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Fall comfort foods weighing you down? Lighten up with this pasta free, Spaghetti Squash & Cheese!

When the cool temperatures move in, my body seems to just crave heavy, comfort foods… and lets face it, I usually give in and eat them! J

When I received fresh spinach and spaghetti squash in my CSA box from Johnson’s Backyard Garden this week, I knew I could get creative!  A simple swap out of the pasta for spaghetti squash in macaroni and cheese is just the ticket. This creamy, cheesy, warm, spaghetti squash and cheese all the comfort food you want without the carbs! YAY! Go ahead and grab a second helping, there is spinach in there too! Enjoy.

 

Spaghetti Squash “Mac” & Cheese

Time: 1.5 hrs Serves: 6

-2 small spaghetti squash

-2 tbls olive oil

-salt & pepper

-1 tbls unsalted butter

-1 small onion, diced

-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

-1/4 cup flour

-1 cup low sodium chicken broth

-2 cups milk

-10 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

-1 bag (about 5 cups) of fresh spinach, triple washed and dried

-1/3 cup grated parmesan

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Discard the seeds.

Rub ¼ tbls olive oil over all 4 halves of squash. Sprinkle them all with salt & pepper.

photo 1

With the inside flesh face down on a baking sheet, roast the squash in the oven for 30-45 mins (depending on the size), until the flesh is fork tender and will scrape out easily.

Allow to cool slightly, then scrape out the squash flesh using a fork to create the “spaghetti” strands.

Meanwhile, melt 1tbls of olive oil and 1 tbls of butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the onion, red pepper flakes, ½ tsp each of salt & pepper. Cook onions until lightly caramelized. About 20 mins.

Add the flour and coat the onions. Stir constantly for 3 minutes to cook the flour.

photo 2

Slowly add the chicken broth, and milk, stirring constantly. Combine well.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow it to thicken slightly. You want the creamy mixture to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted into the sauce.

photo 3

Add the spinach and spaghetti squash. Combine well.

Put the mixture into a baking dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

photo 4

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until it is bubbling and the top is slightly browning.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

photo 5

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