Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Salad

 

Winter squash is a very healthy cold weather vegetable: but its preparation can be daunting. Fear not. Spaghetti squash is actually quite simple to prepare: no peeling required. Add chickpeas for protein and you’ll have a very satisfying vegetarian entrée. A side salad and whole wheat pita help round out this easy-to-assemble meal.

Be Fit Basics: Spaghetti Squash Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 whole spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
1 tbsp oil, such as canola or olive
3 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 red pepper, diced
1 can chickpeas (about 15 oz)
½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted*

* To toast sesame seeds, heat them in a small sauté pan on medium heat until they turn slightly brown and begin to smell nutty. Alternatively, you could leave them untoasted.

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash in half; spoon out and discard seeds. Rub inside flesh of squash with 1 tbsp oil (including the edges) and place flesh side down on a baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 30-40 minutes (turn squash over so flesh is facing up to test for doneness). Let cool; scrape flesh with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands.

Mix together lime juice, ginger, sesame oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Combine squash, red pepper, chickpeas and cilantro in bowl; toss with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1½ cup each)

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
CALORIES: 220 calories
PROTEIN: 7 g
SODIUM: 480 mg
CARBOHYDRATE: 28 g
FIBER: 8 g
FAT: 11 g
Sat Fat: 1.5 g

Grocery Shopping List:
1 spaghetti squash, 1 red pepper, 2-3 limes, cilantro, fresh ginger, pear, mixed greens
Crumbled feta
Whole wheat pita
Dried cranberries
Dark sesame oil, sesame seeds
1 can chickpeas
Condiments: olive or canola oil; balsamic vinegar; salt; red pepper flakes

Make it a Meal:
Entree: 1 serving spaghetti squash salad
Starch: ½ whole wheat pita (70 calories)
Vegetable: 2 cups mixed greens tossed with ½ tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar (75 calories)
Vegetable (mixed greens) toppings: 2 tbsp dried cranberries (45 calories) and 1 tbsp crumbled feta (40 calories)
Fruit: 1 pear, sliced (105 calories) (Prep Tip: Place pear slices on top of mixed greens.)

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Our Be Fit Nutritionists are comprised of dietetic interns studying at Massachusetts General Hospital. During their internship, they receive training on acute care nutrition, ambulatory and community nutrition, food service systems management, and research. Their comprehensive work is done in collaboration with registered dietitians.

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