Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Christmas has come and gone and I am sitting here wondering where time is going. It's rocketing right past me leaving me floundering in the wake of Christmas tunes and holiday decorations. 

I mean, today is New Year's Eve people. This reality just hit me last night. Is anyone else feeling caught up in the tornado that is the holidays? 

We are freezing our buns off in the snowy mountains of New Mexico at our grandparents' house. Our beautiful cousin is getting married tomorrow so we are in full-on wedding mode helping my aunt and uncle with the last minute details. So much fun! And only a little stressful :) 

Thankfully, Carissa bo Bissa my super hot sista' knocked this yummy recipe out a few weeks ago so you're not left wondering if I'm ever going to get back to this blogging thing or not. I promise you, someday, I am. I miss it terribly!

And with that superfluous intro, I give you this week's Recipe of the Week. Happy New Year!

Fall and winter bring about many wonderful things.  Boots, scarves, Christmas music, and of course winter squash. Wait…squash? Yep, that is what I meant to say, winter squash.  I am talking Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Acorn Squash, you’re getting the picture right?

This week my love of squash turned me to Spaghetti Squash for dinner.  Considering the hubs had never had it before I was a little timid to make it as the main part of dinner.  In his defense he is getting more adventurous lately. A few weeks ago he knowingly conquered raw sushi.  I have to say knowingly because he had previously been served raw sushi without his knowing.  Weird…

It is an on-going joke in our relationship that I will serve him weird food without being entirely truthful about what it is or what it is made with.  Hence how I got him to eat a beet muffin and admit that it was good before I told him that it was actually a beet muffin. (That recipe will have to be shared later on because it really is surprisingly delicious!)  I really do this trickery out of love! I am just still trying to get Zach to see it the same way.

So is Spaghetti Squash where spaghetti comes from? No, that is just the name. When this squash is cooked you can scoop out the delicious insides and the flesh comes out in a thin spaghetti type texture.  It is most often used as a pasta replacement in dishes so that is the recipe I am going to share with you today.  However, the squash that I bought was so massive I have had to come up with other creative outlets for it.  Putting it in a wrap has been a successful venture as well.  

 I bought this guy for less than $3 at Trader Joes. I love that place.

If you are like me and your favorite part of Halloween pumpkin carving is getting to take the insides out of your pumpkin then you should definitely make this recipe because you get to do that with this squash.  

I honestly thought that making Spaghetti Squash would be harder, but it is actually quite doable.  If you are a little worried about replacing your pasta with squash I am here to tell you that this meal was even husband approved. Yes, he even asked for it the next night as well.

Give something new a try tonight, you just might be surprised how much you like it.

Guten Appetit!

Spaghetti Squash Pasta
serves 2

1 spaghetti squash
Canola oil
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 of an onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper 
4 mushrooms, sliced
1 plum tomato, diced
1 c spinach
1 chicken breast, cooked 
Favorite marinara sauce
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 375. Cut your squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff.  Lightly oil your pan and place your squash cut side down.  Bake 30-45 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the skin.  The bigger your squash the longer you will need to bake it.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. 

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add your garlic, cooking for about 30 seconds.  Keep a close eye so it does not burn.  Add your onion, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper after the onions have begun to soften.  Cook until the onions are translucent and the bell peppers are just beginning to soften.   Add your mushrooms to the pan, cooking until they are softened as well.   At the very end add your tomato and the spinach stirring until they are incorporated and warmed.  

Take a fork and gently pull the flesh into little strands away from the peel.  Slice your chicken breast into serving portions. Portion your "spaghetti" on plates or bowls.  Spoon the desired amount of marinara onto your spaghetti based on your portion size.  Do the same with the vegetable mixture and the chicken.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. 


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