Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Spinach, Feta & Basil White Beans

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What a fun little low-carb recipe! Now, I’m not one to say that carbs are evil by any means, as they are defiantly an essential part of our diet.


Carbohydrate rich foods like pasta and breads are great sources of B-vitamins and iron, along with a source of plant protein. However, it is a fact that our society has been eating an increasing amounts of carbohydrates (see my post The Canadian Diet – How Are We Doing?) and our portion sizes of carbohydrates have gotten way out of control. One serving of pasta, according to Canada’s Food Guide is 1/2 cup of cooked pasta. Let’s throw out a visual here:

pasta (1)

I’m not sure how many customers at a restaurant would find this satisfying. Instead, a dish of pasta that would likely be served at a restaurant would probably be 3-5 times this size. There are ~ 110 calories in a 1/2 cup portion (1 serving) of pasta. Therefore there would be anywhere from 330-550 calories in just the noodles (excluding the sauce, meat and cheese) of a restaurant-sized pasta dish. In order to decrease the caloric load of pasta, I like to saute vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers and onions and add them to my whole wheat pasta, along with some Yves Vegetarian Ground Round. This minimizes the amount of noodles I have to use but still keeps the fulfilling sensation of the dish. What’s another alternative? Spaghetti Squash! Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz.) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and stems removed, about 6 cups (packed) leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto

Directions:

  1. Using a large, sharp knife, pierce a 3-pound spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds and fibers.
  2. Place the spaghetti squash (rind side up) on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375 F for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 1 (14 oz.) can white beans (drained and rinsed), 1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar.
  4. Wash one bunch of spinach and remove the stems. There should be approximately 6 cups (packed) spinach leaves. Working in batches, stack the spinach leaves and cut across the leaves into 1/4-inch wide strips.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the sliced spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese and the cannellini bean mixture. Cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Once the squash is done, using a fork, twist out strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl.
  7. Add bean and spinach mixture to the spaghetti squash. Gently toss. Add pesto as desired.

Nutrition:

Calories: 380
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrate: 43 g
Protein: 14 g
Fibre: 9 g

Volla!
Volla!
6. Twist out strands of squash with a fork.
6. Twist out strands of squash with a fork.
3-5: Combine other ingredients and heat in skillet.
3-5: Combine other ingredients and heat in skillet.
2. Bake rind side down at 375.
2. Bake rind side down at 375.
1. Scrape out seeds with fork.
1. Scrape out seeds with fork.

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