Detox Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Vegetables and Marinara

Detox Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with Veggies and Marinara

For many, the ultimate detox meal is a huge raw salad or a bottomless green smoothie. But it’s too cold for that business. I’ll take my veggies cooked, thank you very much!

With the winter holidays upon us, where rich, heavy foods lurk around every corner, it’s great to have a comforting, healthy recipe at the ready to offset any indulgences. Looking for a way to feel clean and nourished after one too many helpings of mashed potatoes and holiday pie? Let this delicious detox dinner be your reset button for a healthy holiday season.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Veggies

This meal couldn’t be simpler. Just cut a spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, then place flesh side down onto a lightly oiled baking tray. On a separate baking tray, pile on all of the chopped veggies that you please (I use mushrooms, broccoli, onions, bell pepper, and zucchini), with a little bit of olive oil and Italian seasoning. Put both trays in the oven, and cook at 400 degrees F. Pull the veggies out after 30 minutes, but continue cooking the squash until it is tender when pierced with a knife. (The squash will take about 30-50 minutes total, depending on size.)

Spaghetti Squash

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, run a fork back and forth across the flesh of the squash. This will separate the flesh into spaghetti-like strings. Transfer the strands of squash to a plate, and top with roasted veggies and marinara sauce. If you’re looking for a protein boost, feel free to add lentils or chickpeas.

Spaghetti Squash with Veggies and Marinara

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Vegetables and Marinara

Serves 2-4 (depending on size of squash)

Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • 1-2 pounds of raw vegetables, chopped (I had zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, and bell peppers)
  • Marinara Sauce (look for one that has no added sugars and a minimal amount of oil – it should be about 50 calories per 1/2 cup serving)
  • Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, sage)
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: lentils or chickpeas

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lenghthwise, remove the seeds, then place flesh side down onto a lightly oiled baking tray.
  2. Place the chopped vegetables on a separate baking tray, and toss with a little bit of olive oil and Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, sage).
  3. Put both trays in the oven to cook, and pull the veggies out after 30 minutes.
  4. Continue cooking the squash until it is tender when pierced with a knife. This could take anywhere from 30-50 minutes of total cooking time.
  5. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, run a fork back and forth across the flesh of the squash. This will separate the flesh into spaghetti-like strings.
  6. Transfer the strands of squash to a plate, and top with roasted veggies and marinara sauce. If you’re looking for a protein boost, feel free to add lentils or chickpeas.

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara and Veggies

There is no nutrition data for this recipe, as it really depends on how much of each ingredient you use and which vegetables you choose. However, with a dinner this healthy (it’s only veggies, after all!) there is no need to count calories or grams of this and that. So grab a fork and dig in to this nutritious and delicious detox dinner!

– Kelly

Smoothies vs Juice

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‘Tis the season for new years resolutions! For many, that means detoxing from a season of indulgence with a juice fast. But is juicing the healthiest way to load up on antioxidants?

When cutting back on soda, some people use juice as a “healthier” way to satisfy their cravings for sweet beverages, as well as a tasty way to sneak in some extra vegetables. While juice is a natural source of many vitamins and minerals, and definitely a step up from soda, it is not a necessary part of a healthy diet, and in fact, is less healthy than eating the fruits and vegetables themselves.

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By discarding the pulp and solids (the difference between juicing and making a smoothie), you are missing out on the fiber and some of the micronutrients. This is one reason that I am not a huge proponent of “juice fasts”. If you are looking to consume a diet high in fiber and antioxidants, don’t just sip nature’s sugar water; eat the whole fruit! Additionally, do not be fooled into thinking that juice is a low calorie or no calorie beverage. Many juices pack just as much sugar and calories per cup as soda.

Smoothies, on the other hand, contain the whole fruit, rather than just the sugary juice. And contrary to popular opinion, blending fruits and greens up in a blender does not make the fiber disappear. The tip to keeping a smoothie healthy is to keep the ingredients healthy: whole fruits (berries, bananas, mango, etc), greens (kale, spinach), and optional healthy extras (organic, plain yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, organic cottage cheese, chia seeds, ground flaxseed). Don’t add juice or sweetened yogurt to your smoothie, as that defeats the purpose. With all of these solid ingredients, a heavy duty blender (such as a Vitamix) works best. However, I make smoothies in my knock-off magic bullet, and it works just fine.

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Looking for healthy smoothie recipes to get you started?

And for those of you that would still like to give juicing a try, these six fruit and veggie combos look delicious!

– Kelly