I am starving during the winter. Now that it’s dark at 4:30 it takes everything in me to avoid eating sugar and getting in bed once the sun goes down. And that’s not to say I successfully avoid overeating and being lazy in the winter months! I do however, believe that we need to eat with the seasons and listen to our bodies when we feel hungry. This is where balance comes in. While in the winter months it is best to eat heartier meals, we need to “trick” our bodies to avoid cravings. Instead of chowing down on cookies if you’re having a sugar craving, incorporate more sweet root vegetables into your diet- like yams. Sugar cravings are indicative of what’s missing in your diet. I usually find if a client is craving sugar, they are not getting enough protein or “good” fat.
This casserole is a good way to “trick” your body when you're craving a lush and filling meal. Yes, it has carbs, but it comes from the squash. Yes, it tastes creamy, but it comes from coconut milk and goat cheese.
I made it over Thanksgiving with my family in Crested Butte. And before I get more into this casserole, check out this view!
The best part about this dish too? If you have it as a side dish, you’re likely to have leftovers the next day. I almost liked it better cold the following day for lunch due to the “cream” really thickening up in the fridge!
Start by preparing the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 400. Do note that this dish is not a quick meal to make. Cooking a spaghetti squash is a labor of love! Get a sharp knife and be careful-these squashes can be difficult to cut. Cut off the top stem, and then the bottom. Place the squash upright and cut down the middle vertically. I like to cut about halfway down, flip it over, and then keep cutting until I reach the previous cut. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and throw away. Place the squash on a cookie sheet and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
While the squash cooks, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Rinse the mushrooms and broccoli. Cut off the stems and slice into small pieces. Cut the sausage into small circles and then cut the circles into fourths.
Place the vegetables and meat into a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Once the squash is golden brown, let it cool, or alternatively handle it with cooking mitts. I usually get impatient and handle it with a mitt, because let’s be real-I just waited an hour for this thing to cook. Take a fork and pull down vertically against the spaghetti squash. The “noodles” will come out with the fork. Place the spaghetti in a baking dish and set aside. Throw away the skins of the squash.
In a saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer. Use coconut cream for a thicker sauce. Add the goat cheese, and stir until the milk and cheese are well combined, creating a “cream” sauce. Add the garlic to the sauce as well.
Mix the vegetables and meat in with the spaghetti squash. Stir until well combined. Pour the “cream” sauce on top of the baking dish with the spaghetti squash, vegetable, and sausage mixture. Place dish in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the top start to turn a golden brown.
Serve as a side dish. Yields about 10 side servings. Tastes wonderful cold the next day or heated up!
“Creamy” Spaghetti Squash Casserole
1 large spaghetti squash
1 cup of broccoli
1 cup of mushrooms
2 Cloves of garlic
1 cup/package of sausage
1 16 oz. can of coconut milk (or cream for a thicker sauce)
1 small package of goat cheese
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400
2. Cut the top and bottom off of the spaghetti squash. Then, cut vertically and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes-1 hour
3. Once the squash cooks, let it cool. Alternatively, handle the squash with an oven mitt. Using a fork scrape the inside of the squash in one vertical direction.
4. Place the “spaghetti” in a medium sized baking dish (about 7x11in) and toss the skins of the squash
5. Prepare the rest of the vegetables. Rinse and cut the mushrooms and broccoli into small pieces. Dice the garlic cloves.
6. Cut the sausage into small fourths
7. Preheat the oven again, this time to 350
8. Place vegetables and sausage into the dish with the spaghetti squash. Mix so all ingredients are evenly spread out. Add salt and pepper.
9. In a saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer. Add the garlic. Add the goat cheese. Stir until the coconut milk or cream and the goat cheese are combined into one liquid.
10. Pour the creamy mixture on top of the vegetables in the baking dish. Mix together if needed.
11. Bake the entire casserole at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the top begins to turn a golden brown.
12. Serve as a side dish for 5 or more people. Tastes great cold the next day!