I have several friends who are eating Paleo or are trying to incorporate more Paleo meals into their diets. And while I am not Paleo, I am all for variety of food and I love to experiment with new ingredients to broaden my family’s horizon and palate–and I love to get as many veggies in their bodies as possible!!!
So, when people raved about how delicious this Paleo Spaghetti Bake was over at PaleOMG, I decided I had to try it. This “spaghetti” bake is made Paleo, by using a spaghetti squash instead of noodles. So yes, it is gluten free as well.
Have you ever used a spaghetti squash? They are found in just about every grocery store, year round. And after baking (or microwaving I have even heard) you can scoop out the insides and they resemble noodles. It is quite bizarre, and tasty:)
Well at least I have always loved to eat spaghetti squash. My kids not so much. My husband, definitely not. But I thought smothered in sausage and my homemade tomato sauce that they love so much, it would stand a chance.
The first bites were a huge success–they LOVED it!! Then my husband took a bite of the dish that did not have any sausage in it and he made a face. Of course, my children decided to glance at their dad at the moment he mouthed to me “these aren’t noodles…” And it was OVER. I am just being honest. He can make such a face and show such disgust when he is opposed to a new food, it is ridiculous!! And I am sure funny….if you were not the one who prepared the meal. So, he gagged on the next few bites and the kids pushed their plates away. And maybe they were angry that I wasn’t 100% truthful in admitting up front the squash was not real noodles…..
So this brings me to how I handle meals that end up as failures with my family. When it is something new that is out of the box for them, I make them give it a valiant effort–at least 5 bites each. If they truly don’t like it, they can make themselves a bowl of oatmeal with nothing but oats and milk in it. And I won’t serve the dish in question to them again. If it something that is not crazy–like green beans over broccoli, they have to eat it or there is not another option.
This may sound harsh, but I am telling you that my children eat very well throughout the day and when I present new foods to them they will not starve by choosing to not eat something that I have prepared. They are also very adventurous eaters because of this. There have been many times they have said, “Wow, I didn’t think I would like that!” Go figure!
So onto the spaghetti squash bake…please don’t be scared. Just so you know, I served the leftovers to friends for lunch and they devoured it!!! If you don’t like spaghetti squash, use 1 lb of noodles instead–then it becomes one of my family’s favorite dishes ever!!!
- 1 lb Italian sausage, see note below
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 cup my tomato sauce (or your favorite jarred sauce)
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 1b spaghetti squash
Start by cutting the squash in half and scooping out the seeds. Roast the squash for 35 minutes at 400 degrees (the original recipe, calls to only roast squash for 20 minutes….that didn’t work out so well!!)
While the squash is roasting, brown the sausage and onions together until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and mix in the sauce.
Remove the squash from the oven and reduce the oven to 350 degrees. When the squash is just cool enough to handle, scrap out the flesh and watch the magic noodles appear 🙂 Add the “noodles” to the sauce mixture and stir in the eggs well. Transfer to an 8×8 dish and bake for 1 hour or until top is bubbly and browned. (At this point feel free to give the casserole a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese and return to oven until cheese melts if you are not Paleo or dairy free.)
If you use noodles instead of squash, boil 1 lb of noodles and ignore the roasting of the squash…proceed with remaining steps.
hate fennel like me!!!), 1/2 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp salt. Mix well into meat and let sit to marry flavors together for 24 hours before browning. (Truly, you can fry the meat up now, but it is so much better the next day!!)