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Spaghetti Squash with White Cheese Sauce

white cheese sauce, spaghetti squash, recipe, healthy, alternative to mac and cheese, basil, food, fall, easyI asked and you responded, “what generally unhealthy dish would you like to see transformed into something healthy and delicious?”  The response was unanimous, Mac and Cheese.  So today I bring you the first ever “Transformation Tuesday”  where I turn a generally unhealthy dish into something healthy and yummy. Today I transformed Traditional Mac and Cheese into Spaghetti Squash with White Cheese Sauce.

The result was a delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian dish that packs way less calories, fat, carbs and sodium than any macaroni and cheese dish you will eat at a restaurant!

The Cheesecake Factory Macaroni and Cheese SIDE DISH packs 51 grams of fat, 1309 calories, 768 milligrams of sodium and 92 grams of carbs, and that’s just the side dish to the main course!!

My dinner portion of Spaghetti Squash with White Cheese Sauce comes in at 275 calories, 12 grams of fat, 335 milligrams of sodium and 10 grams of carbs for a 1 cup serving. Even if you double the serving size to 2 cups, you will still save 759 calories and 27 grams of fat!

Just to make the picture even more clear, if you are counting Weight Watcher points, one side of macaroni and cheese at The Cheesecake Factory counts for 25 points, while my dish weighs in at only 4 points!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shaved)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (to garnish)

Start by cutting the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and brush with the olive oil then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400° for 45 minutes.

Spaghetti, Squash, Roasting, Oven, Food, Recipes, Cheesy Spaghetti SquashRemove from the oven and watch this how-to video on what to do next!

 

Once all of the spaghetti squash has been added to the sauce, separate into four bowls and top with the fresh basil to serve.

white cheese sauce, spaghetti squash, recipe, healthy, alternative to mac and cheese, basil, food, fall, easyNow it’s time to dig in!

white cheese sauce, spaghetti squash, recipe, healthy, alternative to mac and cheese, basil, food, fall, easy♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

 

Bacon, Stilton Apricot Cheese Stuffed Honey Glazed Pork Chops

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At my girls wine and cheese party a couple of weeks back I stumbled upon my new favorite cheese, Stilton Apricot.  I drizzled little bites of this amazing cheese with honey and paired it with chopped dates for the perfect bite!

After that night, I knew I had to do something with this amazing combination of ingredients. The simple thing to do would be to fill the dates with the cheese, wrap them in bacon and drizzle them with honey, very similar to the Bacon Wrapped Dates I prepare on a regular basis.  But that was too easy.

I knew I wanted to incorporate bacon into the ingredient list and what goes better with pork than… more pork.  That was when I decided to glaze pork chops with honey, then stuff them with the delicious mixture of Stilton Apricot cheese, chopped dates and bacon.

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The result was a completely amazing lunch for me and my good friend Ruby!

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Ingredients

  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 4 slices bacon (fried until crisp and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Stilton apricot cheese

Start by glazing the pork chops. The video below will guide you with step by step instructions.

After 15 minutes in the oven, remove, flip the pork chops and baste with the rest of the honey glaze.

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While the pork chops are in the oven, prepare the stuffing mixture in a small bowl by combining the dates, bacon and cheese. I also drizzled an additional tsp of honey into the mix to help bind the ingredients and for a little extra honey flavor!

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Once the pork chops have been basted with the honey glaze on both sides and cooked for 15 minutes each remove them from the oven and place on a cutting a board.

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Allow to cool enough to handle or use a pair of tongs to hold the pork chop in place while slicing through the center to stuff. Slice the pork chop through the middle while keeping the edges in tact..

Stuffed Pork Chops, how to, Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skilletStuff with the bacon, cheese mixture.

stuffed pork chops, Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, dates, bacon, stilton cheesePlace the pork chops back into the cast iron skillet and into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, stilton apricot cheese, stuffed pork chops, bacon, datesRemove the pork chops from the skillet. Heat the honey glaze in the bottom of the skillet on the stove top over high heat to reduce.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, honey, balsamic vinegar, reduction, glazeOnce the glaze comes to a boil and reduces by half, brush the mixture on top of the pork chops and serve.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, datesThere was extra cheese and bacon mixture leftover, so I put a little on top, there can never be too much cheese and bacon!

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, dates, balcony, lemonade, presentationThese were the most juicy and flavorful pork chops I’ve ever eaten and made for a perfect lunch paired with sautéed kale and fresh lemonade!

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♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.