When you’re craving a hot and hearty meal, your old favorites are hard to beat:
A bubbly pot of Italian Bolognese… a thick and spicy chili… or a simple slow cooker chicken with mushrooms and onions…
All of these simple and satisfying foods say “comfort”, not to mention fill your home with a wonderful aroma. And whether it is their unique flavors, their enticing smells or simply nostalgia, these kinds of foods provide pleasure that only true comfort foods can.
Today I want to share one of my favorite comfort foods…
Comfort Food Stuffed Spaghetti Squash – Paleo Style
Not only does it have all of the elements of a great comfort food, it’s also incredibly easy to prepare and jam-packed with important nutrients. What’s more, it’s extremely versatile.
In this rendition, I’ve used a base of ground bison flavored with smoked paprika, organic spinach, garlic, rosemary and fennel.
But you can use any combination of spices, herbs and veggies that tickle your fancy. Here are a few that come to mind (modifiable to your dietary needs, of course):
- Make it Indian: Ground pastured chicken, garam masala, onions, organic tomatoes, organic spinach, chickpeas
- Make it Greek: Ground grass-fed lamb, organic spinach, oregano, garlic, red onion, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts
- Make it Spanish: Ground pastured chicken or turkey, Arbequina olives, olive oil, garlic, capers, sherry vinegar, grass-fed Sheep cheese
- Make it French: Ground pastured chicken or turkey, herbs de Provence, Nicoise olives, shallots, goat cheese
- Make it Asian: Ground pastured chicken or pork, cashews, ginger, coconut aminos, fish sauce, asparagus, scallions
- Make it Mexican: Ground grass-fed beef or bison, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, onions, poblano peppers, toasted pepitas
- Make it Thai: Ground pastured chicken or pork, Thai basil, ginger, scallions, lemongrass, red curry, coconut mil
- Make it Moroccan: Ground grass-fed beef or lamb, Ras El Hanout, olives, raisins, diced eggplant, chickpeas
- Make it American: Ground grass-fed beef or bison, mushrooms, onions, Worcestershire, grass-fed cheddar cheese
Best of all, the cooking method for all of these fragrant, nourishing dishes is pretty much the same – Sauté the aromatics and the meat, add the other ingredients, then pour over a freshly steamed halved spaghetti squash.
It doesn’t get much easier than that!
If you want to pack even more nutrition into this easy recipe, consider adding ground beef heart or chicken livers to your base meat of choice for a super-nutrient boost.
I hope you love this riff on stuffed spaghetti squash and that you’ll broaden your culinary horizons with exotic flavors and health-promoting spices.
Paleo Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe
- 1 small (2 lb) spaghetti squash
- 1 pound grass-fed bison
- 1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil or tallow
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups organic spinach, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp. organic tomato paste
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- First, cook the spaghetti squash. Preheat oven to 375 F. Wash the spaghetti squash and use a fork to poke several holes in the outside. Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and roast 45-50 minutes. The squash is done once you can pierce through the skin easily with a small paring knife. Set aside to cool.
- In a large safe non-stick skillet, add the coconut oil and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes to translucent. Add the bison and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and rosemary and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes to allow flavors to deepen. Stir in tomato paste, spinach and ¼ cup water. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer to let thicken.
- Halve spaghetti squash. Scoop out seeds. Using a fork, scrape out strands of spaghetti squash to make a "nest" of squash noodles. Top with meat mixture and serve.