Spaghetti Squash.

In the midst of the holiday season, as we are inundated with yummy treats, parties, and excessive everything consumption, it’s time to take a stand.  Carbs are officially the enemy.

 

I’m trying to keep the holiday pudge at bay by eating clean during the week so I can let loose (and loosen up my belt) on the weekends.  That means lots of low calorie, low carb weekday dinners.  Like last night’s Spaghetti Squash.

spaghetti squash with tomato and olive tapenade

spaghetti squash with tomato and olive tapenade

Do you eat spaghetti squash, too?  This little magical guy is only 40 calories per cup and when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in strands like spaghetti.  It is a perfect replacement for evil, pound-packing pasta.  Never tried it?  Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash:

 

Heatherland Spaghetti with Artichoke, Tomato, and Olive Tapenade

Preheat oven to 400.

  • 1/2 spaghetti squash, seeds removed
  • olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced

Prepare squash by cutting it down the center (CAREFULLY), scooping out the seeds. Rub olive oil and a little sprinkle of sea salt on flesh, and place it cut side down on a baking sheet.  Roast for 30-40 minutes until the side can be poked easily with a fork.

 

Meanwhile on the stove, heat a tbsp of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, stirring, until beginning to color, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and artichoke hearts, gently stir a few times until softened.  Then add olives and capers, cooking for about 30 seconds more.

 

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then scrape the insides out with a fork onto a plate and spoon the tapenade over it.  Freely season with sea salt, fresh basil leaves, or any dried spices that float your boat!

 

Additional Tip:  If you are short on time (or patience) you can make the squash in the microwave.  Put 1/2 squash cut side down in a glass dish.  Fill dish 1/2 way up with water.  Microwave on high for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove it and let squash cool before handling.