One of the focuses of Paleo eating is to consume locally grown, in-season fruits and vegetables. Not only is this better for your health, but also has a positive effect on local economy and the environment. This time of year means that winter squash are in season. You have probably seen the different varieties at your local farmers market or grocery store — everything from butternut and acorn squash to pumpkin. Some of these varieties are rather high in starch content and are best used for post-workout nutrition, which you may find a welcome break from sweet potatoes.
I was first introduced to another variety — the spaghetti squash — some time ago when our friend Michelle Viquez hooked me up with some leftovers. This squash gets its name from the way the cooked flesh tears apart, much like strands of pasta. I personally enjoyed rich tomato sauces with pasta prior to the Paleo diet, but in hindsight the pasta didn’t have much flavor or really anything to add other than bulk (both to one’s midsection and to the meal). To tackle the craving I was having, I decided to make a batch of spaghetti squash with some pasta sauce and found out how ridiculously easy it is to prepare.
Starting with a spaghetti squash, I washed the outside and pierced the skin a few times. Then you just put the squash in the microwave at HIGH for 12 minutes, rotating every 3 minutes if you don’t have a carousel. Let the squash cool while you prepare your choice of sauce. I used a brand from Whole Foods that had very simple, Paleo ingredients — tomatoes, olive oil, basil, onions and pepper. First, I heated some olive oil in a saucepan with some chopped garlic. Then, I sliced and added two chicken sausages along with some leftover grass-fed ground beef to the pan. Once that was heated up and I could smell the browning garlic, I added the sauce and allowed it to come to a boil and then lowered it to a simmer.
Turning my attention back to the squash, I carefully sliced it in half and scooped out the seeds. The flesh of the squash will quite easily pull apart with a fork and each half was about two servings worth. I then topped with the sauce and some extra herbs. This makes a very filling meal without the carb crash and gluten hangover I would get from a bowl of pasta. Trust me, it’s VERY easy to prepare! You owe it to yourself to experiment with the various winter squashes this year, especially if you’ve never tried them.