Pasta Substitute – Spaghetti Squash

As a former carb-o-holic I’m always searching for something to replace pasta.  Pasta was one of those comfort foods that I went to as a standard for a quick easy meal.  Nowadays pasta is off the menu but I still crave that meal that I loved for so many years growing up!  I’ve tried Zoodles and they were great but zucchini noodles can be hard to get right sometimes.  I’ve been meaning to try spaghetti squash for some time now but I could never find it in my local grocery store…until now!  Baked spaghetti squash has a slightly nutty flavor to it that is subtle.  It also has a nice firm but not too crunch texture that is pleasing to eat.

Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: Varies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

 

image

Preheat your oven to 400 to degrees.  Always make sure you wash your squash.  (Hey, that rhymes!)  Can’t be too careful as you don’t know who handled it before you!  Cut it lengthwise down the middle and scrape all of the seeds from inside of your victim.

image

Take the two halves and place them in your 13″ x 9″ baking pan cut side down.  Add about one inch of water to the pan.  I attempted to salt and pepper the squash prior to baking it but that ended up being a futile effort.  Yeah I know.  Water.  Duh.

image

Is your oven heated yet?  If it is pop those bad boys in there for roughly 45 minutes.  You should be able to very easily pierce the skin on the squash when they’re done.  Once they’re done the fun begins!  With an oven mitt and a sturdy utensil (Kitchen tongs work well!) flip the squash halves over.  With a fork begin to scrape the meat of the squash in long motions from inside the skin.  You should be able to get almost all the material from the skin.

image

And that’s it!  Baking spaghetti squash is simple enough to do and it tastes amazing!  We topped ours with our Garlic Basil Marinara Sauce, grated parmesan, salt and pepper and one serving of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Get creative and enjoy!

100 Grams Spaghetti Squash:  31 Calories, 0.6 g Fat, 0.6 g Protein, 5.5 g Net Carbs (7 g Carbs, 1.5 g Fiber)

Advertisements

Lasagna Meatballs

I’ve had a craving for something Italian for the past few days that I couldn’t not get rid of no matter what I ate.  Then it hit me!  Lasagna Meatballs!  I love this recipe.  There is something so satisfying about the tender baked meat balls combined with the flavorful marinara that really hits the spot.  It’s a two step recipe so it takes a little more time to make but it is worth it!  Check it out!

Lasagna Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

image

For the meatballs:

  • 1 Pound Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage (We use sweet)
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1/3 Cup Almond Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Lite Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Everything else:

  • 2 Cups Garlic Basil Marinara (Follow link for recipe)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  To start making the meatballs combine all the ingredients on the meatballs list in a bowl and mix well.  Form the meat into approximately 32 one ounce meatballs.  (They’ll be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.)  Put the meatballs on a foil (or you can use a silpat) lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

image

Once the meatballs are cooked place them in a 13’x9′ casserole baking dish in a single layer.  Pour half of the garlic basil marina over the meatballs.  Spread the ricotta cheese evenly across the top of your meatballs.  Do this one small spoonful at a time so there is enough to cover them evenly.  Then pour the other half of your marinara over the top of the ricotta.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.

image

Is your oven still set for 375?  Good.  Place your dish in the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

8 Servings of 4 Meatballs:  494 Calories, 39 g Fat, 31 g Protein, 4 g Net Carbs

Recipe originally appeared on http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com

 

 

Parmesan Chicken and Zucchini Noodles with Garlic Basil Marinara

When I started keto I missed pasta.  A lot.  As a self professed pasta-a-holic it was a dramatic change for me to give it up.  Now if you’ve been following along the daily recipe yesterday was important!  Yesterdays Garlic Basil Marinara will be used in today’s recipe – Parmesan Chicken and Zucchini Noodles.  For todays recipe you’ll need a veggie spiralizer. (You can order one here.  Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer) Zucchini noodles (aka, “Zoodles”) are a wonderful spaghetti substitute.  They provide that particular mouth feel that only spaghetti has with the wonderful flavor of being a vegetable!  When you top them with chicken and sauce you make a great keto chicken parmesan!  This recipe makes two servings.

Parmesan Chicken and Zucchini Noodles with Garlic Basil Marinara

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

005

  • 6 Oz Chicken Breast Tenderloins
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • Garlic Basil Marinara
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

To prepare the chicken place your chicken breasts in a skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Salt and pepper them now.  Cook on medium high heat until almost cooked through.  Sprinkle your Parmesan cheese evenly on the chicken breasts.  Turn the heat up slightly to the low end of high and flip the chicken over to sear the cheese.  Flip back over when chicken is completely cooked.

Zoodles are finicky to make.  There are several tricks I’ve learned that will help you the first time.  Cook them too long and they’re mush.  Don’t cook them long enough and the flavor is…off.  First you’ll want to wash your zucchini thoroughly and cut both ends off where the stem and flower were connected.  Load the spiralizer according to your particular brands directions.  This Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer is fairly simple to use. Spike the zuke on the handle where are the little plastic needles are and the other end centers on the hollow metal circle. This cores the zuke while you’re spinning it. I also find that while spiralizing you need to cut the zoodles off every couple turns or you can end up with some very long noodles making them difficult to cook and eat!

IMG_0785

IMG_0788

From there I salt the noodles very heavily.  I mean heavy.  If you were to taste them your tongue would shrivel up from all the salt kind of heavy.  The reason for this is you want the salt to draw moisture out of your zucchini so that the cooked product retains some snap and doesn’t turn to mush.  I then place the bowl of salted noodles in the fridge for half an hour or so.  When you take them out strain them through a colander.  There will be copious amounts of water.  To cook them I use a nice wok. (T-fal Wok)  This allows me to toss the noodles so they cook evenly.  I add one tablespoon of olive oil to the wok and heat to medium high.  Place the noodles in the wok, salt and pepper them to taste and cover as best you can with a lid.  This will steam the vegetables a little bit first.  (You could also microwave them for a few minutes first.  It accomplishes the same goal.)  Then you have to drain them again.  By this point even more water will have cooked out of them.  I then turn the heat up.  Not all the way but somewhere in the neighborhood of high.  The noodles will be finished when you feel they are soft but have just a little bit of crunch left to them.

From there you split the zoodles in two on two plates, place your chicken on top, cover with a serving of marinara and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.  You can sprinkle extra grated parmesan cheese on top if you like!  All in all it’s a little bit of work but it satisfies that craving!  Enjoy!

Garlic Basil Marinara Sauce

Pre-keto spaghetti was a staple in my diet.  I could load up on bowl after bowl of the stuff.  Something about the tender pasta mixed with a rich marinara sauce got my blood moving!  Well, not literally, but you could say my affections were strong for the stuff.  Post-keto I found that many prepackaged marinara sauces had added sugars.  Seriously?!  High fructose corn syrup?!  I sought out recipe after recipe trying to find a sauce I would enjoy.  After experimenting with some different combinations I finally came up with one I love.  Garlic Basil Marinara.  This sauce is great on zoodles (Get a Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer! It’s amazing!  More to come on this…), keto pizza or as a dipping sauce for cauliflower breadsticks.

Garlic Basil Marinara Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

004

 

  • 28 Oz can Peeled Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Puree your tomatoes in a blender until consistency is liquid.  (Ninja blenders work great!) Add the remaining ingredients and blend it a little more until evenly mixed.  Heat the sauce over medium heat until hot.  Serve however you’d like!

Serving Size 1/2 Cup, 84 Calories, 7 g Fat, 1 g Protein, 3.5 Net Carbohydrates