Spaghetti Squash Boats (Low-Glycemic)

Low-glycemic ‘pasta’ dish in a fun boat.

Spaghetti squash is the perfect winter vegetable for PCOS fighters. Unlike many other squash varieties, spaghetti squash is low on the glycemic index and high in fiber. Both of these properties allow spaghetti squash to help stabilize blood sugar levels. It is also high in beta-carotene which may increase chances of conceiving by protecting the ovaries from free radicals (damage from free radicals interferes with progesterone production)¹. Additionally, one study found that people with the highest levels of carotenoids were least likely to develop diabetes or insulin resistance². This recipe will fill two squash boats, and may provide leftovers for the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn, frozen or canned
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • basil to garnish

veggielayoutHow to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
  2. Cut squash in half length-wise with a large, sharp knife (carefully, please!) This was tricky (I have seen a few recipes cook the entire squash first before cutting which I may try next time).
  3. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  4. Brush inner flesh with olive oil.
  5. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the cut side down .
  6. Cook in oven for 35 minutes (any longer will make the squash soggy).
  7. Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic. Set aside.
  8. Prepare and rinse other ingredients (beans, corn, spinach, basil).
  9. Once 35 minutes is up, carefully pull baking sheet out of the oven (I found that the pan was surprisingly heavy and tippy).
  10. Flip over squash and let cool for 20 minutes.Spaghetti Squash Boats
  11. Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
  12. Stir in beans, corn, and spices.
  13. Once squash is cool enough to touch, scrape out the inside flesh with a fork (should look like stringy spaghetti!).
  14. Finally add the squash and spinach to the skillet.Spaghetti Squash Boats
  15. Scoop veggie mixture into the squash bowls and serve.

PCOS Powers:

  • garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
  • ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
  • onion = promotes liver detoxification, improves digestion & is high in chromium which helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels
  • spinach = high in calcium which helps alkalize acidity caused by inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, high in magnesium which some women with PCOS are deficient in
  • turmeric = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood glucose levelsSpaghetti Squash BoatsReferences:
  1. Schweigert, FJ et al., Concentrations of carotenoids, retinol and a-tocopherol in plasma and follicular fluid of women undergoing IVF. Human Reproduction. 2003, 18(6):1259-1264.
  2. Ford ES et al., Diabetes mellitus and serum carotenoids: findings from the third national health and nutrition examination survey. Am J Epidemiol. 1999, 149:168-176.

Cauliflower Kale Avocado Soup

The 3 primary ingredients are all nutritional powerhouses and PCOS-fighters.

Determining whether a meal is healthy can be complicated depending who you ask. In this case, however, there isn’t much to debate. The primary ingredients of this soup (cauliflower, kale and avocado) are all nutritional powerhouses and PCOS-fighters. By pureeing vegetables like cauliflower you can achieve a creamy soup without dairy or flour. In addition, unlike many soups this recipe is very low in sodium. Roasting the cauliflower, garlic and onion first helps achieve a richer flavor (and makes your home smell really good!).

Cauliflower Kale Avocado Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower head, broken into florets
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (& extra to drizzle as garnish)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 4 cups water (approx.)
  • A few handfuls of kale torn into chunks, organic if possible
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • salt to taste (I didn’t add any)

Instructions:

The full recipe with instructions can be found in my vegan recipe eBook.

PCOS Powers:

  • cauliflower = anti-inflammatory, low on the glycemic index, & contains sulforaphane which improves blood pressure, kidney function and may prevent cancer
  • avocado = helps lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, & high in B-complex vitamins which combat stress
  • kale = anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, & high in calcium which is important for egg maturation and follicle development
  • garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
  • onion = promotes liver detoxification, improves digestion & is high in chromium which helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels

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Cauliflower Kale Avocado Soup

Rainbow Collard Green Wraps

Swap out tortilla wraps for collard greens to hug colorful, nutritious ingredients.

This fun, healthy recipe has plenty of opportunity for creativity. In fact, assembling these wraps was equally as fulfilling as eating them! Collard greens provide a low glycemic alternative to tortilla wraps and pack plenty of nutrients including vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, fiber, calcium and iron. Hummus and quinoa provide plant-based protein sources which balance carbohydrate intake and help maintain blood sugar levels. Leave a comment letting me know what colorful fruits and vegetables you would include!

Rainbow Collard Green Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of collard greens
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or couscous (cooled)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 small mango, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • hummus to spread (try my Garlic Turmeric Hummus)

Rainbow Collard Green Wraps

How to:

  1. Cook the quinoa the day before to save time (I make a huge batch and store in fridge up to 5 days). If you haven’t cooked quinoa before, it is the same deal as rice. If you haven’t cooked rice before, well, Google it.
  2. Trim the thick stems off the collards, even carrying on up past where the leaf begins making an incision in the leaf surrounding the base of the stem (see picture below).
  3. Blanch collards to remove bitterness: plunk each leaf in boiling water for 10-15 seconds and place directly into cold water to cool off. Pat dry and lay on flat surface to begin packing your wraps.
  4. Spread hummus down center of wrap length-wise.
  5. Place quinoa spoonfuls on top of the hummus.
  6. Add avocado, mango and tomato (this may take some experimenting to determine how much  filling can fit in your collard leaves).
  7. Roll and fold wraps by bringing the two widths together first and then tucking in the two length edges. I discovered hummus makes a great glue to keep the wraps from falling apart. Toothpicks may help as well.
  8. Serve and/or store in containers in the fridge for lunches.

Rainbow Collard Green WrapsPCOS Powers:

  • collard greens = anti-inflammatory, high in iron and calcium, may help lower total cholesterol more than other cruciferous vegetables esp. when steamed
  • avocados = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, high in fiber, may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain normal serum total cholesterol levels, contain glutathione which has anti-carcinogenic properties and may boost immunity
  • tomatoes = high in chromium and lycopene which can help manage insulin resistance
  • turmeric = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood glucose levels
  • garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow

Rainbow Collard Green Wraps

References:

  1. Kahlon TS, Chiu MM, Chapman MH. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage. Nutrition Research. 2008;28:351-357.
  2. Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2013;53:738.

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Rainbow Collard Green Wraps

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