I've had this spaghetti squash staring at me from the kitchen counter for a week or two now, and I figured... I ought to put that beauty to some use before it went bad on me.
Now, you may or may not notice that this spaghetti squash is a little smaller than the ones you will find in the grocery stores. That is because... this bad boy was fresh off the farm, and from a local and organic farmer too - which makes it all the more exciting to me!
Fresh local ingredients are always the best and are generally higher in nutrients.
I wasn't quite sure at first just how I was going to do my farm fresh spaghetti squash justice. I suppose I felt as though it needed some careful love and devotion.
During my thought process, I remembered this idea I had seen somewhere about a spaghetti squash primavera that was done in a terribly naughty and yet totally delectable manner. I basically took that idea and ran with it; making it easier, lighter more economical, and still amazingly full of flavor.
Now, I just want to say please don't be scared of the crazy ingredient list! While it might look daunting, it's really a very easy dish to prepare. I promise. Toss everything into a crock pot for several hours and you've got a great meal.
Seriously. It's just about that easy.
This spaghetti squash is absolutely full of vegetables. I don't think I could have possibly packed another single vegetable in, since by the end of it... my spaghetti squash 'boat' was totally fully. As you can see. All that vegetable goodness helps to keep this dish hearty while also remaining meatless and low in calories.
Mmm... cheesy goodness. I would definitely not recommend making this without the fresh mozzarella. It really adds a whole other level of taste and texture to the overall thing.
If you still really want to save on the ingredient list and/or time, you could buy a jar of whatever spaghetti sauce or marinara you see fit. But, I gotta say... I thought the sauce was really easy to toss together and it always eases my mind to know exactly what's in my food rather than what the label of a jar is telling me.
Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash Primavera
Servings: 2 • Size: 1 Squash 'Boat' • Calories: 316.5 • Fat: 6.7 g • Carb: 57.1 g • Fiber: 17.9 g • Protein: 18.6 g • Sugar: 25.6 g • Sodium: 237.8 mg
1 (14.5 Oz.) Can 'No Salt Added' Diced Tomatoes
1 (8 Oz.) Can 'No Salt Added' Tomato Sauce
1 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 Small Onion, Diced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 Tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 Tsp. Dried Parsley
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2 Zucchini or Summer Squash, Sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Carrot, Peeled & Sliced
1 C. Broccoli Florets (I used frozen.)
1 C. Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen.)
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 C. Mushrooms, Sliced
2 Oz. Fresh Mozzarella
Toss all of the ingredients for the sauce into the crock pot and give it a bit of a stir. Add in the ingredients for the primavera, except for the spaghetti squash and mushrooms.
Wash the spaghetti squash really well and pierce it all over with a fork (just as you would a potato before baking.)
Place the spaghetti squash into the vegetable and sauce mixture.
I nestled mine into a little corner to wiggle it down more into the sauce a bit to help with cooking.
Finally, top it all off with the sliced mushrooms. This helps to keep those delicate little things together while they cook, instead of breaking apart into tiny pieces.
Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
I turned my squash about halfway through just to be sure it was evenly cooked, but I don't think it's needed.
Preheat the oven or broiler to 500 degrees F. and remove the spaghetti squash from the crock pot. Allow for it to cool a bit before cutting it in half and scooping out the 'pulp' and seeds.
I usually separate the pulp to discard and then clean and bake the seeds later.
Use a fork to 'fluff' the spaghetti squash within the shell.
Top each half with the vegetable sauce. (I ended up with about 3 cups for each half and still had some extra, but as I mentioned... my spaghetti squash was smaller than average.)
Place 1 oz. fresh mozzarella over each half and transfer to a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the oven and 'broil' for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Carefully remove from the oven and transfer onto plates.
Serve right away and enjoy!