Keeping healthy eating resolutions can be as challenging as finding an empty gym treadmill in January. Whether you are crunched for time, don’t have anything inspiring in the fridge, or just can’t take another bite of bland, boring food, the struggle to eat clean is very real. But, with my recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea-stuffed Spaghetti Squash you can get a fit, fresh and flavorful meal on the table in well under an hour.
Have you walked right by spaghetti squash in the produce department? Perhaps they look too big, sound too strange, or you have absolutely no idea how to prepare one. The good news is that they are ridiculously, almost embarrassingly, easy to cook. I’ve just sliced mine in half (the hardest part), scooped out the seeds, brushed with olive oil and roasted for 25 minutes. After that, a fork scrapes up the flesh which somehow magically transforms into long, noodle-y strands. A largish-looking 3-pound squash yields about 4 to 5 cups of “noodles” which is the perfect amount for my four-serving vegetarian entrée recipe.
For time savings, the noodles are tossed with healthy convenience products including canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, bagged baby spinach, pre-shredded cheese and a little bit of Tzatziki Ranch Yogurt Dressing from OPA. This medley is stuffed back into the squash halves and baked for another 10 or 15 minutes until heated through. Or, you can meal-prep up until this last baking part, store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and then pop in the oven on your busiest nights.
The lower-calorie yet still rich and creamy OPA dressings from Litehouse are smart swap for sour cream, additional cheese or other heavy ingredients in many recipes – of course, it’s also delicious as a dressing or dip. Each serving of Mediterranean Chickpea-stuffed Spaghetti Squash is half of one half (so a quarter!) and has about 20 grams of plant-based protein for just 350 calories. It’s friendly for vegetarian, gluten-free and lower-carb diets.