Spaghetti Squash-Spinach Casserole
I must admit, this is not the most attractive veggie dish I’ve ever seen, but man, was it ever tasty! It’s a variation on a Rachel Ray entree recipe I saw her make one time. She only used Parmesan and I not only increased the amount of Parm, but I added Monterey Jack to the mix and a little cayenne pepper. She also had Italian Sausage in it and I cut that way back to 3 oz. We actually didn’t care for the meat in it at all! So this will just be a veggie side for us in future. The Jack cheese made this so creamy. The cayenne made it a little livelier in flavor.
My husband openly admits he isn’t very fond of spaghetti squash, yet said this dish was MUCH better than he thought it was going to be. Instead of his usual miniscule portion of spaghetti squash “to taste”, he actually ate a large portion of this dish! That said a lot to me. I actually LIKE spaghetti squash and found this savory dish had little of the “squash-y” taste that spaghetti squash usually has. The red/green bell pepper garnish adds absolutely nothing to the flavor, so that is purely optional. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and other Ketogenic diets but is not suitable for Primal or Paleo followers due to the cheese.
The original recipe as I recall had meat, Italian sausage. I actually put 3 oz. of cooked breakfast sausage in mine. But both of us found it to be an extraneous flavor that actually detracted from the dish a bit so it is not included in the recipe below. We found this paired nicely with broiled shrimp.
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1 3# spaghetti squash, cut in half, seeded and cooked (you will use just half of it in this recipe)
2 oz. onion, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 c. packed, frozen, chopped spinach (measured after thawing/squeezing out as much water as possible)
½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Dash each cayenne and black pepper
DIRECTIONS: Oil a medium casserole dish with a bit of the olive oil. Cut spaghetti squash in half, seed and place cut side down in 1/2″ water in a dish and microwave for 15 minutes on HI. Fork out the threads. Wrap the unused squash half and store in fridge for future use. Preheat oven to 350º. Squeeze out water from the spinach (or place spinach in sieve and press the water out with the back of a spoon). Measure out 1 packed cup for this recipe.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Saute the sliced onion until it begins to brown and caramelize. Add the spinach and continue sauteeing a few minutes. Add the spaghetti squash threads and mix well using a fork. Add the shredded Parmesan, cayenne and black pepper and stir well to blend all ingredients evenly. I used no salt as I find cheese brings enough sodium to recipes for my taste. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the shredded Jack cheese. Garnish or decorate the top as desired (not included in nutritional stats below). Pop dish into preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 6 servings, each contains:
18.3 g fat
7.7 g carbs, 2.05 g fiber, 5.65 g NET CARBS
9 g protein
622 mg sodium (I told you the cheese would bring enough sodium to the dish!)
263 mg potassium
27% RDA Vitamin A, 13% C, 14% calcium, 13% iron, 10% magnesium, 15% manganese, 10% riboflavin