Hop, DIY Thrifty Thursday, Creative Juice, Simple Lives Thursday, Keep It Real Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Show and Tell Friday, Frugal Friday, Friday Favorites, Freedom Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Pennywise Platter, Gluten Free Friday.


  1. This looks delicious! A recipe I will have to try sometime.
    I found your lovely blog while visiting the Make Your Home Sing Monday :) I am your newest follower and I look forward to visiting again.

    Blessings and hugs,

  2. I just made this summer and wrote about w shock spaghetti squash lasagna!! It was sooooo good!!!

  3. I have often thought about making spaghetti squash but have never tried it yet. Thank you for the recipe! I also like your honesty about the cauliflower mashed potatoes because I've wondered what they taste like.

    I think you're right. You can't expect it to taste like regular mashed potatoes, but you can still enjoy it for its own taste.

    Thank you for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

  4. Yummy! I need to order some seeds for this. I've had them before but haven't grown them in awhile.
    Thanks so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre!

  5. I really like this idea, so healthy..Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  6. I love spaghetti squash! Please come share your recipe with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday!

  7. Oh my goodness- this looks so good! I love spaghetti squash. I am a new follower!


  8. i've never tried spaghetti squash but I keep seeing it about and I'm trying to give up pasta and bread so I think I need to definitely try it as an alternative because I love bolognaise etc.

    Your latest follower, Jordan -

  9. You're right... all you need pasta for is to carry the yummyness :). I also agree about the mashed/riced cauliflower. We love mashed cauliflower. My 8 year old says it's better than potatoes... but it isn't JUST Like potatoes. It has the consistency, but not the taste. Thanks for sharing this great recipe on Wellness Wednesday @!

  10. I make a "no-pasta" but one of these days I will have to make it into more of a tomato sauce and put it over spaghetti squash.

  11. I've been trying to figure out how to have grain free spaghetti! Thanks for linking up to Simply Natural Saturdays!

  12. your story reminds me of when i was a veggie. i kept trying to get people to try my veggie dogs but they were like "ew. that is not a hot dog"... and i kept saying "don't expect it to be one and you'll enjoy it!"... mock meat (just like mock grain) products aren't the real thing. and the sooner we accept that, the more we'll enjoy them.

    thank you for sharing with us at the wednesday fresh foods link up! i hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & real/whole food posts! xo, kristy.

  13. I love spaghetti squash!! thank you for adding your wonderful blog to the Thursday Favorite Things hop. xo

  14. I agree, if you constantly compare everything you eat to everything you're trying to avoid eating, you end up disappointed rather than enjoying new things on their own merit. Thanks for sharing this on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

  15. Hi Lynda,
    This is a wonderful meal, we just love Spaghetti Squash. Hope you are having a great Valentine weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  17. Interesting thoughts. I have trouble letting go of the starches and have substituted beans and whole grain rice for now. Maybe I need to incorporate your method. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Yum! Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop! Here's the link for the next hop :)

  19. I'm a fan of spaghetti squash and your recipe looks great! And you're so right, you can't expect cauliflower and squash to taste like pasta.

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday :)

  20. Thank you for sharing your delicious-sounding recipe with us and I hope to welcome you over at Seasonal Celebration again today! Rebecca @Natural Mothers Network x

  21. Can I get a YUM YUM! We love spaghetti squash at our house!
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Cindy from