Delicious and simple Super Food Spaghetti Squash recipe. The nutrients found in spaghetti squash make this the perfect super food, along with quinoa, pesto, and tomatoes!
This is a recipe for spaghetti squash that can be an entire meal because it has every food to make it balanced! The recipe contains a vegetable (the spaghetti squash), fruit (if you count tomato as a fruit), grain (quinoa), and protein (quinoa plus cheese)! My 5 year old has become more and more picky over the last year. Even though it can be frustrating at times, I just keep serving good healthy foods and know that picky eating is typically just a phase. (Even if the phase lasts 10 years, it’s still just a phase!)
There are foods that she loves and WILL eat, and something I try to do is pair that familiar food she loves with something new. She really loves quinoa with pesto in it. Who would have thought? Since quinoa is such a super nutrient dense food, I thought it was the perfect thing to stuff our squash with! Add savory pesto, tangy tomatoes and some gooey cheese on top, and you have a power packed delicious dinner all in one spaghetti squash recipe!
Spaghetti Squash Nutrition Facts
One great reason to include spaghetti squash into your family’s diet is that they are so nutritious. The nutrition density of a food considers the micro-nutrients related to total calories. So if a food has lots of nutrients and is low in calories, it’s a nutritionally dense food. In contrast, an energy dense or calorie dense food generally refers to a food that is high in calories, and low in nutrients. This distinction is important, because the more calorie dense foods kids consume, the more likely they will be too full to get the optimum amount of micro nutrients.
So let’s look at the spaghetti squash nutrition facts for this recipe:
- Excellent source of Vitamin A: 7300 IU or 145% daily value for 1 cup (80 calories)
- Good source of Vitamin C : 19 mg or 32% daily value for 1 cup.
- Good source of Potassium: 895 mg or 26% daily value for 1 cup.
- Fiber: 6 grams for 1 cup!
- Good source of Manganese 0.4 mg or 21% daily value
- Good source of Folate: 57 mcg or 14% daily value for 1 cup
- small amounts of omega 3, Vitamin B1, copper, Tryptophan, vitamin B6, panothenic acid and Niacin.
- Protein – 1.8 grams per cup
- Carbs – 18 grams per cup
- Fat -1.9 grams per cup
If those nutrients aren’t enough to get you cooking your next spaghetti squash recipe, winter squash (like spaghetti squash) has one of the most concentrated sources of Alphalinolenic acid (ALA), that gets converted to EPA (the fatty acid shown to reduce triglycerides).
This spaghetti squash recipe does not require a lot of effort. To cook spaghetti squash, all you have to do is slice it in half (the hardest part), scoop out the seeds, turn over face down and bake! I sprayed my baking pan with a bit of olive oil so that it wouldn’t stick. You can also use a silpat which is awesome because nothing sticks to it! While the squash is baking, prepare your quinoa. This is the method we use to cook super fluffy quinoa. Once cooked, add your pesto. Chop your tomatoes and combine with the quinoa. Once the squash is done baking, fill it with your quinoa mixture. Layer with some fresh mozzarella, and a little basil. Put it in the oven on broil just for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese, and serve!
Each of the ingredients provides different nutrition, flavor and texture to this dish. Providing your kids with variety not only helps them get all of the nutrients they need, but also helps to expand their palate and grow to love different foods. You never know which method of cooking a fruit or vegetable will be the one they like!