Spaghetti Squash with Veggie & Meat Sauce 

Grain-Free, Paleo Spaghetti Squash with Meat & Veggie Sauce by: Kimberly Lam Wellness

I am quite certain the very first real meal that I learned to cook was spaghetti with meat sauce. And distinctly remember cooking it solo for the first time (late middle school or high school) for my family and I accidently opened the “spoon-sized” flap of the cayenne pepper…and shook vigorously. Haha.

Since then, I have switched out the refined white flour pasta, added more seasonings and veggies, cleaned up the meat, and learned to check the seasoning tops more closely. Ha. But no matter the changes, I think back to my childhood every time I make it…and shiver a bit every time it comes to adding the cayenne. Haha.

This is a family favorite around here. Pretty simple. Super tasty and makes for amazing leftovers! What is it about meat sauce that tastes so much better the next day!?

I hope you enjoy it as well!

Veggie & Meat Sauce: 

*Avocado Oil

*1 Zucchini, diced

*1 Yellow Squash, diced

*1-2 Carrots, peeled and diced

*1-2 Celery Stalks, peeled and diced

*1/2-3/4 Onion, diced

*3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced

*6ish Mushrooms, sliced

*Spinach or Kale (optional…)

*1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef (or ground turkey/chicken or leave out for vegetarian)

*1/2 tsp Sea Salt

*1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

*1/2 tsp Onion Powder (or flakes)

*1/2 tsp Paprika

*1/2 tsp Chili Powder

*Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

*1/4-1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

*2 Bay Leaves

Spaghetti Squash: 

*1-2 good sized squashes (squash? Squashes? Anyway…) – quantity depends on how many you are feeding. I cooked two pretty good sized ones and they served 6 (though really appetites of 5 since two are toddlers) and has some leftover.

*Avocado Oil (or some other clean oil)

*Garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, onion flakes, sea salt, black pepper, and chili powder to sprinkle.

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and toss. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle on seasonings. Rub them in a bit and then place the squash cut side down on the parchment lines baking sheet.

3. Roast on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes, checking periodically for done-ness. The top (outside) will be sort of soft and starting to brown a bit. Remove from oven, flip over and try scraping out some of the “noodles” to see if it is done. Set aside. *You will want to use a fork to scrape the noodles out in the opposite direction from the original lengthwise cut…in the direction of the inside “noodles”.

4. Meanwhile as the squash is cooking, dice the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms. Mince the garlic.

5. Heat avocado oil over medium high heat in a large, deep pan or a stock pot, depending on the quantity  you are making. Add in the garlic and onions and let cook until they begin to soften.
6. Add in meat of choice, breaking it up as you go, and seasoning with roughly 1/2 the amount of seasonings, minus the bay leaves.

7. Once meat is mostly cooked, toss in the remaining veggies (except the kale or spinach, if you are using it), stir to combine, and sauté briefly.

8. Add in crushed tomatoes, other 1/2 of the seasonings and the bay leaves. Stir to combine.

9. Bring to a boil, cover partway and reduce to a slow simmer for 20-30 minutes. *The longer you’ve got, the better the flavors will meld, but time is King with little people around. Haha. So…simmer for as little or as long as you can, making sure the veggies are cooked to your liking.

10. With a few minutes of simmering to spared, stir in kale/spinach, if you are using it. *If you are using spinach, it cooked super fast and you can practically toss it in just as you are about to plate it. If you are using kale, give it more like 5-10 minutes to cook down.

11. Plate the “noodles” and top with sauce! Enjoy!

Foodie Friday 11.13.15: Top Three Clean Eating Meals From This Week’s Meal Plan

This week’s round-up is pretty simple, but still tasty as can be. As always…each meal was served with a simple green salad with carrots, celery, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

✨Monday’s Steak and Chicken Fajitas with Sauteed Veggies and Brown Rice✨

Ingredients:
* Your meat of choice (we used chicken breast and beef short ribs)
* A mix of three to four bell peppers (we used two green, one red and one yellow) – cored, seeded and sliced
* One onion – peeled and sliced
* 3-5 cloves of garlic – minced
* 7+ crimini mushrooms – cleaned sliced
* Brown rice (we used 1.5 cups)
* Water or broth (we used 3 cups of chicken broth – brown rice is a 2:1 ratio)
* Seasoning: garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, dried onion, sea salt, black pepper, cumin
* Tortillas or lettuce wraps (we did half and half)
* Garnish: really up to you, but we used tomatoes, avocados, a little cheese for the kids and some plain whole fat yogurt (a la sour cream)

Directions:
* Rinse rice. Combine rice and broth into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low(ish) and cover. Cook for 50 minutes.
* You can either thinly slice the meats and saute them in the pan with the seasonings above (like I would) or you can season them raw, grill them whole, and then thinly slice them (like my husband would…haha).
* If you saute the meat, while it cooks, prep the veggies. When the meat is cooked through, remove it from the pan.
* In the same pan, add a little grass-fed butter or avocado oil and toss in the onions. Cook a couple minutes, throw in the garlic and mushrooms. Cook another minute or two and then add in the peppers. Add same seasonings from above.
* When veggies are done, add the meat back in and mix together.
* If there is yummy stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan, rev up the heat and when it is super hot, toss in a tiny bit of broth and scrape it up!
* Serve it up!

