One of the most difficult aspects of a healthy lifestyle is the cost of nutritious ingredients, and the hassle of cooking. However, there are plenty of “hacks” that help when time and funds are both nowhere to be found. One of my favorite strategies that’s an utter no-brainer (although it does take a conscious effort) is buying meat–one of the priciest parts of a real food diet–on sale. I know, you would never have thought of this on your own! 😉 But seriously, buying your meat on sale requires a certain degree on spontaneity and flexibility… and that’s where this Spicy Spaghetti Squash Beef Bowl recipe comes in handy. I crafted the concept because pastured ground beef was a One Day Sale Item at my local Whole Foods Market in San Francisco a few days ago, but the idea works with any type of ground or chopped meat. I think of this in my head as a King of the Sale Meat recipe for that reason. Whatever the One Day Sale item is, you season it, bulk it up with veggies and enjoy in a spaghetti squash!
Can we talk about Whole Foods Market’s One Day Sales for a moment? They’re the most delicious chance for carpe diem, and I always check the posters as I walk into the store. Sometimes One Day Sale items are a chance to diversify your diet with a pricier ingredient that may not routinely make its way into your shopping cart, and sometimes a fantastic staple like ground beef is featured! That’s the case with these Spicy Spaghetti Squash Beef Bowls: no one could guess you got the rich, savory, pastured beef on sale, and paired with a perfectly seasonal presentation in a spaghetti squash? Perfect for a dinner party or simply an extra-special weekday dinner. Enjoy!
- 1 spaghetti squash, ~3 lbs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 small jalapeños, seed removed
- 1 large bell pepper, cored and sliced
- 1 tsp coconut oil, if needed
- Avocado, chili flakes, cilantro (optional, for topping)
- To cook the spaghetti squash, carefully pierce its rind 5-10 times with the tip of a sharp knife in various places to allow steam to escape while cooking. Heat in a microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, or until it dents very slightly when pressed with the back of a spoon. Remove from the microwave, and cut lengthwise into two even halves, being careful of escaping steam. Set aside to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground beef, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through.
- Add the chili powder, paprika and salt, stirring to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat out of the pan, reserving any fat.
- Dice the onion, garlic and jalapeño, or use a food processor to shred very finely. Transfer to the skillet over medium heat, and cook in the remaining beef fat until soft and translucent, being careful not to burn. Remove the cooked vegetables from the skillet and stir into the browned beef.
- Raise the heat under the skillet to medium high, add one teaspoon of coconut oil if it is dry, and cook the bell pepper (stirring frequently) for approximately 10 minutes or until very soft. Stir into the meat mixture.
- Scrape the seeds out of the center of the spaghetti squash and discard. Scrape the threads from the sides of the squash, being careful not to pierce any holes. Heap the scraped threads evenly in each squash half, then press the mass flat in preparation for the beef. Mound the beef, onion and bell pepper mixture up in the center of the squash, then serve warm topped with sliced avocado, chili flakes and cilantro if desired.