Spaghetti Squash, Homemade Sauce, and Spinach Dip

Well I guess I'm kind of on an Italian kick because yesterday I went to the grocery store specifically with spaghetti in mind. Spaghetti squash, that is. Spaghetti squash is an awesome alternative to pasta. It's about 1/3 the amount of calories and carbs as whole wheat pasta, and it's an even bigger difference with regular pasta. In fact, I'll put some stats down at the bottom of this post for you to compare. For now, let's just take a look at the sauce recipe and also the delicious spinach dip I made last night as well. 

Sauce Ingredients:
1 24 oz can no salt added crushed tomaotoes
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or carrot, butternut squash, etc.)
1 tbsp honey
Red pepper flakes
Black crushed pepper
Onion powder (or real onion if you like that kind of thing)
1 7oz can tomato paste
1 package sliced mushrooms

OK so the first thing I did was preheat the oven to 375 degrees to get ready to bake the spaghetti squash. When it was ready I poked it all over with a knife, laid it on a baking sheet and stuck it in the oven. Set timer for 60 minutes.

While the spaghetti squash baked I started the sauce. I mixed all of the ingredients in a pot on the stove. I cut up the fresh garlic and put all the spices on top. Then I mixed everything together, set the flame to the lowest setting and let it simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

While the squash baked and the sauce simmered, I was starving so I decided to make this delicious, healthy spinach dip. I had pinned 2 different healthy spinach dip pins on Pinterest the other day and ever since I looked at the recipes I had been salivating over the thought of spinach dip. I combined different ingredients from the two recipes to make what I thought would work best. This recipe isn't really clean, because I'm about 99% sure sour cream can never be considered a clean food unless there is some amazing organic natural brand that I'v never heard of, but I used light sour cream and only half of what the recipe called for. All of the ingredients combined make this a very healthy alternative to normal spinach dip and it was so so so good. Next time I think I will leave out the sour cream and see how it tastes but I had been thinking about the recipe so much the last 3 days and I just wanted exactly what was in the picture in the pin :)

Spinach Dip Ingredients:
4 oz light sour cream (original recipe called for a full 8 oz container but I used 4 and it was fine)
2-2.5 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 8-10 oz package frozen spinach (I used chopped instead of slivered)
1 packet Ranch seasoning

Mix everything together and enjoy! I ate mine with sliced bell peppers. The directions said to make SURE that you squeeze the excess juice out of the spinach once you've thawed it out or the dip will taste horrible. Well of course I forgot that step....but it didn't really matter because it still tasted great. Also it said to refrigerate for 2 hours before eating but I couldn't wait and it was fine.

OK so after an hour I pulled the spaghetti squash out of the oven and cut it in half. I used a fork to scoop out the seeds and toss them, and then to shred the inside into "spaghetti". Yum!

Normally I would saute the spaghetti squash for just a couple minutes in olive oil, garlic and basil but I was so hungry I didn't want to wait so I just ate it as is straight out of the squash. I spooned the sauce on the pasta and had a little extra dip with pepper slices. So good.
Extra sauce :)

1 cup portionCaloriesFat (g)Carbs (g)
Spaghetti (made with white flour)*221143
Whole-wheat spaghetti*124127
Spaghetti squash42010
* Nutrition info varies by brand. Source: SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker


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