I have an extensive library of cookbooks – Weight Watchers, Williams Sonoma, Barefoot Contessa, and so many more – and I’ve been avoiding them for the last few months because I’ve been focusing making sure I’m following clean, “real food” recipes. This week, Jeff suggested I take on the task of trying to modify and adapt some of our old favorite recipes into real food recipes. I realized I was up for the task and am excited to create some new recipes of my own as a result.
There’s a Weight Watchers recipe for a creamy mushroom sauce that we loved and have made a number of times over the years. Despite being “light”, it had a rich taste, and I loved to serve it over gnocchi. But the ingredients included all-purpose white flour, margarine, non-fat sour cream, and skim milk. Not exactly clean eats. Time for a recipe makeover!
I added some new flavor profiles and replaced the processed ingredients for organic whole ones. I served this over baked spaghetti squash, but it would be delicious over whole wheat pasta, homemade gnocchi, or maybe even some creamy polenta.
Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Ingredients – for the squash
- 1 spaghetti squash (around 3 lbs.)
- extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil (cold pressed, certified organic)
- celtic sea salt and pepper
Ingredients – for the sauce
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups of thinly sliced mushrooms (a mix of white button and/or wild mushrooms of your choosing – cremini would be delicious)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon of celtic sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of sherry
- 1 tablespoon stone-ground whole wheat pastry flour (it’s softer than regular whole wheat)
- 1 cup of whole fat milk (you could also use full fat coconut milk or even unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons organic full fat sour cream
Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Spray the cut sides of the squash with olive oil (or brush with coconut oil) and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place the squash cut-side down on the pan and add water – just enough to reach the edges of the squash. Bake until fork tender (you can poke it with the fork tines, which should give easily) – approximately 45-60 minutes.
While the squash is baking, prep the ingredients for the sauce. I like to chop everything before i begin cooking, using my glass stacking bowls as I go.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring constantly.
Increase the heat to high and continue cooking until almost all of the liquid in the pan has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sherry to the pan and cook for 1 minute more.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring constantly for another minute.
Add the milk and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low (you want the sauce to simmer) and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. (I also had some leftover roasted spicy turkey sausage, so I sliced it up and added it to the sauce at this point to let it warm up.)
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream.
When the squash is done, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes so you can handle it. I use an oven mitt to hold the squash in one hand and use a fork to shred the squash into spaghetti-like strands with the other.
Divide the squash into four bowls. Top with the sauce and a sprinkle of fresh thyme and salt and pepper, as desired.
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