Our Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans dish is a delicious and simple way to include more plant-based meals in your diet. Though this meal contains no meat, it still will keep you feeling full and satisfied. This recipe is a great to include for Meatless Monday inspiration. Including meatless meals in your diet once per week can reduce your risk of chronic preventable disease. Not only are meatless dishes good for your health, but the health of our environment as well. Going meatless once per week can reduce our carbon footprint and save fresh water. For more information on Meatless Monday and recipe inspiration, visit their website.
Cannellini beans fall under the legume category and have many different health benefits. Legumes provide fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and more vitamins and minerals. Legumes are also naturally very low in fat and because they are plant foods, they are essentially free of cholesterol. Legumes like cannellini beans are rich in potassium and magnesium which have a positive impact on blood pressure management, thus lowering the risk of hypertension. Diets rich in plant-based foods, like legumes, are shown to lower risk for type 2 diabetes .
We know beans and other legumes are extremely nutrient dense, but there is a way to make them even more healthy. Always remember to drain and rinse your canned beans in a strainer before consumption. Doing this will lower the sodium content, as most beans are canned with salt. Also be sure to check that your cans are BPA free. If desired, you can buy dried beans and soak them for later use.
Preheat oven to 400⁰F. Prepare baking dish by filling with 1 inch of water.
Prepare spaghetti squash by slicing lengthwise, in half, with a sharp knife, carefully holding still with clean dishcloth. Remove all seeds. Lay both halves, cut-side down, in prepared baking dish filled with 1 inch of water. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes until the skin is easily pierced with a fork. When prodded, the flesh will separate easily into spaghetti-like strands. Remove from oven and let cool for approximately 10 minutes.
While the spaghetti squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautè onion, garlic, and pine nuts until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and spinach, continue to sautè for approximately 3 minutes until spinach is wilted. Then add beans and tomatoes. Remove from heat.
To prepare the cooked spaghetti squash, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti-like strands from the inner flesh of the squash. Scoop the spaghetti strands from the squash into the bean mixture. Add parmesan cheese and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Serving size: 2 1/4 cup serving, Calories: 315, Fat: 15 grams, Saturated Fat: 2 grams, Carbohydrates 35 grams, Sugar: 10 grams, Sodium: 365 milligrams, Fiber: 10 grams, Protein: 11 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
 Polak, R., Phillips, E. M., & Campbell, A. (2015). Legumes: Health Benefits and Culinary Approaches to Increase Intake. Clinical Diabetes : A Publication of the American Diabetes Association, 33(4), 198–205. http://doi.org/10.2337/diaclin.33.4.198