I love spaghetti.
Growing up, my family made fun of the amount of food I would eat (seriously, two or three massive plates in one sitting).
Not visual enough?
What would you say: As a toddler, I would run into the dining room tearing my shirt over my oversized head so I could eat my spaghetti as quickly as I could without putting sauce on my clothes. After dinner, my parents practically crushed me in the backyard, I was so messy – it was well worth it.
Now, in my quest for a healthier lifestyle in recent years, I've learned that … gasp … pasta gallons at every meal is not the healthiest thing in the world! I've drastically reduced my pasta intake – I probably eat pasta once every few months, when I go out to an Italian restaurant with friends and want to have a meal.
If you are a paleo person but you like pasta, I feel you. This could help.
Maybe you're not paleo, but you're looking for an alternative to high-carbohydrate pasta. It will help you too.
Today, you will learn how to cook Paleo pasta. Now this recipe takes a little longer and is a bit more complex than the easy Chicken Stirfry I taught you to cook before .
If it was level 1, it is level 2.
Yeah, eating a small serving of regular spaghetti once in a while is not going to kill you, but I've found that preparing spaghetti pasta and meat sauce was a fun challenge, it's even better. Getting out of my comfort zone in the kitchen makes me do new things, and has proven to be creepy delicious and nutritious.
Let's upgrade your kitchen.
WARNING: HEAVY POST PHOTO!
1b. grass-fed ground beef (my grocery store had no fodder, so I went with regular)
2 small boxes of organic tomato paste (check the ingredients – it should only contain organic tomatoes … look for JARRED tomato paste or create your own.)
1 clove of garlic (this is the small part where you break a light bulb of garlic, I will explain later).
Pepper … and salt if you want some.
Italian Seasoning (it will be in the spice aisle – choose the one that is labeled "ITALIAN SEASONING." To be sure, open and smell – if it smells like ITALIAN SEASONING, you're on the right track If you can not find it at this point, you should probably sit down and give up).
1 medium spaghetti squash – will do enough for two people.
Olive Oil – I like extra virgin olive oil.
1 Iron Stove / Pan
1 pot of medium size
1 sheet of Cookie
1 sharp knife
1 cutting board
Oven and Stove
If you're anything like me (a nerd that usually stays away from the kitchen), half of the things on the grocery list will be new to you. I can certainly say that I have never bought spaghetti squash before. Honestly, I found it fun to go explore new parts of the grocery store and retrieve these items. Keep the list of ingredients with you, ask people for help if you need it, and act as if you were a competitor on the Super Market Sweep (not that I do it … each once I'm in a shop ….).
Preparation of your SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. It will take time to warm up, so it will give you time to cut your vegetables and so on.
Chop your onion in half, then peel off the outer layer – we only need half of it. Put the other half in a plastic bag and stick it in your refrigerator.
After that, start slicing and dicing as a mofo until the onion is completely chopped. Yeah, you could cry – suck it. If you have a food processor or Slap Chop (your lucky bastard), it will be a lot easier. I do not have any of those, so I did it the old school way.
Next, tear off a clove of garlic – we only need it a little bit. Hang the rest of the bulb around your neck to keep away the vampires.
Take this small section, separate it, and carefully cut the tiny ends of each section. Then use the side of your knife to crush it by pressing hard on the side of your knife. Peel off the outer layer, and then chop it inside as small as you can without cutting your fingers. That would make a lot of blood, and the vampires will not care about your garlic collar, and you'll have a bad time. If you do not want to buy or chop the garlic, you can add garlic powder to the meat later even if it's not as amusing.
Take your two tomatoes (not a euphemism). No, seriously, catch these two tomatoes. Use your knife to carefully carve the top of it …
Then cut them in half and cut into smaller pieces. Depending on how you like your spaghetti sauce, cut it to the desired size – bigger pieces in your sauce or not? The choice is yours, sucka.
