Italian Turkey Sausage with Spaghetti Squash

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This was my first time making spaghetti squash. I bought it, left it in the fridge, and kept postponing making it because I had never made it before. Unfortunately, it did go bad. Yes, this huge veggie intimidated me! I am not sure because of it's size or just because of the fact that I never tried it, nonetheless, prepared it before. So, I finally got the courage to make it and followed Lyn's tutorial from Escape from Obesity on how to make it in the microwave. Check out her inspirational blog! She has lost over 100 lbs! Definitely, a blog worth reading!

The spaghetti squash was so easy to make! A few pokes here and there, microwave, slice in half, scoop the seeds, scrape the insides and Voila! Spaghetti that is actually Medifast friendly! I love the taste of it and now I can kick myself in the butt for not having tried it sooner! I think I would eat this instead of spaghetti pasta noodles even if I wasn't on MF. Hubby hasn't tried it yet either (we are both clueless) and will be trying it when he gets back this summer. I can't wait!

As for the recipe, I was going to use Jennie-O Italian Turkey Sausage, but the sodium content is so high. Nutrition Support doesn't recommend any type of sausage because of the sodium content, but 2 sausages fits the lean criteria. This sausage does contain 1700 mg of sodium (Gasp!). We should have below 2,000 mg for all our meals and lean and green included. I still have this sausage occasionally just because I love sausage, but I will be sure to have something with a lot less sodium for the next few days.

 I decided to try to make my own Italian Sausage and found this recipe from the new Medifast Lean and Green Meal Cook Book. It is actually called "Italian Sausage Patties" but I converted it to just ground Italian sausage. I meant to make them into meatballs, but it slipped my mind and before you know it, I was browning the meat. Feel free to shape them into meatballs for a yummy spaghetti and meatball dish! Serve with Walden Farms Marinara sauce. Sometimes I like to eat meatballs without the sauce and sprinkle a little bit of parmesan cheese, especially if you do not like Walden Farms products. Enjoy!


Italian Turkey Sausage with Spaghetti Squash
Slightly adapted from Medifast Lean and Green Meal Cook Book

Ingredients:
17 1/2 oz raw, ground turkey, 93% lean - should yield 10 oz cooked servings (2 Leans)
1/2 tsp oregano (1 condiment)
1 tsp basil (1 condiment)
1 tsp fennel seeds (2 condiments)
1/2 cup Walden Farms Marinara Sauce (2 condiments)
3 cups or 465 grams cooked spaghetti squash (6 greens)

Directions:
Combine ground turkey, spices, and garlic in a medium skillet. Brown meat mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break the meat mixture into crumbles. Once the meat mixture is browned, drain the fat and return the cook meat mixture back to skillet. Add the marinara sauce and stir until well blended over medium heat. Serve over spaghetti squash.

Servings: 2 Complete Lean and Green Meals with 3 Condiments No healthy fat required


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Spaghetti Squash

I followed Lyn's Spaghetti Squash tutorial on how to make spaghetti squash because I am a newbie and I had no clue how to cook it. Never even heard of the squash. Not to mention how intimidating it looked when I first laid eyes on it because it was so big! I overcooked mine the first time so it got a little mushy, but now I know better. Start off by poking 8 to 10 holes on each side (front and back) of the spaghetti squash. I did four holes toward the bottom half, two in the center, and four towards the top half. I turned the squash over and poked 8 to 10 more holes. The easiest way to do this is by using a metal skewer and just jabbing that thing in there. Poor squash! I felt like I was stabbing it to death. Just remember 8 to 10 holes, don't get carried away if you are frustrated that day LOL.


I used a metal skewer. It made it so much easier!


8 to 10 holes on each side is all you need.
Then place the squash on a plate inside the microwave. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Turn the squash over and microwave for another 4 minutes. If needed, turn the squash over and cook for 4 more minutes. Depending on the size of your squash, your cooking times will vary. A large squash will take about 12 to 14 min to cook while a small squash will take about 8 to 10 min. It is done when you can jab a fork into it. It should be tender and not mushy. Do I see a trend here with the jabbing?


Slice the spaghetti squash in half. It should be easy to do.


Scoop the seeds and the middle strands out with a fork or spoon and discard.


All scooped out!


Next, scrape the inside of the squash with a fork all the way to the skin. Get all that good stuff out of there.



And that's it folks! That easy! Now go make some Italian Turkey Sausage!

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