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Butternut Squash Noodles with Spinach & Grilled Sausage

So, despite my best efforts (best = not giving into my donut cravings on every occasion), I am — according to my doctor and online resources — already at the weight I should’ve gained for my whole pregnancy with a ways to go. 

Sure, it’s been challenging not being able to work out or really leave the house — that certainly hasn’t helped. But neither did the 10 pounds I gained in the first trimester due to peanut butter & jelly waffles being literally the only food I could stomach without throwing up.

I digress!

Long story short, I’ve been trying my darndest to be really good during my third trimester. Weight gain is inevitable, obviously. But I’m trying to limit it as much as I can.

My rules of the road? 21 day fix and paleo-inspired recipes — limiting my carbs, processed foods and fats, and replacing with proteins, veggies and the right fruits. Smart snacking — trading tortilla chips for carrots, and pretzels for almonds. And limiting my indulgences — I say limiting because I’ve totally snuck in a few desserts here and there. But I’m trying!

One of my fave ways to lighten up a meal is by using veggie noodles instead of pasta noodles. Still the same heartiness of eating pasta without the carbs. And since I’ve kind of over-done zoodles, I decided to try butternut squash noodles.

The verdict? Love! 

(And if you’re feeling super lazy like me, you can pick up the pre-spiralized version at Whole Foods. Hey – an 8 month pregnant lady’s gotta’ do what she’s gotta’ do.) 

Butternut Squash Noodles with Spinach & Grilled Sausage

Serves 2

Ingredients

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 Italian chicken sausages (I used Applegate)

1 tablespoon minced or chopped garlic

~3 cups of butternut squash, spiralized (love this how-to)

Pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon your favorite basil pesto (I like to test a lot of different brands, but used this classic one)

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

A dash of red pepper flakes

2 cups fresh spinach

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Option: shredded parmesan for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; add cherry tomatoes to baking sheet and season with pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for ~15 minutes or until they start to brown and wrinkle.

Grill sausages on high for 8 minutes (4 minutes per side). Slice sausages into 1/2-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add butternut squash noodles and a heavy seasoning of pepper. Using tongs, toss to coat in oil and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until noodles are tender.

Add basil pesto, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.

Add spinach and grated parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and cook for 2 additional minutes or until spinach is wilted.

Plate your pasta and top with cherry tomatoes and additional grated parmesan (if desired). Enjoy!

 

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