Let me start this post about spaghetti squash bolognese, completely in left field.
I’ve never really been a true morning person. I’m more a middle-of-the-day person and get by with a little help from my friends coffee & wine to make me morph into a morning and/or night person when it seems appropriate. I have been up since 4am and am wondering when the crash is going to set in. So if you see me today looking all hagard, or incredibly hopped up on caffeine….I’m sorry, not sorry.
Why so early?
Well, JJ had an early flight to Detroit as he is heading to South Korea for two weeks for work. I couldn’t very well let him take himself to the airport that is all of 15 mintues from our house, so here I am. The good news is I’ll have plenty of time today (and the next 2 weeks) to attack my giant list of things that should’ve been done yesterday. The bad news, I’m not sure coffee will work it’s magic and may be completely useless by 10am.
Only time will tell.
Okay, enough about me trying not to complain about being awake so early, afterall, some of you probably get up that early on the regular! Let’s get to my recipe today that happens to be a household staple, AND in my fridge right now.
Asking for a friend, would it be too early to eat some? (typed at 5am…)
One thing I usually tell all my clients is to come up with a list of their go-to or staple meals. I have them actually take a second and write them down. These are meals that you a. know how to make and b. know are well accepted by most, if not all, members in your household. These are meals that you have in your menu arsenal for times of need or hunger.
Well, how many of you hear or ask the question, “what’s for dinner?” on the regular? Probably all of you. So, why not have some go-to meals in your back pocket that you can pull from? While Pinterest, Delish, Food52, Yummly, and Tasty are beautiful things, they may be a bit riskier for meal time especially if a. you are not the most expeirenced cook and/or b. if you have/are picky eater(s) and/or c. are about to experience a hanger monster and have no time for experiments.
I challenge you to make a lis and hang it (or save it) somewhere you know you won’t forget it. Start making meal time less of a hassle. This spaghetti squash bolognese is one of my staple meal lists. It gets put on rotation especially when I am are busy. Afterall, being busy is not a good excuse for eating like an unattended child at a birthdy party, okay?
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
Alrighty, now time for the good stuff.
Since finding out that my poor little gut and gluten are not the best of friends, most pasta has become a thing of the past. Not to mention, most pasta is filled with emptiness anyways. Spaghetti squash, in my opinion, is very mild in taste AND very similar to pasta. The best part? It’s fun to make!
Bet you thought I was going to say the best part was that it’s rich in nutrients and low in empty calories/carbs. Well, that is the other best part of spaghettti squash, sooooooo fine, you were right.
Now, what is this bolognese I speak of? Any good (no, I did NOT google it…) Italian knows it’s a tomato based meat sauce. Apparently it comes from Bologna, Italy, hence Bologn-ese. You can swap in any meat or veggies and it should still be Bolognese enough to pass your great-grandmother’s test, I think, but no guarantees. I’m just trying to live my best Italian life with a pasta substitute and a plateful of veggies, okay?
Good news, spaghetti squash is in season right now, so go do yourself, your family & your body a favor and scoop some up before they’re gone.
Pro Tip: You can change up the vegetables (and meat) in this recipe in a pinch, making it very adaptable when you forget something on your list.
Since it is a staple recipe for me, I may not have the same veggies in the house, depending on the time of year, what’s in my Field Goods bag, or what I forgot to grab at the grocery store. So, I just ad-lib a bit, maybe it’s spinach instead of kale, potatoes instead of carrots, pork instead of beef, you get the gist.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 4 slices bacon, sliced into 1” pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 2 cups kale, washed & chopped
- 1–14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1– 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 cup coconut milk (or any milk/cream)
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
For Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Place spaghetti squash in microwave for 1 minute, remove and cut in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out seeds and place spaghetti squash face down on lined baking sheet.
- Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes or until able to peel spaghetti strands out of skin with a fork easily. (Outside skin should be soft, easy to press in with hands)
- Whiel squash is in the oven, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until slightly crispy.
- Remove bacon with a slotted spoon onto a paper-towel lined plate, reserving bacon grease in pan. (If excessive grease, > 2TBSP, discard extra from pan or save for later use).
- Over medium heat, saute onions, carrots and celery in bacon grease for ~3 minutes or until onion is starting to look translucent.
- Add garlic & pepper and continue to saute for ~2 minutes.
- Add in ground beef, sauteing until browned, ~5 minutes.
- Add in kale, and allow to wilt for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut milk & spices, stir to combine well. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until spaghetti squash is done.
- Top spaghetti squash with a good heaping scoop of bolognese & enjoy!
- Optional (but not really) top with grated parmesan cheese.
- Serving Size: pasta bowl-ful
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