Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

If you are anything like me, when people suggest you exchange your mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower, or your noodles for spaghetti squash, you give them the side eye.  They aren't the same thing.  Stop trying to make it happen.  I find that these substitutes taste better when I call them by their name.  The original name for this dish was Mac & Cheese.  This is not Mac & Cheese.  Mac & Cheese has Mac in it.  And Cheese.  Mac is short for Macaroni.  Macaroni is a variety of noodle.  This dish does not have noodles in it.  Either way, it is delicious and it's a great side that is much lower in calories than Mac & Cheese.

2 small spaghetti squash
1T butter (I use the land o lakes with olive oil)
1T olive oil
1 small onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup chicken broth
8oz reduced fat cheese (I use the weight watchers mexican cheese)
4 cups spinach
1/8 cup parmesan

There are a lot of ways to cook spaghetti squash.  My knife skills aren't that great and most require you to cut a raw spaghetti squash in half.  A raw spaghetti squash is about as hard as a brick so I choose not to try to cut an object that is that hard and also very capable of rolling across my counter in half.  Instead, I pierce them with a knife a few times and stick them in my crock pot.  Cook on low for about five hours, or high about three.  This makes it super easy to cut them in half.  When you take them out and cut them they look something like this.

Go ahead and scoop the seeds out the middle.  Use a fork to scoop the "spaghetti-ness" into a bowl.

Use a large pot and heat the butter and oil on medium heat.  Add your chopped onion and saute for a few minutes until they get a little softer.  Reduce heat to low and add your flour.  Stir continuously for 2 or so minutes (there is no exact science with my cooking).  

Add your milk and your chicken broth.  Get your heat back to medium and boil the mixture for a few minutes until it gets a little thicker.

Take your pot off the heat and add your cheese.  Stir until melted.

Add your spinach.

Add your squash.

Dump that mixture into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan.  Back in oven on 375 for about 30 minutes. Voila!!  Excuse the asparagus on top.  I forgot to take a picture before we ate and this is how we stored the leftovers...

It makes a ton too and reheats well.  I made this Sunday night and we will be able to eat it as a side at least two more times this week.  The best part?  A whole cup of this stuff will only cost you 165 calories!!

I've changed up a few things, but you can see the original recipe HERE.

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