✨Tuesday’s Grilled Salmon with Sauteed Kale and Baked Yams✨

* Wash and poke yams. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) at 350*, flipping halfway through.
* Rinse and trim Kale (we used two bunches…but we really like kale)
* Mince 3 cloves of garlic.
* Heat avocado oil (or grass-fed butter) in a large pot (or pan, depending on how much kale you are cooking) over medium-high heat and add in kale and garlic. Toss frequently and be sure not to let the garlic burn on the bottom of the pan. Season with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried onion. It only takes 10 minutes or so to cook the kale, so plan accordingly. When done cooking, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.
* Brush salmon (or other fish of choice) with avocado oil and season with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried onion and paprika.
* Grill 6ish minutes each side (depending on thickness and desired cooked-ness)
* Plate it all up, serve with fresh lemon, and enjoy!

✨Wednesday’s Italian Quinoa Skillet Meal✨

So I found a recipe on Pinterest that was my inspiration, but I changed a fair amount so the below link really isn’t all that similar, but…just I included it in case.

Ingredients:
* 2 cups of quinoa
* 4 cups of broth (or water)
* 32ish ounces of your choice of spaghetti sauce. I used Autumn Calabrese’s “Grandma’s Tomato Sauce” from her “Fixate” cookbook. Yum.
* 1lb of ground turkey (or chicken sausage or ground beef, or something else delicious)
* 3-4 cups fresh spinach – rough chopped
* 3-5 cloves of garlic – minced (I adore fresh garlic)
* 1/2-1 onion – diced
* Seasonings: garlic powder, dried onion, dried (or fresh…if fresh, add it in last) basil, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper and a touch of chili powder

Directions:
* Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve (for about one minute). Place rinsed quinoa into a medium sauce pan on medium heat (with no oil). Let the heat sort of dry out the excess water from the quinoa. Stir often and keep the quinoa from burning. Once the quinoa is dried out a bit and starts to stick to the pan, add in the broth and bring to a boil. Toss in a bit of grass-fed butter or avocado oil, turn the heat down to low-ish, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes.
* Meanwhile, heat avocado oil in a large skillet or stock pot, add onion and garlic and cook until they start to soften and the garlic is fragrant. Add in the meat of your choice, season to taste (with above seasonings) and cook through.
* Add the cooked quinoa, marinara/tomato sauce, spinach, and any additional seasonings into the skillet/pot with the cooked meat.
* Stir to combine and heat through.
* Serve with the optional Parmesan cheese topping and enjoy!

http://makethebestofeverything.com/2015/10/italian-quinoa-skillet-meal.html

Let me know what you think and share a picture and how you liked them, if you give them a try!!

Comment, like or share this post with someone who may wanna have a few new ideas for meals thrown their way each week! Thanks for checking in!

Foodie Friday 10.30.15: Top Three Clean Eating Meals From My Week’s Meal Plan

  

While this is a new blog, Kimberly Lam Wellness is not new at all! I’ve been posting over on Facebook for sometime now at facebook.com/kimberlylamwellness. And one of my weekly posts is Foodie Friday. It is my way of sharing a little piece of clean eating and the convenience of a meal plan from my home to yours! On occasion (especially busy weeks like this one) it ends up popping up on a Saturday, but such is the life and times of a busy mama. So, without further adieu, I share with you…Foodie Friday for Oct. 30th, 2015. 

Another week has come and gone. Hopefully you had a fantastic week and did something to help your body be well! Here is this week’s clean eating meal plan round up!

All meals (except the falafel salad)  served with a simple green salad with carrots, celery, dressed with EVOO and Balsmic Vinegar.
✨Monday’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps w/ Brown Rice and Steamed Broccoli✨

We used almond butter instead of peanut butter and cut the chili sauce down temendously. That is pretty much all we changed. Yum.

http://iowagirleats.com/2011/04/26/p-f-changs-lettuce-wraps-remade/

  

✨Wednesday’s Quinoa Crusted Chicken Strips w/ Baked Yam and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts✨

I highly recommend preparing the quinoa crust part a day or so earlier than you are going to use it. Otherwise, it can take up a good chunk of your afternoon. 

For the Yams: wash, poke holes in them, pop them in the oven at 375 (mine were still in there cooking when I bumped the temp up for the chicken) for 45-60 minutes, depending on size. Cook until soft.

For the Brussels: wash, cut in half and trim stems, sautée on med-high heat in avocado oil (or butter…yum…preferably from milk of grass fed cows…Kerrygold is awesome and we get it for cheap at Costco) with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, & black pepper. Cook until tender, but not mush. 

http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/quinoa-crusted-chicken-strips-bbq-honey-mustard/

  

✨Thursday’s Falafel Salad w/ Tzatziki Sauce✨

I used almond flour in place of whole wheat flour and couldn’t find the cilantro in my crisper (until right after I had formed and placed all the patties on the baking sheet. Bah.) so I used a tiny bit left from our garden and some dried corriander instead. I brushed the parchment with avocado oil before placing the falafels on it and brushed the tops of them with it as well and flipped them halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking. 

We decided to crumble them over greens with tomatoes, carrots, celery, and cucumber and top them with homemade tzatziki. 
For the tzatziki: I didn’t leave any piece of it to sit overnight. Didn’t remember the night before, but…still delicious! I did peep the cucumber and then squeezed it out with a towel after shredding it to remove the excessive liquid. I used whole-fat, plain yogurt instead of Greek, as that is what I had on hand. I halved the garlic and used a microplane to make sure it mixed well and wasn’t too spicy for babes. And I added a touch of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
http://www.myfoodandhappiness.com/crispy-oven-baked-falafels/

http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/authentic-greek-tzatziki/

  

Let me know what you think and share a picture and how you liked them, if you give them a try!! 

Comment, like or share this post with someone who may wanna have a few new ideas for meals thrown their way each week! Thanks for checking in!