I could be a Caveman. Er, Woman.
So I poked fun at my dad for his Paleo diet. But, maybe there is something to it.
I have listened as he has stayed faithful on his diet (mostly, lol) and makes sure to keep up with his daily walks. And he is feeling great, and has gotten down to a major milestone goal he had set for his weight.
I decided to give it a whirl. I’m not converted – but I really feel better after most of the meals I have had “caveman” style. I feel satiated, full, but not stuffed like Christmas dinner. I’m not lethargic, and I feel like I have more energy.
I was a vegetarian for about 7 years. I love my veggies. But I was anemic. I tried to incorporate enough iron in my diet through legumes and veggies high in iron, but it was never enough. I hate taking iron supplements. They are hard on my stomach. Once I started working shifts, I found I was just exhausted. I had a conversation with someone I work with who had also been a vegetarian but found that they had been having similar problems, so had begun to eat meat again. She said it made her feel better, she had higher energy levels, and the long 12 hour night shifts were easier to get through. I thought… yuck. Lol. Then about 1 month later, I gave in and started to eat chicken. But I’m a meat snob. So, it has to be boneless skinless breast. I will not eat it off the bone. I will not eat dark meat. Thighs, drumsticks, wings… not for me. I also don’t eat fish. I can’t say why… I just can’t handle the smell or the texture. Or the taste. Then came the day. My husband announced it was time for me to “eat a fucking steak”. I was not sold on it. I ate tiny pieces here and there, maybe twice a month, but I hated it. Like I said, I’m a meat snob, but now I have discovered I like filet mignon. It’s the only cut of beef I will eat. I like it enough to eat it once, possibly twice a month. I still don’t love the texture or taste all that much, but I have more colour in my cheeks after I eat it, so I smile and nod and let hubby BBQ me some dinner while I sit back and enjoy a glass or three of wine.
Anyway, I am getting waaaaaay off topic. I started this post to GUSH about the dinner I had the other night. It’s honestly going to become a regular weekly dinner item, even my picky daughter loved it! I had seen a Facebook taco spaghetti squash recipe online some time ago, but couldn’t seem to find it. I’m familiar enough in the kitchen to give some stuff a whirl without a recipe, so I gave it a try.
Here’s what I made – it was legit delish.
Turkey Spaghetti Squash Tacos
- 2 spaghetti squash (small-ish)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (1/4 tbsp each squash “boat”)
- 1 pkg ground turkey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce (I used Ragu)
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded marble cheese
For the homemade salsa:
1 tomato – chopped
1/4 sweet onion (or red) finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more if you like!)
2 tbsp lime juice (I didn’t have fresh so used store bought)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
OKAY GUYS. HERE’S WHAT I DID:
Heated the oven to 400F. I pretty much had to do this in the morning, cause my oven takes so long to heat up, lol. JUST kidding!!! It isn’t that bad. I placed some parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and got out my sharpest, scariest knife. I cut my squash in half (lengthways). Then I got a spoon and used it to scoop the guts and seeds out. Felt a little like halloween! Then I used a quarter of a tbsp of oil and rubbed it into the insides of each of the squash. Sprinkle them liberally with fresh ground pepper and I used my fresh ground Himalayan sea salt with garlic and red pepper as well.
I popped the squash (ha ha – do you see what I did there?) into my (finally) pre-heated oven and let them sit for 50 minutes.
While those bad boys roasted away, I got to the ground turkey. I browned it all up in a large skillet and then added all the seasonings. Stirred it all up (had to use my LEAST favourite slotted spoon for this, since hubby BROKE my favourite cooking spoon. Like, snapped it in three places. I suppose it was not intended to be used for prying frozen stuff apart. Hmph. Weird, right?). Anyway, I’m getting off topic. Mix the meat and seasoning together, then add in the peppers, water, and tomato sauce. I also added some black beans and corn I had leftover in the fridge (I know they aren’t paleo, but I love them). I stirred it all together some more, then let it simmer while I worked on the salsa and grated my cheese. It simmered for about 20 minutes, and I gave it a few good stirs while it cooked.
Grabbed a clear bowl (I wanted to be able so see the bright colours of the tomato and cilantro) and added in the tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. I gave it a nice stir, and set it in the fridge until it was time to chow down.
When the squash was no longer hot enough to singe off my eyebrows, I got right in there with a fork and scraped the insides so that it looked… like spaghetti. I placed a quarter of the meat mixture inside all of the cooked squash, and then SMOTHERED them in cheese. I popped them back into the oven for about 8 minutes to melt the cheese and heat them back through. My OCD had me cleaning the kitchen before we even sat down to eat. I had 8 minutes to get ‘er done!
I pulled the salsa out of the fridge and we loaded that onto of our “tacos” before we dug in. OMG delicious.
This treat will be making an appearance in my kitchen once a week from now on. So filling and satisfying. Honestly so filling, I was able to eat my half for dinner and then lunch again the next day.