Special Diets | 28 October 2016Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Is there anything better than a nice family meal? Though it’s certainly the pleasant company that’s most important, whats on your plate can really make a difference. As we learn more and more about the human body, the ideal diet changes. One thing that can’t be denied is the benefits of a grain free diet. Do your loved ones a favor and try introducing grain free meals to your family dinners. It’s much more simple and delicious than you might think! Why not start out with this fresh and fun spaghetti squash recipe from The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet! * DAIRY-FREE OPTION * EGG-FREE * NUT-FREE I asked my friend, Alison, to share this recipe with me after she told me that her three growing boys practically lick their plates every time she makes it. My family tried the “boats” and thought they were delicious, indeed. 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 cup (160 g) chopped onions 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 pound (455 g) ground beef 1/4 pound (115 g) ground pork sausage 2 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 g) Homemade Italian Seasoning (below), divided 1 teaspoon salt 1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g) crushed tomatoes 2 medium-size spaghetti squash (about 21/2 pounds, or 1 kg each), cooked 1 1/2 cups (375 g) ricotta cheese or Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese (below) 2 tablespoons (8 g) chopped fresh parsley 1 cup (80 g) shredded Romano cheese Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). To a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the ground beef, sausage, 1½ teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and salt. Cook for about 8 minutes, breaking up the meat and stirring, or until well browned and no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. With a fork, shred the inside of each squash half. Place all four halves into a baking dish (you may need 2). Scoop a generous serving of meat sauce into each squash half and mix with the shredded squash to combine. In a small dish, stir together the ricotta, remaining 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and parsley. Top each squash half with about ¹?³ cup (85 g) of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle ¼ cup (20 g) of Romano cheese over each half. Place the pan(s) in the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the ricotta is heated through. YIELD: 4 generous servings Allergy Substitution I’ve found that many Romano cheeses are made with goat’s milk. This is something my kids can tolerate. If you avoid all dairy proteins completely, omit the cheese. KITCHEN NOTE Watch how to cook a spaghetti squash three ways on YouTube.com/MOMables. Homemade Italian Seasoning * DAIRY-FREE * EGG-FREE * NUT-FREE While many of us have a jar of Italian seasoning in our pantries, it’s nice to have a recipe and make your own, fresh, at any time. 2 tablespoons (4 g) dried basil 2 tablespoons (6 g) dried oregano 2 tablespoons (7 g) dried rosemary 2 tablespoons (3.5) dried marjoram 2 tablespoons (6 g) dried thyme 1 tablespoon (9 g) garlic powder 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (optional) In a food processor or spice grinder, combine the basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using). Give it a quick pulse to break up the dried leaves into uniform pieces. YIELD: About ½ cup (50 g) Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese * DAIRY-FREE * NUT-FREE OPTION There are lots of nut-cheese recipes around the web, so I realize that you might already have your favorite. If not, try this to see if it fills the need. 11/2 cups (225 g) raw cashews, soaked in water with 3/4 teaspoon of salt for 4 hours, or overnight 1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 teaspoons water, divided 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil 2 tablespoons (30 ml) plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice Drain and rinse the cashews. Add them to a food processor or blender along with ¼ cup (60 ml) of water, the olive oil, and lemon juice. Pulse to combine and process until smooth and the texture resembles ricotta cheese. If it’s too thick, slowly add the remaining 2 teaspoons of water until it reaches your desired texture. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. YIELD: About 1 cup (225 g) Allergy Substitution I’ve tried this recipe using sunflower seeds many times. The color will not be white like real ricotta cheese or this cashew version, but it’s a good nut-free alternative. Cook One Meal for the Whole Family! Are you looking for healthy, grain-free meals that your entire family will love? Meals made with wholesome, easy-to-find ingredients that are easy make? With the recipes in this book, you’ll know you’re cooking kid-approved, nutritious meals! The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet is full of simple, creative recipes for the entire family. Written by author and grain-free mama Laura Fuentes, you’ll find more than 170 recipes for delicious, healthy, allergy-free meals that can satisfy big and little appetites alike. Here are just a few of the recipes you’ll find inside: Grain-Free Breakfast Cookies Sweet Potato Morning Scramble Veggie Falafels Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups Pizza Mini Quiches Raspberry-Glazed BBQ Ribs Coconut Shrimp with Tropical Rice Parmesan-Green Bean Fries Cherry Cobbler Coconut-Brownie Bites Whether you’re Paleo, primal, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, or just want to try something new, you’ll find endless ways to create simple, delicious meals with The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet. 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