I love pasta! I always have and I always will. When I realized pasta did not love me, I had to find a replacement. I found spaghetti squash and we have developed a great relationship. Even my kids like it.

Spaghetti squash grows great in the Umpqua Valley. It has a very mild flavor and if you do not overcook it you will have nice angel hair pasta. If you do overcook it, you will end up with mush. Set your timer and keep an eye on it.

I saw a video on Facebook one day with this recipe. I was drooling by the end of it. It looked easy and so delicious. I ran out and got all the ingredients. There were a few things in the video that I changed. They suggest you microwave the squash first before baking. I am not a fan of microwaves, so I skipped that step.

I also like to cut my spaghetti squash cross way rather than end to end. I stumbled across a food blogger one day that showed me this new way. It is genius, you get longer strands of noodles. We have never cut a spaghetti squash from end to end since discovering this.

The video also suggests to use olive oil to cook everything in. I prefer to save my olive oil for cold dishes and cook with saturated fats. My favorite saturated fats for cooking are Ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, duck fat or tallow.

Saturated fats are very stable at high heats and do not oxidize or go rancid easily. When oils oxidize, they react with oxygen to form free radicals which are harmful for the body. Saturated and animal fats were given a bad name for years. They were blamed for causing heart disease. New research shows there is no significant link between saturated fat and heart disease. That is good for us because butter tastes better than margarine!

For years, we were told to follow a low-fat diet. I tried it. I gained a lot of weight. Four years ago, I went on a high-fat diet and I lost 100 pounds. It is not the fat making us fat — it is the sugar in our diets.

If you do eat a high fat diet you really need to avoid sugars. Fats are the building block of every cell in our body. If you are constantly hungry, you may need more fat in your diet. Sugar is a quick burning energy, so you need more and more. Fat is long burning and can keep you satiated for hours. Not all fats are created equally. You do not want hydrogenated oils, trans-fat or seed oils.

The first time I made this dish, halfway through I thought this was going to be bland and boring. The ingredients seemed too simple. In the end the taste was great. The tomatoes, garlic, onion and lemon work so well together.

Beth Schultz is a nutritional therapist and member of the Douglas County Moms.

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