Turkey Taco Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Pack in 21 grams of high quality protein with only 250 calories in this turkey taco stuffed spaghetti squash.

Growing older isn’t for sissies. You’ve heard that before, but here’s my proof-> the older I get, the fewer calories I need, but my requirement for protein and other  important nutrients is the same or more. LIFE IS NOT FAIR!!!  No worries, I know how to  level the playing field  with nutrient rich foods. Today I’m sharing one. It’s  my creative take on the taco, in response to this month’s  Recipe Redux theme : Taco Tuesday.

Did you know that the typical taco has about 150 calories? Doesn’t sound like much, right?  But I need to eat four if I’m going to reach my goal of consuming 20-25 grams of protein per meal (the  typical taco  has only 6 grams of protein). Here’s why I’m passionate about protein->More than any other single factor, muscle loss is responsible for the frailty and diminished vitality we associate with old age. It’s not your age!

So instead of four tacos, here’s what I’m eating on Taco Tuesday…
Each serving of Turkey Taco Stuffed Spaghetti Squash  is only 250 calories, and provides 21 grams of protein! It not only packs in protein, it’s  also provides 30% the Daily Value of Vitamin A; 20% the Daily Value of Calium and 8% the Daily Value of Iron.

Now don’t get me wrong, protein isn’t just for those of us past our prime. There are lot’s of  reasons you should be concerned about muscle maintenance.  

You might even reduce your fit age! Be sure to check out all the links at the bottom of this post to see how my Recipe Redux colleagues are taking on the Taco Tuesday challenge!

Serves (serves 4)     adjust servings

Ingredients

(serves 4)

  • 12 ounces tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup skinless, seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 2 drops hot sauce, or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from 2 limes (about 4 Tablespoons)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 whole avocado, divided, chop one half and slice second half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

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    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    Amount Per Serving As Served
    Calories 169kcal Calories from fat 69
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 8g 12%
    Saturated Fat 1g 5%
    Sodium 455mg 19%
    Carbohydrate 26g 9%
    Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
    Sugars 16g
    Protein 3g

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

    Calories 2000
    Total Fat Less than 65g
    Sat Fat Less than 25g
    Cholesterol Less than 300mg
    Sodium Less than 2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate 300g
    Dietary Fiber 25g

    Turkey Taco Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

    Serves (serves 8)     adjust servings

    Ingredients

    (serves 8)

    • 2 spaghetti squash (about 1.5 pounds each)
    • 6 ounces Cheddar Jack Cheese, divided
    • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    • 3 teaspoons olive oil,divided
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 1/2 cup salsa
    • 1 cup diced tomato
    • 2 cups shredded lettuce

    Instructions

    1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. 2. Cut each spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds, discard. Place squash halves cut sides up on baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Using a fork, scrape inside of squash to remove spaghetti like strands. Place strands in on a clean dish bowl and squeeze out liquid until barely moist. Add olive oil, salt and 4 ounces cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
    3. 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add turkey to pan. Cook stirring to crumble and until browned. Remove any liquid. Add chili powder, cumin, and salsa. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
    4. 4. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
    5. 5. Spoon turkey /salsa mixture evenly into the bottom of each squash half. Top evenly with squash/cheese mixture. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.
    6. 6. Top squash with remaining cheddar cheese. Place under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes. Serve with diced tomato and shredded lettuce.

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    recipe-redux-linky-logo

    Garden Burgers

    Bring the garden to the table with these cheesy, herb infused burgers featuring Cabot’s Tomato Basil Cheddar. capefearnutrition.com (13)
    Disclosure: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and I received free Cabot cheese as mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering the #CabotGardeners recipe contest and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions are my own.

    Sunday was  Mother’s Day, and  I reflected on being a Mom and Motherhood in the general sense…. nurturing gets a bad rap. However, it’s always been part of my life map. I see my family as my BIGGEST accomplishment. My kids, no matter what their age, (or mine) will always be..well..my kids.  So, the truth of the matter is, I will never stop trying to influence and provide guidance. Yes, there ‘s a down side, results aren’t measurable by any analytic program, and there’s no guarantee that things will turn out the way I hope, hello #brokenheartclub. For me, it’s just about doing what feels right, and what was instilled by my own Mother, #thankyouMom.

    With both of my kids out of the house, my daily nurturing instincts manifest themselves by caring for my  labrador retrievers..which are actually my children’s dogs left for moi to raise…#gofigure!IMG_3860 And watching what  I’ve planted grow, like herbs in a window box,  and vegetables in my raised bed …IMG_3806 I’m patting myself on the back for getting the garden started 6 weeks earlier than last year! However,  fresh herbs are still  the only thing making it from the garden to the table in May.   With grilling season underway, I’m pulling out the stops with what I call a garden burger. This burger is made with  a technique chefs have used for years and one I’m a HUGE fan of, extending meats with mushrooms. Mushrooms have a savory flavor and meaty texture, making them a perfect complement to a burger. They not only extend your portions saving you money, they save you calories and boost the nutritional value . I’ve given this patty a  gourmet  taste with fresh herbs (thyme, parsley and oregano) and Cabot’s Tomato Basil Cheddar!  The recipe is below, and it’s made for two, cause that’s how I roll nowadays, #emptynester.IMG_4254_edited-2

    How will you nurture yourself with something fresh from the garden?IMG_4260

    Garden Burgers

    Serves (serves 2)     adjust servings

    Ingredients

    (serves 2)

    • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 teaspooon olive oil
    • 1/2 pound ground round
    • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, basil)
    • 2 ounces Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar, sliced

    Instructions

    1. 1. Preheat grill.
    2. 2. In a medium skillet, saute chopped mushrooms in olive oil until tender.
    3. 3. In a large bowl, add cooked mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg and fresh herbs to ground meat. Mix thoroughly.
    4. 4. Shape beef mixture into 2 patties.
    5. 5. Add burgers to the grate of a hot grill. Grill to desired doneness, about 10 minutes per side.
    6. 6. Add cheddar slices to tops of burgers during last couple of minutes of grilling to allow cheese to melt.

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