Photo courtesy of www.imarriedanutritionist.com
Italian Sauce and Spaghetti Squash “Pasta”
Tomatoes and tomato sauce are full of a super nutrient called lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that has been proven to help protect against breast, pancreatic, prostate and intestinal cancer, and it reduces heart attack risk.While conventionally grown tomatoes contain lycopene, organic tomatoes contain much higher amounts of this valuable nutrient. And canned tomatoes and tomato paste have some of the most concentrated amounts of lycopene.
Tomatoes also provide vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. The vitamin A comes from the carotenoids and beta carotene in tomatoes. These antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing dangerous free radicals that could damage cells, cause inflammation and heart disease, diabetic complications, asthma, and colon cancer.
Tomatoes also help to reduce cholesterol, are anti-inflammatory, and help reduce the effects of stress on the body. And, did you know cooking meat with tomatoes enhances your body’s ability to absorb the vital nutrients from the meat, especially the iron and zinc?
Spaghetti squash has all the healthy benefits of squash including a good supply of carotene, vitamins B1, B6, niacin and C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fiber, and potassium, along with omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. Because of the high carotene content, spaghetti squash protect against many cancers, particularly lung cancer. Diets rich in carotenes offer protection against aging, cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
1 lb (natural, nitrite/nitrate free) ground Italian sausage, or grass fed ground beef (If you cannot find ground sausage, you can purchase it in links and slice it before cooking)
2-4 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 14 oz. cans organic chunky tomato sauce
1 small can organic tomato paste
¼ -½ cup white wine or organic chicken stock
1-2 Tbsp oregano
½ tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed for “pasta”
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and place squash in shallow baking pan with about ½ “ of water. Cover with foil, and cook in oven 30-40 minutes until squash is tender, stringy and can easily be removed with fork. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt before serving.
While squash is cooking, sauté onions in extra virgin olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat until tender and translucent. Add garlic and meat, cook and stir until browned. Stir in spices, tomato sauce, paste and water. Add sugar or honey, stir together and simmer, covered, on low heat for 30 minutes or more. Stir occasionally. Serve over cooked spaghetti squash. Serves 4.