Posts Tagged ‘mushroom spaghetti squash’

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce from Eat Well with Janel

Here’s a light and lovely meal to help temper a calorie-heavy holiday season, all thanks to our resident dietitian Eat Well with Janel!

With the chilly days of winter upon us, most people look to their favorite comfort foods to warm them up. Usually these comfort foods are calorie laden and oozing with heavy ingredients like cream, butter, and oversized portions of carbohydrate containing foods. And while I fully support the mantra, “All things in moderation,” the dietitian in me likes to look for ways to take calorie-catastrophe dishes and turn them into lighter (but equally delicious) entrees. These dishes are like the younger siblings of the original version: while there are major ingredient differences, they still keep some of the traditional flavors intact.

I’m not going to try to convince you that this dish tastes exactly like the creamy mushroom alfredo sauce with thick fettuccini noodles you may be used to. It does, however, satisfy that craving for something comforting. The mushrooms in this Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce give it a meaty texture that pairs well with fresh thyme, while the coconut milk gives you a creamy mouthfeel without the usual butter and cream.

You may be wondering about coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat (even though I use the light version). Research shows that while it may increase our bad cholesterol, it may also increase our good cholesterol. Also, because of its ability to withstand high heats, I like using it in moderation in my cooking. The nutritional yeast, found at health food stores, adds a cheesy flavor and keeps this dish dairy-free. While you can use this sauce on traditional pasta, I lightened up the dish even more by using spaghetti squash, which is high in fiber and nutrients, lower in calories and carbohydrates, and can be used just like spaghetti in meals.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14-oz package sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 1/2c light coconut milk (canned)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cornstarch plus 2 tsp water made into a slurry
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Begin by cooking the spaghetti squash. The easiest way to cook spaghetti squash is in the microwave. Split lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place cut sides down in a glass dish (like a pie plate) with about 1/4 cup water. Cook 12 minutes on high, one half at a time. Let halves cool for about 10 minutes before using a fork to separate and scrape out the strands.

2. Sautee mushrooms and diced onion in olive oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, on medium heat until the onions begin to brown. Then, pour in coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add the nutritional yeast.

3. Prepare a slurry with the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl. Once well combined, slowly add it to the coconut milk mixture, stirring constantly. You will see the sauce start to thicken. Meanwhile, remove the tiny thyme leaves from their stems by pulling the stems through your fingers from top to bottom, against the direction of the stems. Add thyme to the coconut milk mixture.

4. Plate the spaghetti squash and top it with the alfredo sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.