Lately, I’ve been taking tiny steps to minimize all those little stresses in life. For example, I’ve been driving on backroads on my way home from work each day, which has much better scenery and fewer cars zipping in and out in front of me. It might take an extra minute or two out of my day, but it’s adding years to my life, right? That’s what I’d like to think. Regardless of any increases in my life expectancy, I’ve been arriving at home in a better mood, so it’s well worth it.
In similar fashion, we’ve recently been taking it a bit easy in the kitchen. Having a small baby at home will do that; my lullaby-singing skills have greatly improved, but I definitely have less time to chop up a bunch of ingredients. So meals like these Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Boats have been a hit, with minimal hands-on time but plenty of flavor. Plus, this recipe requires only three ingredients: squash, pasta sauce, and ground beef.
If you’re hoping to spend a bit more time in the kitchen, you could always make your own pasta sauce (here’s my recipe). Additionally, I’ve included quick instructions on how to roast the spaghetti squash seeds, so that nothing is wasted.
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Boats (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Whole30, Low Carb, Perfect Health Diet)
for the seeds:
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane with a spoon; set the seeds aside. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down, then pour 1/2 cup water onto the sheet (this will help steam the squash). Bake until a fork easily pierces the flesh of the squash through to the skin, about 45 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2. As the squash cooks, prepare the bolognese sauce. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, then add the ground beef; saute until mostly cooked through, breaking up chunks as they accumulate, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and allow to gently simmer while the squash finishes. Also, while the squash cooks, rinse the squash seeds and place them on some paper towels to dry.
3. Once the squash has cooled, gently run a fork through the flesh to create squash “noodles”, then push the noodles to the sides of the squash to create a well in the center. Evenly distribute the bolognese sauce into the centers of the squashes, then return them to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then set the oven to “broil” and broil until starting to char at the edges, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve, atop a bed of spring greens to be fancy. Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese if you’re dairy-inclined.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F, then toss the seeds with the olive oil and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Transfer the seeds to the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, jostling the seeds about halfway through cooking.
** This technique can be applied to any manner of fillings: chili, enchilada, or pizza-themed meals come to mind.