You Heart What You Eat: Spaghetti & Sweet Sauce |

You Heart What You Eat: Spaghetti & Sweet Sauce

Tera Johnson-Swartz is the author of the "You Heart What You Eat" weekly blog series about healthy recipes and tips from decadent desserts to main dishes.

— Let’s talk about fiber. We need it, we try and find creative ways to get more of it, and we rarely know how to sneak it into our diet without taking a supplement or drinking a glass of prune juice.

Pumpkin is one of my favorite fiber advocates. It’s easily overcompensated by another flavor while maintaining its health and nutritional compounds. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol but is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins such as A, C and E, as well as minerals copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

What does pumpkin have to do with spaghetti you ask? Well, tomatoes are highly acidic, and while delicious in flavor, can easily overpower a mildly flavored pumpkin. Below is my simply delicious spaghetti sauce that may be a little more orange in color but doesn’t really taste much different than you’re standard marinara. Come on and give it a try. Besides, it’s better than Metamucil or Benefiber.

Spaghetti & Sweet Sauce

1⁄2 medium-sized onion diced

2 cloves of diced garlic

1 coarsely chopped zucchini

1 coarsely chopped carrot

3 coarsely chopped Roma tomatoes

1 (14 oz.) can of pumpkin
1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce

1 1⁄2 tbl. honey

2 tbl. fresh basil

1 1⁄2 tbl. oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat and toss chopped onion and garlic until softened. Add zucchini and carrots and toss until slightly softened (about 5 minutes).

Add Roma tomatoes and cover. Simmer over medium to low heat until tomatoes break down into a thin sauce (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add pumpkin, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and honey and let simmer covered for another 20 to 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

If you like a thinner sauce, add a bit of water. If you notice a stronger tomato taste, add a bit more honey to offset the tomato flavor, however usually the pumpkin helps to minimize much of the overpowering tomato taste.

Add the spices and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes. Ladle over your favorite pasta shapes or if you’re feeling really veggie-friendly, serve it over spaghetti squash, sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

“You Heart What You Eat,” is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs, should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User

Explore Steamboat