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A tangy and fresh pasta dish minus the guilt

By Brenda Stanley

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 12:04 p.m. MDT

Belle's Artichokes and Spaghetti Squash is high in taste but low in carbs and calories.

Brenda Stanley

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Trying something new is often the only excuse a kid needs to turn his nose up at what’s for dinner. Children aren’t very adventurous when it comes to food, unless they have parents who are. If the parents eat nothing green, then it is highly likely their kids won’t either.

I was lucky because when my children were still at home, there were few things they wouldn’t eat. And that included vegetables. I had them at every meal and to this day, they still enjoy them.

Spaghetti squash is an excellent choice if you want to add more vegetables to your diet. It is a mild and heavily textured squash that is perfect as a main dish or a side. In the summer, they are plentiful and with other fresh ingredients, you can create a wonderfully healthy and easy meal.

Most people use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute and top it with marinara. I like it that way, but when combined with ingredients like artichoke hearts and black olives, this squash will absorb all those intense flavors, making it even tastier.

If you are watching the calories and carbs in your diet, then spaghetti squash will give you the satisfaction of a pasta dish without adding carbs and hardly any calories.

Belle’s Artichokes and Spaghetti Squash

1 large spaghetti squash

Cut spaghetti squash in half (length wise). Microwave the squash cut side down on a plate for 9 minutes or until tender. Rake out flesh and put in a colander to drain.

Mix together the following ingredients in a large sauce pan:

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

1 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts, (reserve marinade)

½ cup drained sliced black olives

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Toss with squash and add enough of the artichokes marinade to coat everything. Simmer for about 5 minutes until hot and the flavors have a chance to combine. This dish is also great with cooked shrimp or chicken.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of

twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and

novelist. Her website is at talesofthedinnerbelle.com.

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