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Make it Natural: Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh

italian_style_spaghetti_squ What better way to kick off the New Year than with a playful and healthy update of Spaghetti and Meatballs! Maggie, one of our blog readers, sent in this fun idea that inspired us. She suggested that traditional spaghetti and meatballs could use a healthy makeover and recommended using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, tempeh instead of meat, and additional veggies in the tomato sauce. All these ideas sounded great to us! Check out the recipe we developed for Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh. Our recipe removes the refined carbohydrates and cholesterol and cuts down on saturated fat in the original by replacing regular pasta with spaghetti squash and meatballs with tempeh. The addition of extra vegetables makes this recipe a great choice; it provides essential vitamins and minerals found in green and yellow vegetables and a great fiber boost from tempeh. Here are the changes we made from traditional spaghetti and meatballs:
  • Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and has a nutty taste and hearty texture. A good source of manganese, protein, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and magnesium, tempeh packs about as much protein as beef without the cholesterol. 4 ounces of tempeh provides 240 calories, 20 g protein, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, and 0 mg cholesterol compared to 4 ounces of 85% lean ground beef which provides 280 calories, 29 g protein, 17 g fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, and 101 mg cholesterol. Also tempeh offers 9 g fiber per 4 ounce serving whereas ground beef contains no fiber.
  • Spaghetti squash is an excellent source of vitamin A, a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese, and a good source of folate, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and niacin.
  • The addition of green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach provides fiber as well as vitamins K, C, A, B6, B2, and E, folate, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, niacin, and selenium.
Did you miss the recipe link above? Here is the full recipe for our Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh. Got a recipe that needs a natural makeover? Post it in the comments section below! If we select your recipe and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card.

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marire says …

Ohh my God. That looks so delicious. Thank you for the article.

Noelle says …

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AQz-5ggdC2VFZGRjdGdweDRfMTg5N2c1cmZjdw&hl=en This a recipe I created back in September. I need a more natural option.

Food Makes Fun Fuel says …

With valentines day next month, I'd love to know how I could make a romantic dinner of red meat and cheese fondue helthier. Just because it's a holiday about love doesn't mean we should be clogging our arteries

Samantha says …

While I love playing hostess, it often turns out that wine and nibbles from the cheese plate comprise the majority of my evening meal when hosting guests. How can I ramp up my cheese plate to make it healthier, more flavorful and healthy? ... while still keeping some delicious cheeses on board!

Cassandra Grzybowski says …

Gaïa's Vegan Spaghetti Sauce 2 cups diced white onion 5 to 8 minced garlic cloves 2 cups finely chopped green onions (I rarely put some in) 2 cups diced celery 2 cups shredded carrots 2 cups green bell pepper 4 - 10oz cans of condensed tomato soup 20 oz of soy milk 2 - 28oz cans of diced tomatoes 2 - 5.5oz cans of pure tomato paste 4 tsp soy sauce tabasco or cayenne pepper, to taste 2 tsp sage 2 tsp thyme 1 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp allspice 1 package of Yves Veggie's Ground Round Chop all vegetables, in a lazy way or in a Martha Stewart way. Heat a little olive oil and sauté the vegetables beginnning with the onions and the garlic. Add the other vegetables and cook 5 to 10 minutes. Add all other ingredients. When it boils, turn the heat down to low or simmer (depending on you stove - mine is way high !) and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the Ground Round 5 to 10 minutes before serving, it only needs to be heated through. Serve on pasta (or eat it with whatever you like !)

Sarah says …

My husband and I are lifetime omnivores, but we are currently experimenting with the vegan life. This spaghetti recipe is a fantastic idea! I have several recipes that need transformation, but I'd really like to find some creative ways to prepare lentils. I am trying to figure out how to prepare them in a yummy way that would replace a boring rice pilaf or a fried rice. Something with enough flavor to stand alone AND entice those of us who don't normally like lentils!