Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

All the flavor and comfort of hearty lasagna in a healthy, gluten-free spaghetti squash dish that will have everyone asking for seconds! Looking for more spaghetti squash recipes? I have lots!

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash #glutenfree

Today Mean Green and I had our first fight. We’ll call it the new stop sign’s fault, but Steve stopped short, I ran into his bike and flew off mine. Luckily I didn’t slide so I just walked away with some bruises, and Mean Green is a tough cookie–she barely got scraped! It was scary, but it had to happen sometime, and I’m glad it happened when the street wasn’t busy (ummm I ended up in the middle of it laying on the ground–traffic could have been a very bad thing), and when my husband was there to pick me back up.

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash #glutenfree

In other exciting and much happier news, I attended and spoke at Blended Conference this weekend! It was a total blast, and I learned a TON! Maureen gave a great presentation on the business of blogging. Christine gave an incredible presentation (literally so.much.information) on Pinterest. Kimberley gave an awesome presentation on building an Instagram community. Nicole and I spoke again on video blogging (to a truly incredible response!), then there were break out discussions, and the day ended with a panel led by Wendy, Nicole, Christine and me on food photography/how to get exposure on sights such as Foodgawker and Tastespotting. I also finally got to meet Stephanie who I’ve known through our blogs and her gooooorgeous food for quite a while now. It was a whirlwind, but I had a really amazing time! Wendy & Wendy did an incredible job putting everything together!

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash #glutenfree

So that was my eventful weekend. After all of that, I just kind of feel like doing absolutely nothing except for lounging on the couch watching Orange is the New Black (just started it, and I, like, REALLY love it!), and eating comfort food. Fall and winter are all about comfort foods for me, and comfort food always includes cheese. Duh.

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash #glutenfree

I always thought lasagna was super intimidating, but my bestie and college roommate Heather taught me how to make it, and I used a lightened up version of her recipe for years. It’s simple, easy, great to freeze in bulk and always a hit. I wanted to change it up a little bit, and I was looking for a new way to use my beloved spaghetti squash, so I stuffed it with lasagna filling. Seriously people, I don’t know why I ever bothered with real noodles.

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash #glutenfree

Between the spicy turkey sausage, the bold meat sauce, creamy ricotta cheese, and brown and bubbly (yes, it went back in the oven for extra love half way through the shoot) mozzarella cheese, I promise you don’t miss the noodles at all. In fact, I prefer the spaghetti squash texture, and I love getting a huge serving of veggies without having to cook them up as a side dish. You guys will love this new twist on lasagna–all the bold flavors you love while eating comfort food you can feel good about eating!

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 squash half

Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Hearty, comforting lasagna in a light, satisfying and veggie-packed dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 20 oz 99% lean ground turkey breast (you can also use the 93-94% or 96% lean ground beef)
  • 1/4 lb chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried or finely chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried or finely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Slice spaghetti squash length wise and scrape out the seeds. Rub 1/4 tbsp olive oil into each squash half and season with salt and pepper. Place each spaghetti squash half face down in a large baking dish and bake for 40-60 min. When squash is done, middle will be tender and pull apart easily.
  2. In a large pan, sautee onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add ground turkey. Season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until browned. Add sausage, crushed tomato and 1 teaspoon each basil and oregano. When sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to a simmer until thickened (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, combine ricotta and cottage cheese in a medium bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon each basil and oregano. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lightly mix until combined.
  4. When spaghetti squash is fully cooked, flip in the baking dish so that it is now skin side down. Evenly divide ricotta mixture between each squash half. Repeat with meat sauce. Top each half with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  5. Turn oven to broil, and cook for an other 2 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbling. This happens very quickly–make sure to watch closely, otherwise it can burn easily. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

The sauce is very forgiving. Add/subtract whatever spices you like to get your desired flavor. I used a spicy (pre-cooked) chicken sausage, but you can use whatever flavor you like.

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Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

This morning I went out for a run, and my first thought when I stepped outside was “It feels chilly out”!!!! I practically jumped for joy. There is a warmth in my heart that can only be described as fall, and I don’t intend to stop sharing my love about it any time soon. Forgive me?

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

Of course I needed a special fall granola. Okay, that’s a lie. I made this in, like, April and thought I should probably wait until fall to post it. I do promise not to post exclusively pumpkin recipes for the next 3 months, but I can’t promise that there won’t be a whole lot of ‘em. ;)

Pumpkin Pecan Granola #vegan #glutenfree

This granola just has a *hint* of pumpkin, so if you’re not as obsessed with the flavor as I am (ummm, WHY NOT), I think there’s a good chance you’ll still enjoy it! Lots of crunchy pecans, a hint of spice, big granola clusters, and soft, sweet dried cranberries. This granola just screams fall, and the flavors complement each other perfectly.

