Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage

I was recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It was a bit challenging for me to be OK with the news because there was just a lot of frustration. I was frustrated with my doctor for not really giving me any information, I was frustrated with the situation because I consider myself rather healthy, I was frustrated in general and didn't have my normal coping mechanisms available: food and wine. 

I work out a lot and I eat pretty healthy but I freaking love carbs. I literally made a shirt once in high school that said "I love carbs".   I could eat bread or rice or pasta everyday.  So being diabetic where I have to be more careful with my carb choices was really depressing to me. 

I'm in a lot better place right now. I am meeting with the perinatal specialist and nutritionist today where I will hopefully get a lot of my questions answered, I got to talk to several friends who went through it and calmed me down, and I've been reading every single thing the American Diabetes Association has at the library and on Pubmed. 
Educating myself
So now I"m in my "I Can Do This" phase.  I'm starting to experiment a little with some recipes.  I convinced my hubs to go to the downtown Austin Saturday SFG farmer's market with me.  This was no small feat.  I think the farmer's market is one of my husband's most dreaded places.  This is where pregnancy sympathy comes in handy.

At my last visit I picked up some spaghetti squash from Johnson's Backyard Garden, bulk Italian sausage from Smith&Smith farms and a few other goodies like fresh figs. 

This was an easy weeknight meal. A great substitute for pasta (which I love). Whole wheat pasta doesn't quite appeal to me as much so spaghetti squash was a great alternative to one of my favorite carb heavy meals. 

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage
Serves 2 
Ingredients:
  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3/4 c. fresh basil
  • 3 tbs. pine nuts
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Olive oil 


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half with a large, sharp knife. I will usually microwave the squash for about 3 minutes so it is softer and easier to cut. Use a large spoon to remove seeds from the center. Drizzle each half with olive oil, and add a little salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for about 30-45 minutes or until cooked through.  In a separate cookie sheet, toast pine nuts for about 3 minutes until fragrant but not burnt!  Remove the spaghetti squash and allow to cool.
  2. While squash is roasting or cooling, combine the basil, Parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor or blender.  Drizzle olive oil in while food processor running to emulsify until desired consistency. 
  3. Once the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape out and separate the flesh into noodle-like threads.
  4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the onion, garlic, and Italian sausage.  Combine the sausage, spaghetti squash flesh, and pesto into the pan and warm through.  Remove and serve in a plate or in the reserved squash skins.  Top with a little extra grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage

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