The Recipe Our Facebook Fans Couldn’t Wait to Get Their Hands On

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This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!

― Julia Child, My Life in France

Sandra took Julia's advice to heart and, oh my, the resulting recipe was an instant success on our Facebook page.

Sandra’s Meal Makeover

During one of our early versions of The Full Plate Living Program, participants chose to submit photos of their Power Up plates and meal makeovers.

Thank you Sandra for sending us your spaghetti meal makeover. She serves this Chunky Bean Sauce over whole wheat spaghetti or spaghetti squash. That makes this a low carb spaghetti and a better spaghetti for diabetics.

Sandra credits New Vegetarian Cuisine cookbook for this recipe.

Sandra’s Chunky Bean Sauce Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, fresh & sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, julienne cut
  • 2 - 14oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 - 15oz can of chickpeas (no salt added)
  • 1 - 15oz can of kidney beans (no salt added)
  • 1 - 15oz can of black beans (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup basil, fresh & chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped (or other green of choice like spinach, chard, etc)
  • salt to taste

Bean Tip: If you don’t want to use canned beans, you can cook them from scratch and use 1 ½ cups of each of the beans.


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, peppers and mushrooms. Cook, stir frequently until vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, beans and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in kale and basil.

This bean sauce makes 6 - 1½ cup servings. Each 1½ cup serving has only 240 calories and 15g fiber. Wow!

Eat it over spaghetti


If you’re a pasta lover, then you’ll love this sauce to makeover your next spaghetti night.

Eat it over spaghetti squash

Keep your calories down and your blood sugars lower by serving the recipe over spaghetti squash instead of whole wheat spaghetti. A cup of whole wheat spaghetti nets 31g carbohydrate while a cup of spaghetti squash nets 8g carbohydrate.

And no worries about feeling hungry after eating a meal with spaghetti squash. Sandra told me “I can’t eat an entire serving. I find that between 1 and 1 ½ cups is more than enough over the squash.”

Don’t fret. Cooking spaghetti squash is easy. Let me show you.

It really is simple. It does require some time, but the majority of the work is done by your oven.

  1. Purchase a spaghetti squash. When you’re ready to cook it, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prick the squash all over with a small knife and place on a rimmed baking sheet. 
  2. Roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until tender. Flip the squash halfway through roasting. You will be able to easily pierce the squash with a knife. 
  3. When cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise and carefully scoop out seeds. Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands. 

A 1 cup serving of spaghetti squash has 42 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Yep, it’s a Superfood!

Submit your meal makeover photo & recipe

If you, like Sandra, have a fun Power Up creation, feel free to share your photos at [email protected].

Bon Appétit!

Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.

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