Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sausage & Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats

So I meant to make this recipe during our week on the Cape. Then vacation relaxation got in the way, so I brought all of the purchased ingredients home with me in a cooler. It worked out nicely, as it was a quick meal to throw together after a busy day of driving and unpacking.

THEN when I planned to share this recipe last night my laptop had an unfortunate run-in with my daughter's water gun. Don't ask. So needless to say I feel like everything is upside-down and not as planned, but at least I'm finally sharing it.

This one turned out really tasty and couldn't be easier. If you have the inclination and more time on your hands, try making your own sauce or adding more vegetables. I think it would taste great with onion, garlic and bell pepper.

I purposefully streamlined this one so it would be doable in a rental kitchen. Even with a short list of ingredients the flavor was impressive and everyone loved it! I based it on the Skinnytaste recipe I recently made, but made sure to stir the squash into the meat and sauce so it would be more appealing to my kids. While the youngest asked for his served out of the "boat," everyone else ate theirs straight from the squash.

Feel free to omit the cheese here to make it 100% paleo. The dish will still be tasty! You can also amp up the seasoning with some crushed red pepper flakes.

Sausage & Spinach Spaghetti Squash Boats 

2 large spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
salt, pepper & garlic powder
1 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups organic marinara sauce
2-3 large handfuls of baby spinach (I didn't measure precisely)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Season squash with salt, pepper and garlic. Place cut side down on a baking sheet covered with tin foil. Bake for 1 hour.

While squash is baking, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to crumble it. Reduce heat and add sauce, spinach and most of basil (reserve a little for garnish). Cook for 5 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat.

Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Flip over and use a fork to pull the flesh into spaghetti-like strands. Add squash strands to skillet with sauce mixture. Stir to combine.

Spoon squash and sauce mixture back into squash "boats." Sprinkle top with both cheeses. Return to oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with remaining chopped basil.

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