Make Veggies the Star of your Next Meal!

We’re excited to share healthy tips and tricks from registered dietitian Mary Donkersloot, RDN about how to make veggies more fun in the new year. Read on for her advice and some delicious, veggie-forward recipes the whole family will love.

Spaghetti squash with gremolata & cannelini beans with marinara.

If you’re suffering from chicken or salmon boredom, try a delicious main dish made with a healthy dose of protein from a new source. Whether you gravitate towards beans, veggies or tofu, you can make vegetables the star of your plate with these delicious new recipes: Spaghetti Squash with Gremolata and Cannellini Beans with Marinara!

Spaghetti Squash with Gremolata

I like to make an entrée out of spaghetti squash, the original vegetable noodle. If you’ve never done it before, it’s surprisingly easy and fun! When you cut it open, the inside comes out in pasta-like strands and has a lovely flavor that makes a heavy sauce unnecessary. This recipe isn’t laden with butter or heavy cream either, which would undo the fact that it’s such a healthy vegetable. At only about 40 calories a cup and plenty of folic acid, potassium, and beta carotene, spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta noodles.

Gremolata is a traditional Italian garnish made of simple ingredients – parsley, lemon zest, garlic and black pepper. It packs a big wallop of flavor, plus some healthy fat from olive oil. I serve this with cannellini beans and tomato sauce, which gives the hearty meal plenty of protein and total satisfaction.


For the Spaghetti Squash with Gremolata:

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

2 tablespoons Carlini Pure Olive Oil

3 small cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

3 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest

Stonemill Iodized Salt, to taste

Coarsely ground black pepper from Stonemill Peppercorn Grinder

For the Cannellini Beans with Marinara:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 can Dakota’s Pride Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 shallot or ½ small onion, finely chopped

1 cup of crushed tomatoes with oregano or Reganno Marinara Sauce


For the Spaghetti Squash with Gremolata:

  1. In a large saucepan fitted with a steamer rack, steam the squash for about 20 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. In a nonstick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Using a fork, scoop out the spaghetti-like squash into a medium bowl, then drain off any excess water. Transfer the squash to the nonstick pan and sauté for five minutes, or until slightly brown.
  4. Remove the squash from heat. Add the parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, then toss and serve immediately with a side of cannellini beans topped with your favorite pasta sauce.

For the Cannellini Beans with Marinara:

  1. In a nonstick pan, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot or onion and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cannellini beans and heat until they are warmed through.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and heat for another 2-3 minutes until warm. Serve with spaghetti squash

Mary Donkersloot, RDN.Mary Donkersloot, RDN lives and works in Beverly Hills, California. Mary is a successful author of various healthy cookbooks and has appeared on many local and national television programs including TODAY and CNN.

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