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Pumpkin Pecan Granola

Warm and cozy pumpkin spice granola with pecans and dried cranberries is the perfect way to add some fall flavor to your breakfast every morning!

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if applicable)
  • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup milled flax seed
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • heavy pinch sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300. Line two large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, flax seed, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until well combined, whisking constantly.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly between your 2 prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour. Lightly toss granola half way through.
  6. Cool completely. Add cranberries and gently toss to combine. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The granola will stay fresh for at least one month. I’ve never made a batch last any longer than that, but it’s still great a month in!
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Drink & Dish: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups {gluten-free}

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

I would like to propose that the United States of America switch to 3 days weekends. Or, at least that my schedule could switch to 3 day weekends. I feel like one day I spend riding my bike all day (not at all an exaggeration! 2-5 hours is seriously allllll day), and the next day is filled with meal prep, grocery shopping, laundry (ew), and various other errands. Cleaning should probably be in there somewhere, but we all know I don’t actually do that.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

Today my husband ran his first 5k!! It didn’t go quite like he would have hoped, but I’m still beyond proud of him for getting out there and making it happen! I also convinced a few work friends to tag along, and two of them did their very first race as well! It was fun to get out there, but it turns out not doing any speed training for almost 9 months is not the way to run at your PR pace. Who knew? Anyway, that was my weekend. 56 mile bike ride Friday (okay so that wasn’t even the weekend yet…), 36 mile bike ride Saturday (my first group ride, I didn’t get dropped, and Strava told me I rode one of the miles @ 23mph!!!), and then a 5k on Sunday. I need a weekend from my weekend.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

The good news is the first day of fall is finally here, and I’m *finally* feeling a hint of it in the air. I couldn’t be happier. It’s no longer hot at 5am. In fact, there is a nice breeze, and the temperature feels perfect. I don’t see any triple digits on the horizon, and pumpkin spice syrup is sneaking its way back into my iced coffee every now and then. And also, my cheesecake.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

I know everyone says it, but I really do love this time of year. There is something so cozy about the fall, and knowing that the holidays are coming (<3 all things holiday spirit!). It just makes my heart happy. Not to mention the flavors. I’ve always been obsessed with the pumpkin spice latte. The last couple of years, I’ve made pumpkin spice latte cupcakes, but I wanted to share something a little different with you guys that still showcases the amazing flavor combination. Every year, I make pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving, and decided to do a little twist on that. The result? Like cheesecake and a pumpkin spice latte had a love child, and it only got the best genes from each parent. They are ridiculously good, and even include a gingersnap crust with a hint of coffee flavor to bring everything together.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

To pair with my cheesecake cups, Nicole made a spiced pear martini that is bursting with fall flavors. I’m not normally someone who jumps at pear flavored things, but the spices round it out perfectly to create a not-too-sweet, cozy pear drink that is a must try! And of course make sure you check out the latest episode of D&D and please subscribe on YouTube!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake Cups {gluten-free}

All the flavors of the fall favorite pumpkin spice latte in individual cheesecake cups with a gluten-free gingersnap crust.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (start with 1 1/2, and add a little extra if it needs it--it depends on the brand of gingersnap and how much oil is already in the cookie)
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 lb reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For garnish:
  • Whipped cream
  • Freshly ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set. Aside.
  2. To make the crust, combine gingersnap crumbs, 1/2 tsp espresso powder and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Place approx 1 tablespoon of crust into each muffin tin. Press down with your fingers, the back of your spoon, or a shot glass. Bake until set, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, pumpkin puree and brown sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp espresso powder.
  4. Evenly divide the cheesecake batter between your 12 muffin tins.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and just set, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow cheesecakes to sit in opened oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 3-4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg (if desired) to serve. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week.
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Mexican Slaw

Mexican Slaw #vegan #glutenfree

You guys, life has been so busy lately. I don’t know how some people take all of these trips and still manage to get things done in life. I’ve been coming and going since June, and I’m just kind of ready to stay put for a little while. I mean, I wouldn’t trade any of my recent trips for the world, but I am tiiiiired. And I haven’t cooked real food in, like, 2 weeks.

Mexican Slaw #vegan #glutenfree

I mean, I have 5 zillion recipes that literally only take a matter of minutes to prepare, but I just cannot get on the ball. I know that once I just force myself to make it happen, I will remember that I actually like cooking. Not to mention, I have soooo many fall recipes floating around in my head.

