Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spaghetti Squash...and other things

Let's just say I've been a bit pre-occupied...

Meet Hobbes
8 Weeks Old
Male Tabby
Likes: Playing "Red Mouse" & "Bitey Hand"
Dislikes:  His own tail

Potty-trained, neutered, microchipped and adopted from a local shelter. I'm in love.
I'm also going to get a water gun. Hobbes enjoys climbing K's record player....


Strangely enough, even though I now have the tiniest kitchen ever, I've actually whipped up some new recipes! The moving process was a bit of a fiasco and K cheated on the gluten diet a few times. Now I'm buckling down (mmuuuhahahah). In the process I discovered that this is one of his favorite new foods:

Spaghetti Squash Casserole       
Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta. Not only is it nutritionally dense, it's also a great option for someone who can't have gluten, is watching their carbs, or is a diabetic. It's a great source of carotenes, vitamin C, B1, B6, niacin, fiber, folic acid and potassium. Diet's rich in carotene have been shown to protect against some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Did I mention it's delicious too?
Spaghetti squash is part of the Winter Squash family- though the name is a bit misleading since they're usually available all year round. Winter squash grow in the fall and early winter, but have harder shells than their summer counterparts, which enables them to have a very long shelf life. If you purchase one, be sure to make sure it has a hard shell and doesn't show signs of decay. Once you get it home, store it away from direct sunlight and keep it between 50 and 60 degrees. This will ensure it stays good for awhile. I keep mine in the bottom of the pantry.
How to cook:
Pierce the squash in several places, like you would for a baked potato. Then, cut it in half, longways. Place both halves in a baking pan with about an inch of water in the pan and bake for 45 minutes at about 350 degrees. You may have to bake longer, depending on the size of the squash. Once you take it out, allow it to cool for a few minutes so you can handle it.


You will need:

Spaghetti Squash (available at farmer's markets & grocery stores)
1 can diced tomatoes (do not strain)
1 can artichoke hearts, strain, rinse, chop
Handful of fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 cloves diced garlic
1/2 onion, finely diced
Mozzarella cheese to your liking
Grated Pecorino Romano
Sprig of fresh basil, fresh thyme, fresh oregano
Salt & Pepper
9X13 greased baking dish

Keep your oven on 350 from when you first baked the squash. While the squash is baking, sautee the garlic and onion until they begin to soften. Once the squash is done baking and it has cooled, scoop out the seeds.. Then, with a fork, begin pulling out the strands of "spaghetti" and put into your greased baking dish. You may have a little squash leftover- in which case you can refrigerate for up to 2 days and use for something else.

Once you're done scooping the squash, simply add your ingredients and mix well. I mix a little of the cheese into the mixture and then layer a nice sheet of cheese on the top. You can add as much or as little as you'd like and it will come out great. Do not cover. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until the top begins to brown and the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked out a bit. Let it sit for a few minutes and then serve.

Very simple, very delicious! The great thing about this recipe is that you can add virtually anything you want! You can do a mexican version with black beans and cilantro or you can add peppers, eggplant, garbanzo beans- you name it!


Resource: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray


I'm off to play with my baby kitten! Happy weekend everybody! :)
In good health,
Lauren

3 comments:

  1. "I'm in love. I'm also going to get a water gun." I feel the same way about MR. Bwahaha. I wonder if squirting men with water has the same effect? Can't wait to meet Hobbes. He is the cutest.

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  2. I wish you could have seen my face when Hobbes popped up. I have a special affinity for furry cuteness, and that fluffer nutter has put me on adorable overload.

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  3. P.S. AWESOME name. Truly fantastic.

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