Good health begins in the kitchen — often by finding healthier ways to satisfy our less healthy cravings.
We all want food that excites our palates, and it really is possible to create meals that pack plenty of flavor but won’t pack on the pounds. For example, whenever possible, substitute butter or animal fats with healthy oils like olive, grape seed or sesame. Also, most TV chefs recommend unnecessary amounts of salt; instead, use fruits, herbs and spices to create flavor that’s more complex but much better for you. That’s definitely true in this dish: Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Relish. It’s a perfect way to answer the craving for a hearty Italian dinner without the fat of Mama’s meat sauce or the carbs of traditional spaghetti.
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 vine ripe tomato, chopped and seeded
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 tbsp. red wine
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. reduced balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper and garlic powder
Heat oil on medium-high. Add shallots until soft but not brown. Do the same with the garlic. Add red wine to deglaze. Add tomato, tomato paste and stir. Add pepper, garlic powder and herbs; cook another two minutes. Stir in balsamic. The relish will start to reduce and caramelize. At that point scrape from pan and set aside until serving.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3.5 pounds)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 4 turns freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, cut squash in half lengthwise. Rub oil all over its flesh and skin. Season with pepper, garlic and herbs on flesh. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake 35 to 40 minutes until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Remove from the oven. Serve by filling the squash with a generous amount of relish or remove flesh to serve plated as shown (in photo above). Shave on fresh Parmesan and chopped basil for an extra Italian kick.
Last modified: August 6, 2019