WOW. It’s been way too long since my last post! Sorry guys! Between working long days and savoring my weekends, I have failed to make it a priority to get more posts up! I have an exciting, fun post I will be sharing with you all later this week — all I will say is I took my second trip out to Minneapolis (where it was BELOW ZERO!) to visit the General Mills HQ and attend the next Hungry Girl professional book shoot! It was an incredible week, despite getting hit with a bad cold that has now turned into the full-fledged seasonal flu now that I am home. In any case, I have tons of photos and stories to share and will post once I am able to get out of bed.
In the meantime, I do want to share a quick and delicious recipe I whipped up a couple weeks ago. As you know, I have a crazy love for spaghetti squash, and I am taking advantage of the time I have to cook with it for the remainder of the season.
I have been trying to come up with ways I can make easy lunch and dinner meals that are outside of our normal rotation (think turkey burgers, turkey taco salads, and roast chicken) while not spending a fortune. I was running through Trader Joe’s without much of a list, which I hate doing because it just causes anxiety for me to think I am buying all these loose ends — spending money on foods that won’t ever go together. Which is when I realized, as long as you focus on the course you are buying (dinner/lunch vs. dessert), most foods have the potential work great together. This is something I have to work with Jake on. He just can’t understand something like a pizza-flavored meatloaf or a taco-flavored turkey burger. But I also learned that he pretty much will eat anything I make, so I am slowly trying out new things.
Ok so that was a total tangent, because there is nothing adventurous about this recipe. It’s simple, has traditional flavors, and best of all it’s a filling and satisfying meal for not many calories. Rewind back to me running through Trader Joe’s sans list. I grabbed these chicken sausages that I hadn’t tried before. They are the Trader Joe’s brand, Garlic Herb chicken sausage and WOW, they are really good!! I also of course, grabbed a spaghetti squash, and some garlic marinara sauce. I figured I would be able to do something with these items as that is all the effort I had for the day.
Sometimes I find it hard to believe I don’t come up with more simple but fun ideas for meals, then I realize that that is a big part of what I do at work. Develop recipes! So I guess it makes sense that my mind somewhat shuts off when it comes to my own meals. Good news for you all! (And Jake and me too!) A new year’s resolution I have made (and whoops, fell short on so far, but there’s always a comeback possible!) is to spend more time on my blog, my food styling, and my photography. I will do my best to do at least one post a week!
Ok — enough talk! Onto the recipe!
Since spaghetti squash is soon to be out of season (WAHHHH!) feel free to substitue whole wheat pasta and just adjust the calories. Zucchini strands or cut green beans work as a sub too! Another thing I like to do is add a serving of whole wheat pasta in with the squash (or other veggie) to have a bulked up version of pasta.
Also, use any chicken sausage you would like, but mind the nutritionals. The sausage I used is actually quite low. I would use any chicken sausage with less than 170 calories and 10g fat per link. I used sausage with low stats around 120 calories per link, but for your convenience I calculated the stats with sausage at 160 calories and 10g fat since generally that is closer to what is more commonly found.
Marinara sauce should have no more than 70 calories and 4g fat per 1/2 cup serving.
If I had thought more about this recipe before hand, I would have loved to bulked it up with more veggies in the sauce. I suggest adding some cooked onions and mushrooms!
If sodium is an issue, buy low-sodium marinara and watch the sodium on your sausage choice!
Cheesy Sausage Spaghetti Squash
per serving: 338 calories, 15g fat, 1,482mg sodium, 31g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 16g sugars, 20.5g protein
*based on sausage with 160 calories, 10g fat per 3.5oz link
One spaghetti squash, roasted, strands scooped out
4 fully-cooked chicken sausages with about 160 calories and 7g fat, coined
2 cups low-fat marinara sauce
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning, if desired
grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
Separate cooked squash strands among four large microwave-safe bowls or plates. Top each with a coined chicken sausage and 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, until warm. Top each with 2 tablespoons cheese and microwave 45 seconds, or until cheese is melted. If you like, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and some grated Parmesan. Mmm!