Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spaghetti Squash!

Before I get to the utterly amazing spaghetti squash, I want to talk a little bit about the differences in my health and wellness since I've started Paleo. As I've previously mentioned, I was a victim of constant headaches and stomach problems prior to starting this lifestyle.  Even though I haven't being doing Paleo for that long, I noticed an almost immediate change in my energy levels along with no stomach problems. If I'm a little bit off the diet (see Saturday night, cake on Sunday, and drinks Tuesday/Wednesday) guess what happens? Stomach pains come back and energy levels drop. The break definitely motivated me to get back to 100% Paleo days so I could feel my best once again. The decision now seems pretty simple to me:

eating entirely Paleo = feeling really good
not eating entirely Paleo = feeling really shitty

I also have had one negative side effect of the diet - withdrawal symptoms from coffee! I can't drink the stuff black (no creamer and sugar allowed with Paleo - even stevia), so I am trying to cut it out of my diet all together. Apparently I was addicted to the caffeine from drinking 1-2 cups a day because every now and then I get awful borderline migraine headaches and I have a nearly constant craving for the stuff. I must admit I have given in to a cup of coffee 3 times over the last couple of weeks, but my plan for July is for my only beverage to be good ole H2O. Period.

To get back in to the Paleo swing of these, I wanted to try something new and tackle the SPAGHETTI SQUASH:
 I cut this guy in half length-wise... which was much easier said than done:
Scooped out the insides (it smelled just like a pumpkin) then seasoned with salt and pepper and baked in the oven cut side up for an hour on 350 degrees. I know you can also microwave the spaghetti squash to save time, maybe I'll try that next time and let you know how it goes.
Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then tear out the flesh with a fork. It turns out looking just like spaghetti! Here's half of the squash post-scrape along with what the entire squash yielded (enough for two LARGE servings).
Next I had to figure out what to make to complete my meal. I heated about two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat and sauteed some garlic and zucchini. I may or may not have been hit with some very hot splattering oil in the process. Once the zucchini was cooked, I added my Trader Joe's diced tomatoes from my first Paleo shopping trip along with some Herbes de Provence (yeah, I didn't know what it was either).
I also heated up a pre-cooked and seasoned chicken breast from Trader Joe's. I cut the chicken up into chunks and placed on top of half of the spaghetti squash, followed by half of my tomato/zucchini sauce.
No grains, dairy, or sugars here!
This lunch was amazing. As in "I want to have this for every meal forever" amazing. I liked it so much that I had the leftovers with a piece of chicken sausage for dinner. Move over coconut/walnut/cinnamon chicken... it looks like I have a new favorite meal!


Anonymous said...

I love spaghetti squash! - ali

Ariana said...

OK all i hear about is the magical spaghetti squash and how it's the best substitute for pasta, but I have yet to try it. That's IT, it's going on the menu for dinner this week!!!

Yea totally feel you with the coffee, I seriously can't survive without it! I don't know anything about paleo, but I wonder if you could use something like Agave nectar as your sweetener? Dunno if that goes in your nono sugar category not :/. And maybe something like coconut milk for a creamer? Like I said I have no idea about paleo so feel free to tell your little pirate to stfu! lol! But I hope it does work so you can enjoy your java!! I've experienced grumpy Kate - no bueno!!! <3

Kate said...

Wifey.. i think you should make your way back to Jersey and I'll cook you a nice spaghetti squash dinner :)

Ariana - Agave nectar is not allowed on a "strict" Paleo diet, it counts as an added sugar. I have not yet tried coffee with just coconut milk, but I've pretty much given up all hope of coffee in July haha thanks for the attempt, love you my piratey friend <3

Kelly said...

Wow, I have to say that dish looks beautiful and delicious (and I'm not even sure that I like squash!)I think I will have to try it out sometime, because I love pasta and would be so sad to cut the idea of it out. Thanks for making this blog--it is encouraging to see real people that I know and love attempting this stuff :)