Janet McCormick/The Lawrence Herald

Spaghetti Squash with Meaty Sauce is more affordable and likely healthier than a restaurant meal, and it comes together deliciously in just minutes.

It’s taken me a few years to revisit a new version of spaghetti squash, but it’s finally here. It’s fall, and with the abundance of squash, gourds and pumpkins, I had to wander into the superbness of this delicious dish.

Weeknight cooking has taken on a new look in my home. I’m all about eating healthier and staying in and making all the ingredients I have on hand work together to make my meals more purposeful and thoughtful. Therefore, I’ve begun a little prep work that falls more along the lines of freezing individual meats, then grabbing them and pairing them with vegetables so that my meal is complete.

We’ve been eating out way too much. I’ve even caught myself making the excuse that by the time I buy the complete ingredient list for a meal for two, I have spent about the same amount as what it would cost to eat at a restaurant. While that is somewhat true, I know deep inside that if I spend a little more time designing a few quick menus, I can beat the cost of eating out fairly significantly.

So, with my 5-pound purchase of ground beef, I sectioned each pound, individually wrapped each one and froze them. This is not only cost effective, but it’s also easy to thaw, brown and add a can of crushed tomatoes for a thick, tangy spaghetti sauce. With my money-saving block of Parmesan cheese that, if properly wrapped, will last a month in the refrigerator, I can then add this as a tasteful garnish on soups, pastas, eggs or on whatever else you fancy a douse of cheesy goodness.

This is the inspiration behind this new spaghetti squash dish. I had the ingredients, saw the squash and knew immediately what I was preparing for our meal. It’s not only cost effectiv,e but also low-carb, healthy and delicious. If you’re looking for something easy, cheap and delicious, give this a try.

Spaghetti Squash with Meaty Sauce

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 pound hamburger, browned

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon powdered onion

1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic

1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

On a cookie sheet, place the squash. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes.

Take a fork and scrape the flesh of the squash until the strands are fluffed.

In a sauce pan, brown the hamburger with the oregano, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.

Add in the crushed tomatoes.

Heat through. Place this on top of the squash and top with Parmesan. Serve.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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