Mexican Slaw #vegan #glutenfree

Until then, coleslaw counts as dinner, right? Okay, maybe not, but it certainly does count for an insanely easy side dish packed full of veggies and nutrients. I don’t think I really like the word nutrients. It sounds ugly to me. Is that weird? Have I ever told you about my friend who doesn’t like the word cube (miss you, John!)?

Mexican Slaw #vegan #glutenfree

Anyway, this slaw…it is the easiest thing you will ever make, and it is insanely delicious. Bold and spicy Mexican flavors with some honey (or agave) for a touch of sweetness, and I am a firm believer that cumin and cilantro make everything better. You could top some delicious homemade tacos with this, add some grilled chicken or black beans to make it a full meal, or even just simply eat it as a snack or side dish.

Mexican Slaw

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: approx 10 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Mexican Slaw

Simple., easy, spicy and bold Mexican coleslaw--the perfect side dish for some fajitas or great for topping your homemade tacos!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz slaw mix
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (remove ribs for less spice)
  • Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave)
  • pinch cumin
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add slaw mix, onion, jalapeno and cilantro to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice and honey. Add to your slaw mix and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Toss until fully coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air tight container for 3-5 days.

Notes

Feel free to add in chopped red pepper, or any extra veggies you'd like.

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Cornbread Waffle Tacos {gluten-free}

Cornbread Waffle Taco #glutenfree

Yes. The waffle is the shell, get it? Then there’s guac, taco meat, goat cheese, pretty much heaven.

Cornbread Waffle Taco #glutenfree

Some of my favorite recipes on this blog weren’t even my idea in the first place. It was Nicole that suggested I make a chicken enchilada dip. And the jalapeno popper hot dogs were way more Heather’s idea than mine. And this taco? It’s a spin off what I remember Heather telling me about something she ordered at a food truck. It’s wayyyy too cool for me to actually come up with the idea on my own.

Cornbread Waffle Taco #glutenfree2

But, I do have to say I feel pretty awesome for making something that sounded ridiculously indulgent at least masquerade as a healthy meal. Oh, and for making literally this bomb gluten-free waffle. I’m still figuring out gluten-free things in the kitchen (the husband found out he was intolerant a few months ago), but these babies were a total win on the first try!

Cornbread Waffle Taco #glutenfree

As we were eating, Steve looked at me and admitted that he real skeptical when I told him what we were having for dinner, but had his mind changed 100%. It’s one of those things that some people hear and think “that sounds weird”, but I hear and think”THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS!” There are several components, but honestly it’s really easy to make, and I think the entire thing took me about half an hour. I probably spent longer photographing it than I did eating it (#foodbloggerproblems). You can make the guacamole ahead of time (I just make it right at the beginning), prepare it while your meat cooks, or just buy some if that’s easier. You start the meat while the waffle batter rests (so important!!), and then cook the waffles as your meat soaks up the seasoning, and voila! Everything comes together around the same time. I love it when that happens!

Cornbread Waffle Tacos

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Cornbread Waffle Tacos

These cornbread waffle tacos are a unique and delicious play on sweet, savory and spicy flavors all coming together.

Ingredients

    For the guacamole:
  • 2 extra large avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 lime, zest & juice
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove stems and heat for less heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • For the waffles:
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • For the taco meat:
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 oz ground turkey breast (or 93% lean ground turkey, or 96% lean ground beef)
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning (preferably homemade, or at least reduced sodium variety)
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • For serving:
  • Freshly crumbled goat cheese (or any cheese you'd like)
  • Chopped green onions
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. To make the guacamole, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Blend using an immersion blender until smooth. I prefer a smooth guacamole for this recipe, but you may use a fork/spoon and mix together a chunkier one.
  2. To make the waffles, whisk together corn flour, cornmeal, almond meal and baking soda in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, coconut oil and honey. Very gently, fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined. A few small lumps may remain. Do not over mix. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. While your waffle batter rests, heat onion, garlic and bell pepper in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until turkey is fully browned. Add taco seasoning and cinnamon. Slowly add water until the meat has reached your desired level of liquid (some will cook out, so add a little more than you'd think). Increase heat to bring liquid to a light boil, then reduce to simmer.
  4. While meat simmers, cook your waffles by adding approx 1/4 cup batter to your waffle maker at a time (more if you have a large waffle maker--eyeball it). Cook until waffles are golden and cooked throughout, about 5 minutes (mine has a light that goes on when they're finished).
  5. Spread cooked waffles with guacamole, then add taco meat and additional toppings. Serve immediately. Leftover waffles, taco meat and guacamole should be stored separately and refrigerated in an airtight container. Guacamole will last about 3 days. Waffles and taco meat will last 5-7 days.

Notes

There are a million things you could also add on top such as plain Greek yogurt, salsa, tomatoes, cilantro, corn, beans, etc.

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