Have you heard of MTHFR? Nope, it’s not an abbreviation for a bad word (and yes that’s an overused joke). It’s a genetic mutation a large percentage of the population (estimated to be 40-60%) carries. I won’t get all science-y here since this is a recipe post, but this article breaks it down really well.
I have one copy of this mutation, and because of this, I have chosen to remove folic acid completely from my diet – and my kids’ diets. Because of my boys’ tongue and lip ties, I suspect they have it as well, so I don’t want to take any chances.
Here’s the problem – folic acid is in EVERYTHING. Bread, cereal, supplements, enriched wheat… and pasta. Even those beloved Cheerios, people!
We haven’t eaten traditional whole wheat pasta in a long time for the gluten and inflammation reason, and there are some really great gluten-free pasta alternatives out there, but I always feel like if a veggie can substitute, do the veggie.
Which brings me to spaghetti squash pasta and a veggie-loaded pasta sauce that is extremely mutant-friendly. Why?
- Grass fed ground beef is an excellent source of B12, something us mutants have a hard time absorbing. It isn’t available from plant sources, so being a vegan is a no-go for me and my family.
- Spinach is loaded with natural levels of folate that my body can process! However, I won’t be able to absorb even the natural form if I am consuming folic acid soooo…
- Spaghetti squash is a perfect pasta substitute! The texture may be a little difficult to get used to for some, but when you tell yourself what it’s doing for your brain and body, it all works out! The fiber content acts as a prebiotic, which us mutants need to improve our neurotransmitter functions as prebiotics produce short chain fatty acids that our brains need!
- A plethora of additional vegetables further up the fiber content of the sauce to naturally detox the body and improve gut health… which of course means even more improved brain health!
Can you tell by my exclamation marks that I’m getting more and more excited about what this meal does for my (and my kids’) brain health?!
So let’s get down to business:
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 1 pound grass fed ground beef
- Jar of organic pasta sauce or crushed tomatoes (we used Aldi’s brand of organic)
- Can of tomato paste
- 1 zucchini
- 1 onion
- 2 bell peppers
- Handful of spinach leaves or kale
- Garlic Powder
- Any additional herbs or Italian seasonings you like
- If you’re a cilantro fan, cilantro is excellent in this and it’s an awesome heavy metal detoxer (something else us mutants need)
- Preheat oven at 400. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Places on baking pan face up, spray or rub with avocado oil and roast in oven for 45 minutes. It’s ready when you can scrape it with a fork and the “noodles” tear away.
- Sauté ground beef in large pot on medium heat, breaking into small pieces.
- While beef is cooking, add a small amount of spaghetti sauce to a blender or food processor with the veggies in batches and purée until smooth. Blend all but mushrooms in the sauce.
- Season beef with garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper and any other Italian seasonings of your choosing.
- When beef is mostly cooked through, add in mushrooms (if you like mushroom chunks) and mix around to finish the cooking process.
- Pour the sauce into the meat mixture and taste test to adjust seasonings. Add tomato paste to the texture of your liking.
- Place spaghetti squash in a bowl and load up the pasta sauce. Enjoy!
PS – my husband may have added some pepperoni to this sauce. No judgment please. 😉