My body always seems to be against eating healthy. Or at least, the part of my brain that controls my cravings is. Why is it that, from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed, I want chocolate and cookies instead of fruit and vegetables? Sometimes I do okay avoiding my cravings and sticking to what I know is better for me. Other times, not so much. It’s just that my healthy eating often feels so unsatisfying. When you want a handful of Reese’s Pieces, a couple of carrots ain’t gonna do the trick.
When I start getting discouraged, that’s when I do bad things. My brain will start begging me for a cookie, and instead of staying strong, I’ll give in. Even though I tell myself, “If you get hungry, just have some grapes or strawberries,” it’s easier said than done. Those healthy alternatives aren’t always appealing enough to keep me on track.
So I have to get creative.
Obviously, if I eat an omelet for dinner everyday simply because it’s low in calories and high in protein, I’ll get sick of it and want to turn to something else that’s not so good for me. So, I strapped on my thinking chef’s hat and crafted a refreshingly fun and new recipe that would be low-cal and good for me, but taste indulgent and satisfying, unlike my usual rabbit food.
Behold: The Super Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.
Just looking at it makes your mouth water. This ain’t no pile of limp, lifeless veggies; it’s a whole squash stuffed with bright colors and fresh ingredients, then covered in melted cheese. Try and tell me it’s not impressive-looking. I bet from that cheese alone you’d never guess this was good for you. But it is, my friends. We’re talking around 200 calories for half of the stuffed-up squash which, trust me, is plenty. Talk about bang for your caloric buck!
So what exactly is stuffed underneath that beautiful blanket of cheese? First, we’ve got the fresh, slightly sweet spaghetti squash which is loaded with vitamins and fiber, and really makes you feel like you’re eating spaghetti. Then, we’ve got fresh Swiss Chard for a little green in every bite. Finally, a whole juicy chick’n patty is chopped up and mixed in to really bulk up the protein and make this meal hearty. Finally, it’s all enrobed in a zesty tomato basil sauce that completes the package.
It looks complicated right? Think again. All you’ve got to do is scrape out that squash’s spaghetti-like innards, mix it up with the other ingredients, toss it back into the shell, and bake. Anyone you serve this to will think it’s an elaborate, delicious, high-calorie meal that’s 100% palate satisfaction. But you’ll know the truth: this crazy tasty squash was easy to make and is super good for you.
Healthy You: 1, Cravings: 0.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Don’t like Swiss Chard? Any green will do: kale, spinach, escarole, etc.
- You can use real chicken, but these Morningstar Farms Chick’n patties are great because they’re only 80 calories a pop & they taste great!
- Why do I use a light cheese stick instead of fat-free mozzarella? These sticks aren’t totally fat-free; they’re just light, which means that even though they have less calories than full-fat mozzarella, they still taste better than fat-free.
- You could make this same dish with zucchini, but you’ll want to grate the zucchini innards to achieve that spaghetti squash-like effect.
- Assemble these as much as a day ahead of time and bake when you’re ready to eat.
- Easily double this to serve four.
Super Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup light tomato basil marinara sauce (like Ragu)
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup fresh swiss chard, chopped
- 2 Morningstar Farms Grillers Chik’n patties
- 2 light mozzarella cheese sticks (like Sargento)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Halve the squash. Place cut side up in a microwave-safe baking dish filled with 1/4-inch of water. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes, or until tender. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, plate the chik’n patties on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 40 seconds, then flip and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. Chop into chunks.
- Scoop out the squash’s spaghetti-like innards and put into a medium mixing bowl, discarding the seeds. Stir in the sauce, garlic, and chopped chik’n patties, using more or less sauce according to your preference. Spoon back into the squash shells, distributing evenly between the two, and bake 20 minutes, or until warm all the way through. While it bakes, pull the cheese sticks into strings and roughly chop. When the 20 minutes are up, sprinkle half the cheese on one squash-half and the rest of the cheese on the other. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden. Enjoy!