Then take your spaghetti squash, and use your knife to cut it in half. Because the middle is a little hollow and full of gooey substance (like a pumpkin), I found it easier to cut into the side of the squash, and then work the knife around the long way. Watch this video for a good demonstration . Be careful.
Use a spoon and scrape all the middle junk in the squash. Yup, it's rather disgusting. Exceeds it.
Take your squash cored and pour it inside with olive oil, pepper and a little salt.
Give them a minute or two to sit down and dip in the oil, then put them face down on the cookie sheet, and stick them in the oven (which is now at 400 degrees) for 40 minutes.
Making the sauce
While the spaghetti squash baked, put your pan on the stove, add a little olive oil and drop your diced onions. After a few minutes, they will start to pick up a light / yellowish color by sizzling and cooking.
Now it's time to add the garlic and mix it up for a minute or two …
Then add the beef!
Using your spatula, chop the beef and mix it with the onions and garlic.
Now make the rain with your Italian seasoning and pepper. And by that I mean "sprinkle generously".
Continue stirring, chopping and mixing as a pattern until the meat has a nice brown color.
When cooking the meat is complete, remove the pan from the stove and place it on one of the other non-hot burners …
OR, you can filter the beef and get rid of the fat. I chose to filter our meal for the evening. Use a strainer, collect the fat in a bowl, and then, when the fat cools, throw it in a coffee box or other container that you can keep in the freezer, then possibly dispose of it properly. Google "how to get rid of fat" if you need help here.
Combination of sauce AND SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Now, while your meat is cooking, take your empty pot, open your two boxes of tomato paste, and use a knife to pick them up and pour. Then add your tomatoes.
Put the pot on a low heat. Around now, your meat should be cooked.
Next, pour the meat, onions and garlic into the pot and mix everything together. If your sauce is not delicious enough, take your empty tomato tin and throw it in a small amount of water (make one and see how the sauce is made). air, then add a second if necessary). At this point, do not hesitate to add a little Italian seasoning and pepper.
You can leave the pot on very low heat and cover it, while you finish all the rest. Just stir it from time to time so that the bottom does not burn.
Putting everything together
Take out your squash from the oven after 40 minutes and, using a pot holder and a knife / fork, flip the two halves.
Having two plates ready, use a fork to separate the inside of the squash … it breaks up very easily and looks like spaghetti.
Dig one, put it on a plate. Escape the other, put it on the other plate.
This is the moment when you say "OHHHH SO THAT'S WHY HIS SQUASH SPAGHETTI CALLED!"
Add your sauce on top, and BAM you have your home cooked, spaghetti paleo meal. Finish with a glass of water, red wine (not technically paleo I guess but hey, live a little), or a little drain-o and you're ready to go.
I'm kidding. Please do not drink Drain-O.
The dinner table is ready. A flower in an empty wine bottle and the Colossus Shadow on PS3 are optional.
Honestly, I had more fun cooking than I expected. (Thank you Jessie for helping me and be sure I did not cut appendages.)
If you're struggling to come up with a fun date idea … nothing is better than cooking a meal together – and I think the total cost of the ingredients was about $ 15. This meal made full portions for two people with enough sauce for two or three more servings.
If you do not have anyone else to cook, no worries! This meal will make a lot of food for you for dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow and beyond. Plus, you can eat your spaghetti while you play Shadow of the Colossus and no one screams at you.
I'm thinking of doing a little more of "how to cook easy meals" here on NF very soon, coming from the point of view of a beginner in the kitchen. They will probably not all paleo / primal, but they will be healthy and very easy to cook.
Would that interest you every few weeks? If I do, anything you would like to see in the messages?
Any thoughts, comments, or questions?
Let's hear it!
PS: We added these recipes and a few dozen others to our Nerd Fitness Academy who has recipes, meal plans, workout plans, and the ability to complete quests and missions and level up as you become healthier. Look at the!
thanks to Fast Paleo for the inspiration of the recipe.