Tag Archives: cream sauce

Spaghetti Squash Primavera

A few weeks ago, I was visiting several family members who are following a low-carb diet to lose weight.  Some have lost 50+ pounds with the diet, so it is working for them.  They were nice and made carbs with the meals for me to eat.  And I got to feel like the pig when we went out and everyone else ordered a salad, except me.  I ordered the burger.  With fries.  Just rub those carbs in their faces, why don’t I?

One of them mentioned how she had rediscovered spaghetti squash while on this diet, which inspired me to get in the kitchen.  This has been one of my favorite meals in a long time.  The veggie-packed sauce is super creamy and delicious, but doesn’t have a ton of fat in it.  If you aren’t wanting to low-carb, this is also yummy over pasta, potatoes, bread, rice…pretty much any carb.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Primavera (Serves 4)


½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup green beans, chopped into bite size pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups spinach
¾ cup low fat or fat free cottage cheese
2 ounces fat free cream cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 spaghetti squash (see here for cooking instructions)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion; sauté for 3-5 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute more. Add squash, zucchini, carrots, and green beans. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until veggies are beginning to soften. Add tomatoes; cook for 3 minutes more. Add spinach.

2. While veggies are cooking, combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, and Italian seasoning in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.

3. Add cottage cheese mixture to pan once spinach has wilted. Stir to combine well. Cook until the cheese is melted and a creamy sauce forms.

4. Scrape spaghetti squash onto plates or into bowls. Scoop veggies and sauce over each portion. Top each portion with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 203
Protein: 15 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 553 mg

Recipe Notes: You could really mix up the veggies with whatever you like and have available. Chopped up asparagus would also be yummy. I wouldn’t skip on the tomatoes, though. The juice from the tomatoes helps make the sauce.

Source: adapted from online

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Quick Pastitsio

It’s a snow day at my house. Well, as snowy as Tulsa gets, which is more ice than snow at this point. But snow days make me think of living back in Chicago, where cold and snow are the norm. In Chicago, my husband and I loved to go eat in Greektown. Greek food is full of love and made any snow day better.

This pastitsio is not like what I would have eaten in Greektown. It’s much lighter, has more veggies, and cooks in at least half the time. But it still evokes the same flavors. I hope it brightens your world on this wintry day.


Quick Pastitsio (Serves 6)


Cooking spray
8 ounces uncooked, whole wheat penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb lean ground turkey (93/7)
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 bell pepper, chopped
¾ cup finely chopped carrot
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups skim milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced no salt added tomatoes, drained
7 ounces fat free cream cheese
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

1. Preheat broiler to high. Coat a broiler safe baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook pasta to al dente, omitting any fat or salt in cooking. Drain.

3. While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Once oil is heated, add ground turkey. Sauté until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan. Drain pan if needed. Add remaining oil. Add onion, pepper, and carrot. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, sauté one minute more, stirring constantly.

4. Return turkey to pan. Sprinkle in salt. Add flour and stir frequently, cooking for 1 minute.

5. Stir in milk, tomato, and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth. Cook for 2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in pasta.

6. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the top. Broil for 4 minutes, or until top is golden and slightly crunchy looking. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 406
Protein: 32 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 71 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 523 mg

Recipe Notes: I subbed in ground turkey here. A lean ground beef is also tasty and lends to a slightly more colorful dish. I don’t need to drain my pan after the turkey. I like having any juices or browned bits in there to stir in with the rest of the ingredients. It is important to chop the carrot small or even shred it for this dish. There isn’t a ton of cooking time for it to soften. I wouldn’t skip on broiling time either. The crunchy lid of cheese is delicious, and the extra heating time doesn’t hurt the sauce or pasta to come together either.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light


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