I set out to create a comforting mac and cheese dish packed with a nutrient-rich punch and a whole slew of delicious savory flavors. What did I end up with? Veggies on veggies with cheese. Total dietitian move. Call me crazy, but this squash and cheese is so creamy and decadent, you will not miss the “mac” one bit. I want to eat this every day
- 1 large spaghetti squash (~2.5 lbs)
- 1 8 ounce pack of sliced white or baby bella mushrooms
- 4 ounces of soft goat cheese
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or low sodium chicken broth)
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned bread crumbs (for gluten-free, combine 2 tbsp almond meal with 1 tsp Italian seasoning)
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and pepper and bake about 1 hour, or longer if needed on a baking sheet, cut side down. Let cool for ~15 minutes. Using a fork, shred “spaghetti” out of squash and discard shells. Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF.
2. While the squash is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of extra olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly softened (~5 minutes). Add shallot and garlic. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Whisk in corn starch and reduce heat to low. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and slightly thick. Add in goat cheese and stir continuously until cheese melts into broth. Add thyme. Turn heat off.
4. Add in spaghetti squash strands and stir until well combined. Spray 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture into baking dish. Mix bread crumbs (or almond meal) and parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top of the squash mixture. Lightly mist the top with cooking spray to create that nice golden hue when baking.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F for ~25 minutes, until bubbly and golden.
I want to eat this every day.
Makes four servings; Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition information per serving
Calories: 200; Total Fat: 10 gm; Saturated Fat: 4 gm; Cholesterol: 13 mg; Sodium: 360 mg; Carbohydrates: 20 gm; Fiber: 4 gm; Sugar: 5.5 gm; Protein: 11 gm
Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and more recipes on her blog, Dishing Out Health.