It’s been a few weeks since I had to make some major diet changes to help manage my gestational diabetes and I think I’m FINALLY starting to get the hang of it.
While gestational diabetes only affects a small percentage of pregnant women, I’m sure I can speak for most expectant ladies when I say that many of us want to have the healthiest pregnancy possible while also minimizing the weight gain we’ll need to lose once the baby is born. So I wanted to share this low-carb recipe that has become a fast favorite in my household that anyone wanting to watch their carbs can appreciate. This is also a great recipe for #MeatlessMondays, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
I’m a huge fan of pasta. Ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, you name it. If it’s noodles, cheese, and a delicious sauce – red, white, I’m not picky – I’ll devour it. Now that I have gestational diabetes, pasta is off the table, quite literally. Sure, there are lower-carb versions, but the serving sizes allowed to still stay within my recommended limits are just SO SMALL. It’s not worth it. Instead, I turn to my beloved spaghetti squash to help me get my pasta fix.
Here’s what I do:
First, prepare the squash. There are a few different ways you can do this, which you’re free to Google, but here’s how I do it:
Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. (I’m a weakling so if the hubs is around, I have him do the cutting.) Rub a little olive oil over the insides and place the cut sides face down on a baking sheet. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Once it’s done, scoop out the squash with a fork or large spoon (it’ll look like a little like spaghetti), season with garlic salt and pepper and set aside.
Don’t turn off the oven. You’ll use it again in a minute.
In another bowl, I mix together a 1:1 ratio of ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. I don’t really measure it, but I eyeball about half a container of each so that in about a week I can use the rest of both containers for another batch or a different recipe.
In a baking dish, I put half the squash on the bottom, cover with half the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture, pour a thin layer of spaghetti sauce, sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella, and repeat – squash, ricotta/cottage cheese, sauce, mozzarella. And then I top it all off with some parmesan. Yes, I realize that’s a lot of dairy/cheese, but if you use mostly low-fat products and keep the layers thin, it’s not bad.
Pop the baking dish back in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and almost turning brown. If your dish is really deep, better to cover it with aluminum foil and let it bake for closer to 25 minutes to make sure the middle gets nice and warm to melt the cheese.
It’s so good you won’t even miss real pasta noodles.
Just as a recap, here’s your ingredient list:
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 1/2 container Ricotta cheese
- 1/2 container cottage cheese
- 1 pkg mozzarella (I use about 1/2-3/4 of the entire package)
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
- olive oil
- garlic salt
- black pepper