Fibro Friendly Foods: Spaghetti Squash

 

One of the questions I get asked regularly is what to eat. Last week I was part of a talk titled When Eating Hurts: Fibromyalgia and Food. We discussed general strategies for the eight different types of fibromyalgia, and what foods and supplements are best and worst for each type.

Flavor profiles in your foods are the simplest way to adjust your own diet without having to be too overly specific in what you eat. Bitter foods, for instance, are processed in the body in such a way that your body will start purging excess biofilms, and tend to be mildly diuretic. This can be especially good if your body is retaining water due to inflammation and gut dysbiosis. Mushrooms are another great food for almost every fibro type.

Now, my background outside of the world of fibromyalgia is heavy into fine dining. Believe it or not, I am a culinary school graduate (oh, decisions of my youth), and am fairly obsessed with tasty foods. So here is a recipe that I myself make at home. Of special note: I like easy recipes. Not that I don’t splurge in the occasional Food Network fancy dish, but frankly I don’t have the time or energy to put towards a labor intensive dish or a crazy cleanup, and neither do you.

So, without further ado, here is one of my favorites that is very good for Type 1-4 fibros, and also packed full of nutrients for Types 5-8.

General guidelines for fibros: bitter and sour flavors are good foods to go with. Ice cold foods and beverages are danger. Mushrooms are great. Don’t be afraid of your spice rack.

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Spaghetti Squash and Stuff

Serves 4

Cooking time:

20 minutes including cleanup, plus 3 hours in crock pot

  • 3 hours crock pot
  • 5 minutes prep
  • 10 minutes actual cooking time
  • 5 minutes cleanup

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms (any type)
  • 1 bag of greens (spinach, arugula, kale, or even just a bag of spring mix)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I like the pre-chopped stuff in a jar for ease)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar or a good squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional:

  • With stiff neck and floating pains, toss in some red chili flakes
  • If you have irritable bowel symptoms, toss in half the spice rack. The more aromatic the better- thyme, rosemary, sage- you can experiment with it.
  • Shrimp go well with this, you add a cup or so of frozen cooked shrimp for ease.
  • Goat cheese goes scary good with it, but I wouldn’t overdo it. A touch is ok if you have a very cheese heavy diet. No more than a couple tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese. Fresh and local is best.

Tools needed:

  • 1 Crock Pot
  • 1-2 Saute Pans
  • Tongs
  • Fork
  • Spoon
  • Love

Begin

Step 1: Spaghetti Squash

  • Cut Spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out seeds.
  • Place in crock pot with water and oil, with a touch of salt and pepper
  • Place on low for 3 hours
  • Once it is done, remove from crock pot and let cool enough to handle
  • Take the fork and scrape out the spaghetti-like insides (weird looking, I know), and discard the husks. The squash should have a little texture and firmness to it, not be totally mushy. Sometimes I turn it on high by accident and have squash soup. Don’t be like me.

Step 2: Mise en Place (Everything in its place)

  • Get remaining ingredients together when the squash is just about done. If you bought stuff like me, most of the wrappers will be thrown away afterwards and there is no chopping to do, so cleanup should be a breeze

Step 3: Cook Stuff

  • Heat up large sauté pan with medium heat. Add a touch of olive oil
  • Sauté the mushrooms first, adding the garlic when the mushrooms are just starting to caramelize (3 minutes or so)

squash7

  • Add in the shrimp, if you decided to get them (optional). If not, skip ahead to the next step. I tossed in some onions here, as you can see.

squash6

  • Add in the greens, allow them to be wilted.

squash8

  • Turn off or turn down the heat, and start adding the spaghetti squash innards. If you want to reserve some, now is the time. They will last a few days in the fridge. If you add them all, you will have about enough for 4 servings at least (leftovers for later, yay! Less cooking later).

squash10

  • Toss in the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste. Acid and salt are both opposite flavor enhancers, so if it too salty, add more acid, and vice-versa. If you are adding in chili flakes and/or spices, now is the time. Make it taste great for you!
  • At the very end, if you are doing it, add in the goat cheese. I’ll look the other way.

squash9

Enjoy!

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If you make it, tell me how it went. I hope it is an easy-ish enough recipe with some interesting foods.

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