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!

Homemade Flubber for Sensory Play

So y’all know that I’m a Health and Fitness Coach and that I like to cook and feed my family clean, healthy and delicious food. But above all else, I’m a Momma and playing with my little people is a huge part of what re-focuses my heart and fills up my soul.

This morning the weather was beautiful and sunny, but as it is late November here in Oregon, it was cold…like 27 degrees cold. Brrrrrr. Yesterday me and the bubs bundled up in mittens/gloves, jackets, hats, snow pants (for one) and leggings under pants (for two) and braved the cold for a bright, crisp sunshiny trip to the zoo. It was wonderful. The animals were full of energy, playing and wandering around. My babes walked almost the entire four hours that we were there and overall, the day was a success. But…I wasn’t quite ready to bundle all back up and head out for another big adventure this morning. Enter…FLUBBER!


My kids (most kids, really) LOVE sensory play. They love play dough. They love a bin of beans and things to scoop with. They love water play, sand, dirt, etc. Today I decided to try something new! So…we made some homemade flubber for sensory play! The recipe was so simple and I was able to whip up two batches (should have done three and had one for each kid, but…live and learn) in less than 10 minutes (and an added bit of “cooling” time).

Ingredients (for one glob of homemade flubber for sensory play)
*1.5 cups of water
*Food coloring (optional – pretty sure mine was from 1982…need to work on that. Haha)
*2 Tblsp. of psyllium husk fiber supplement (like Metamucil)

Tools:
*Microwave (you could very likely cook this on the stove, but it would obviously take longer and I haven’t tried it to be certain)
*A microwave safe bowl that is big enough to contain 6 (or more) cups

Directions:
*Add 1.5 cups of water into large microwave safe bowl
*Add drops of food coloring, if using
*Add 2 Tablespoons of psyllium husk fiber supplement
*Stir well until the mixture is evenly combined
*Microwave for 6 minutes while watching closely to ensure it does not boil over the edges. If it starts to bubble over, open the microwave door and let it cool for 30-60 minutes and then proceed.
*Place in the refrigerator to cool for 15-20 minutes (you may want to pour the flubber into something a bit shallower if your bowl is tall so that it cools quickly and evenly – I didn’t do this. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it did take a little longer to cool).
*After it cools, if it feels too sticky, micro it a little longer and then re-chill (I used two different bowls. One I needed to cook longer. The other I didn’t. Not sure why…)



 
Play:
*Once it is cooled and ready to play, give the flubber to your littles and watch them explore it. Give it to them solo, with no other tools or toys. Let them experience it just as it is. How it stretches, squishes, feels, flips, breaks, goes back together, etc.

*Once they seem to be losing steam a bit, introduce one “new” item at a time to use to play – kid-safe scissors, knife, figurines, cars, etc.


  


  

Share:
*Come back and tell me how you liked it! Share a picture or an idea for a “tool” to play with the flubber with. Send this to a friend. Enjoy!