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by Sarah Steimer

Spaghetti squash and avocado salad with chicken

I love a new recipe for spaghetti squash. I’d hate to relegate this awesome winter squash to just getting a bottle of marinara sauce dumped on it. Instead, this guy got a mean, green upgrade.

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by Sarah Steimer

I'm not that into casseroles. The name isn't even appealing. And I always picture a dish full of soupy cream of mushroom with cauliflower floating in it. But this is a genius spin on that horrible imagery.

I’m not that into casseroles. The name isn’t even appealing. And I always picture a dish full of soupy cream of mushroom with cauliflower floating in it. But this is a genius spin on that horrible imagery.

  • 1 small-ish spaghetti squash, cooked (makes approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup ricotta (8 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup packed, chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic. minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 uncooked sausages (I used spicy turkey sausage), cases removed
  • 1 small head kale, stems removed and chopped into ribbons
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Whisk together and egg white, ricotta, parsley, red pepper, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.

In a large pan (preferably with high sides), heat enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Saute the onions and garlic until they are translucent. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking up the meat and cook.

Add the crushed tomato, kale and season with salt. Cover the pan and cook until the kale has wilted for 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti squash.

Remove the pan from heat and add the ricotta mixture. Stir everything until well combined and transfer to an 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-9-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan, breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, using your hands. Top the casserole with this breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle the top with olive oil.

Cook the casserole at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the top has turned golden brown.

Let the casserole cool for a few minutes before cutting into nine squares.

Makes about four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Everyday Maven

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by Sarah Steimer

You usually run across two types of recipes for spaghetti squash: The obvious spaghetti and a squash gratin. Well done finding a new twist, Everyday Food.

  • olive oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 2 small jalapeƱos, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups roasted spaghetti squash (how-to for cooking the squash here), patted dry with paper towels
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil. Add shallots, jalapeƱos and ginger to the pan, cooking until everything is softened. Add cumin and coriander and cook until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and let cool slightly.

I added more flour than necessary because I didn't take the time to pat the squash dry. I'd be a bit more careful next time for sure.

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and wash the skillet so you can reuse it. Add the spaghetti squash, eggs and flour to the shallots mixture and combine. Spray the clean skillet with cooking spray and let it heat up.

In batches, add batter in about 1/4 cupfuls to the pan in pancake form – just like potato pancakes. Cook until each is golden brown on both sides. Keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

NOTE: Don’t skip the salt, otherwise you can’t pick the flavor up as well. Very important. I also didn’t offer a dipping sauce with this, but I can imagine it would be great with plain yogurt or another tart sauce.

Recipe adapted from: Everyday Food

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by Sarah Steimer

It fills you up but doesn't give you that post-pasta coma. We had our spaghetti squash with some honey whole wheat bread from Loafers.

  • one spaghetti squash (should have an even, pale color with no bruises or green and feel heavier than it looks)
  • vodka sauce
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock

    The squash has a great color.

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Cut the squash in half, length-wise, and remove the seeds. Lay the halves in a cooking dish with the flat side down, skinfacing up. Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper over top. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. You should be able to easily insert a knife into the squash when it’s ready.

Allow the squash to cool enough to be handled, then take a fork and separate the strands from the skin — you should be able to go all the way to that skin, forkin’ it clean.

For the sauce, heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for three to five minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan. Reduce vodka by half, this will take two or three minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat and add the basil. Serve over the squash.*

Need more reasons to go for spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti? For starters, I picked it up at the farmer’s market for only a dollar and it fed three adults and with plenty of leftovers. Winter squash also has lots of carotene, which may help fight against some cancers. And it may help you avoid heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Squash recipe: Fake Ginger

Vodka sauce recipe: Rachel Ray

Photos: Sarah Steimer

*I’ll admit I haven’t tried this vodka sauce recipe, it’s from my sister and I’ll take her word for it. I just used sauce from a jar that night. And for the record, neither of us are Rachel Ray fans.

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