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New Year, Same Resolutions: Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

By Rebecca Fending

Although the calendar year may have changed, many of our resolutions have not. We’re all friends here; we can be honest with each other: are your resolutions a carbon copy of those from 2021? If so, you are not alone.

There’s always a common theme for each new year: get healthy. Whether that means eating more veggies, moving more or making small movements towards bettering your mental health, we all end up in the same boat when it comes to our outlook for the year. But why is it that we tend to falter on our plans yet think they’ll work the next year?

I think many abandoned resolutions are abandoned due to ambition outweighing ability. There’s no shame in that—expecting more of yourself than what you can actually do is admirable and all too common. The best way to stick to any plans you may have made back in January is to start small, as small as possible. This could be going for a quick five-minute walk after dinner once a week, which could easily morph into multiple times a week or even every evening.

That could also mean integrating one healthy (“healthy-ish” or “healthier,” whichever) meal into your weekly dinner plans. Don’t overload yourself with a total upheaval of your current diet; that is a sure-fire way to force yourself into folding before your resolutions have even had a chance. One healthier dinner to make if you have this goal is spaghetti squash with meat sauce.

Although spaghetti squash is best in the fall or winter, it’s typically pretty easy to find year-round in your grocery store’s produce section. This recipe makes for a great mix of light and hearty, which are typically two very different categories for meals. However, by substituting pasta for spaghetti squash, you not only cut out the carbs for a lighter meal, but you also add a ton of fiber, vitamins C, D and B6 to your diet. The meat sauce helps make it just a bit more satisfying with added protein.

The best part? You don’t even need to dirty bowls or plates with this recipe; just add the meat sauce to your squash half and mix it all together!

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium-sized spaghetti squashes

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

  • 3 cloves of garlic (or more, measure with your heart)

  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • Salt and pepper

  • Fresh basil, for garnish

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully cut your squashes in half, lengthwise. Scoop and discard the seeds. Drizzle the inside with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay halves face down on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.

  2. While your squashes are baking, brown the ground turkey with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat, about 5 minutes.

  3. When meat is browned, add the onion, garlic and carrot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until vegetables are soft.

  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and water to the pan and heat through until gently simmering. Add more salt and pepper as needed.

  5. Once squashes are done, carefully flip the halves over and rake a fork through the flesh. If you’re planning to build your meal in the squash halves, leave the overall shape and skin intact.

  6. Add your meat sauce to the halves and top with parmesan and basil. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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