Southwest Spaghetti Squash

Do you ever buy vegetables that you fully intend on using promptly but for whatever reason they end up on your counter for over a week? Oh, it's just me? I didn't think so.  Well, as embarrassing as it may be, this happens on the regular in my house. Most recently the culprit was a beautiful spaghetti squash that I picked up at the local Farmer's Market.

My husband was traveling and it's just our youngest daughter now that's home but I was inspired to create something a little different and doggone it, bake that squash. Now, in all honesty, it has been pretty hot around here, so part of the reason that squash has sat on the counter is that I haven't wanted to turn on the oven. Yesterday was no exception but I did it anyway. And now I'm sharing the recipe with you. The picture really doesn't do it justice (I didn't have shredded cheese on hand, for example)  - it was a delicious, filling meal for sure. And the recipe for sure feeds four. Just cut the squash into quarters.

Ingredients

1 medium-size spaghetti squash 

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper

1 pound natural ground turkey

1 tablespoon avocado oil

2 tablespoons Mexican seasoning

1 avocado

2 tablespoons organic Greek-style yogurt (plain)

juice from 1/2 lime

1/4 cup organic shredded cheese (Mexican blend or Jack) or goat cheese

Optional: shredded lettuce, cilantro, additional cheese

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare baking dish by lining with parchment and filling with about 1 cup water. Rinse squash and cut in half. Remove seeds. Drizzle squash with olive oil and place cut side up in prepared dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for about 35 minutes until the inside is soft and can easily be shredded with fork.

Add ground turkey to medium-size skillet and place over low-medium heat. Add avocado oil to pan and stir frequently until turkey begins to brown. Sprinkle with Mexican spice seasoning and add a bit of water if mixture appears to dry out. When mostly cooked, place skillet over low simmer and cover about 3/4 of the way or cover and set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, cut avocado in half and remove pit. Place flesh in bowl and mash with a fork until soft and creamy. Add yogurt and lime juice and continue to mash and stir until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

When the squash is ready, sprinkle half the cheese in the center and use a fork to gently tease the squash from the sides of the skin until all the stringy parts come together (note: I used oven mits to hold the hot squash in place when I did this). Mix well to evenly distribute the cheese. Do this with each squash half. After this stage you can cut the squash into quarters.

Divide squash either in halves or quarters onto plates. Top with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the cooked ground turkey mixture. Add creamy avocado mixture and top with optional lettuce, cilantro and additional cheese to taste.

Serve with side of steamed broccoli or other dark green, leafy veggie of choice.

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