Paleo dieters, today we are gonna be eating spaghetti! *Record scratch* Wait, is spaghetti paleo-friendly?
Starch is avoided in Paleo eating. No to corn products, no to potatoes (sweet potatoes are exempted), no to rice and bread including pasta so the answer to the question is “No.” How are we gonna have spaghetti without pasta you ask?
This is a spaghetti squash. When cooked, the flesh develops threads that eerily resemble spaghetti noodles. I can just imagine the reaction of whoever first discovered this. Anyway, the threads of flesh are also long enough for you to twirl around your fork. Yes, just like how mommy taught you when you had your first plate. This is a great substitute for spaghetti noodles that we will be using today and virtually anything can go well with it. First, let’s transform this squash into spaghetti noodles.
Spaghetti Squash Noodles
What you need:
- Medium-sized spaghetti squash (2-3 pounds)
- A strong fork
- A lot of patience
- Pre-heat your oven.
- Slice the squash lengthwise. Please be careful, they are quite hard.
- Scrape out the seeds and those threads you see.
- Scrape hard enough to get rid of the seeds and the unwanted strings but not too hard that you scrape some of the flesh out.
- Place the squash halves on a roasting pan, cut-side down like what’s pictured below:
- Cook your squash in 350C – 375C for 30 – 45 minutes. The cooking time actually depends on the personality of your squash. You might be unlucky and acquired a hard-headed squash that needs more cooking time so I recommend checking on the squash after 30 minutes to gauge cooking.
- If you can pierce a fork right through the skin with ease, then the squash is tender and is ready to be scraped. Make sure that the squash is cool enough to be handled before doing so, I recommend letting it cool on a dry rack for around 15 minutes.
- It’s scraping time! Use a fork to separate the squash flesh from the skin. For longer noodle strands, run your fork lengthwise from top to bottom.
Now that we have our noodles, where’s the sauce?
Paleo Spaghetti Sauce
What You Need:
- 1 pound ground beef (grass-fed if you may)
- 1 pound ground sausage (use your favourite sausage)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp fat (oil, lard, meat fat, etc.)
- 6 ounces tomato paste (1 can)
- 15 ounces tomato sauce (2 cans)
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried ground thyme
- Dried chilli, chopped (add as much or as little as you want or none at all)
I know that’s a lot but trust me, this is gonna be good!
- Put your fat in a large skillet or sauce pan over medium-high heat. Sauté in the onion and garlic until the onion a bit translucent.
- Add ground beef and sausage. Cook until brownish in color. At this point, you can drain excess fat if you like.
- Add in all the remaining ingredients and turn your burner to low-medium. Stir to combine and wait for the sauce to boil.
- When it begins boiling, turn your burner to low, partially cover your skillet or sauce pan and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes while stirring occasionally (scrape the bottom of the pan in stirring to avoid a burnt bottom).
- After 15-20 minutes, your sauce is now ready to be served or you can cook it longer if you want. Some people prefer their tomatoes cooked longer.
Questions You Might Be Asking Yourself:
Does it taste like pasta? No. It looks like pasta: the color, texture and the presentation but it’s still squash… but that doesn’t mean it won’t taste good. I know a lot of and I’ve read online that many people actually loved the spaghetti squash! Even the pickiest eaters won’t have a difficult time finishing a plate!
Is this a low carb food? I am so glad you asked! I’m gonna be saying this with a huge smile – yes it is! 100g of spaghetti squash has a total carbohydrate content of 7g while 100g of regular pasta has 25g that means you can actually eat more!
What are the health benefits of eating spaghetti squash?
Good for the Eyes – antioxidants in this variety of squash includes beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of which plays a vital role in maintaining eye health.
Healthy Skin – aside from vitamin A, the spaghetti squash also has vitamin C which helps prevent free radical damage to cells. It is also rich in with B vitamins namely: riboflavin, niacin and thiamine, which helps in the normal function of cells.
Cardiovascular Health – the spaghetti squash is rich in potassium which makes it the ideal food for people with high blood pressure. If consumed regularly, it can lower high blood pressure.
Take look at this picture:
Each plate is worth 210 calories. Guess which one has more health benefits? According to Frederico Fellini, an unoffended Italian and film director: “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” I think we achieved that today. Eat well, be well, farewell!