One thing that I don’t do with my cooking, if you haven’t noticed already, is cook with pasta. There are two reasons: I am gluten-free and the calories aren’t worth it. Pasta, either gluten-free or not is about 200 calories per cup. No nutritional value. Luckily, Tony and I don’t crave pasta at all. That’s not to say if you love pasta you shouldn’t try to incorporate it into your diet. It doesn’t make sense for us. Because I still love some of the Italian classics that are made with pasta, I was drawn to the Hello Healthy recipe for Spaghetti Squash Lasagna. I love lasagna! I’ve made it several ways without pasta. I have yet to do it with spaghetti squash. If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, you should try it. Imagine a HUGE bowl of pasta for less than 100 calories. Yes please! So here’s a recipe where the calories are too low. You did hear me right, too low. Unless you are going to eat this with something else, it’s too low. Here are the stats:
- 177 Calories
- 5g Fat
- 48mg Cholesterol
- 369mg Sodium
- 230mg Potassium
- 25g Carbohydrate
- 12g Protein
- 38% Vitamin A
- 22% Vitamin C
- 23% Calcium
- 15% Iron
As you can see along with the calories being too low, the protein A and C are too low as well. Let’s see if we can’t fix this.
Here’s what I changed:
- I more accurately stated the amount of squash (it’s impossible to only have 1 pound of spaghetti squash. I have 2.5 pounds)
- I deleted the marinara sauce.
- I deleted the tomatoes
- I added a pumpkin marinara sauce from Frugal Nutrition. This adds vitamin A and replaces the tomato marinara sauce.
- I added 2 red bell peppers for the vitamin C and to replace the raw tomato.
- I added 1 cup dry brown lentils for protein.
- I added a step of drying out the squash to limit the amount of liquid leftover.
This turned out great. If you are looking for a nice, neat slice, this will not do it. It’s too soft. It still was really good. I was pleased with how it turned out.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Pumpkin Marinara Sauce
- 2.5 pounds spaghetti squash
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 1/2 cups of low fat ricotta cheese, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- Pumpkin marinara sauce (see below)
- 4 cups baby spinach, chopped and divided
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped and divided
- 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Slice spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, and bake it flesh side down for 40 minutes at 350°F.
- Add the lentils and two cups of water to a saucepan and cook for 20 minutes and take off the heat and let rest covered until needed.
- Take out the squash and place on another greased baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes to dry the squash.
- Combine the ricotta with the egg, basil, oregano, and garlic powder.
- Begin layering by placing 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Continue with 2 cups of cooked spaghetti squash, 3/4 cup of the ricotta mixture, 1/2 the lentils, 2 cups fresh chopped spinach, one bell pepper, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella. Repeat the process once with those same amounts (layering spaghetti squash, ricotta, lentils, spinach, bell pepper, pasta sauce, and finally mozzarella).
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until bubbling.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. To serve immediately, use a slotted spoon and allow any excess liquid to drain out of the pan.
For the pumpkin marinara sauce from Frugal Nutrition:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Warm oil in large pan and sauté garlic over low heat for about a minute, until fragrant, but not brown.
- Mix together remaining ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning as desired.
Here are the final stats:
- 263 Calories
- 8g Fat
- 53mg Cholesterol
- 130mg Sodium
- 319mg Potassium
- 37g Carbohydrate
- 19g Protein
- 103% Vitamin A
- 97% Vitamin C
- 23% Calcium
- 27% Iron