"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

I remember trying spaghetti squash back in the days when I was on a gluten-free diet and it was just all too depressing:  this was meant to be a substitute for beautiful pasta?
 Now that I'm back into eating real pasta  I thought I'd try spaghetti squash again, and think of it as the healthy vegetable it is, rather than a substitute for something quite different.

This is a great recipe because it's basically a loaded half of a spaghetti squash that requires no cooking besides roasting the squashes themselves.  Considering that this only involves cutting them in half and shoving them in the oven, it really is a no-fuss meal.
 I did brush some olive oil on the tray, and after scooping the seeds out of your spaghetti squash you'll want to sprinkle them with some sea salt.  Then lay them face down on their tray and roast for 45 minutes at 375.
Once you've taken them out of the oven you'll want to carefully turn them over (they'll be hot and steaming as Hades) and gently pull the squash apart into spaghetti-like strings.

I then filled them with raw kale, finely chopped (place this in the centre of the squash, right down in the hollow where you removed the seeds, the heat will wilt the kale a bit) and a very satisfying mixture of julienned sun dried tomatoes and whole walnuts.
I topped this with pitted kalamata olives and a squeeze of lemon juice.

The original recipe came from a digital cookbook of "reset" recipes I bought from Simple Green Smoothies (you can see their website here).

The recipes are part of a seven day "cleanse" type program that is actually quite nice.  I'm not really doing the program (nothing comes between me and my morning coffee) but there are plenty of really terrific smoothie recipes and delicious plant-based dinners.

One recipe I will take away from the collection for sure is one for a "vegan cheeze" topping.  I used it to top this spaghetti squash, and it added some protein as well as flavour.
Basically you get out your food processor, add a cup of raw cashews, a cup of raw almonds, half a cup of nutritional yeast and a teaspoon of large, flaky sea salt (such as Maldon sea salt).  Give that several pulses in your processor until it looks like fine breadcrumbs and voila, a lovely topping for this dish and all sorts of grain dishes, soups and vegetable dishes that would benefit from a sprinkling of "cheeze".
I've got mine stored in a big jar (which you can see above on the left), and I'll keep it in the fridge to be sure it stays fresh.

This dinner was so good I'm going to buy more spaghetti squash today!
Hope your day goes as well as it possibly can,
xoxDani

7 comments:

  1. Dani, I'm with you - spaghetti squash is in no way a credible substitute for pasta! However, we do enjoy it as a side dish. I've never tried nutritional yeast, that topping sounds great though. Enjoy your day!

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    1. Patricia it definitely is not a substitute, thinking of it that way only sets one up for disappointment! Thank you xxx

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  2. Hello Dani,

    You've now piqued my interest in this squash which I see for sale at the farmers' market when in season but have never had the guts to actually try it. With the other ingredients you used for the recipe, I can see why it could be quite delicious.

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    1. CD oh buy some it will so fresh and delicious!
      I think I like this recipe so much because the toppings are not a sauce, therefore they don't make the spaghetti squash underneath a soggy mess.
      I just don't care for the texture created when the squash is topped with a traditional spaghetti sauce. I hope you try it CD, I bet your whole family will like it. xxx

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  3. Dani, I've always liked spaghetti squash. My one complaint is that the skin is so hard to cut through. I get nervous that I will have a slip of the knife one of these days! Do you have any suggestions for cutting the squash in half safely?

    slf

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    1. slf I wish I did because it's a tricky business!
      I try to make sure the situation can't get too slippery. Anchor your cutting board with a tea towel underneath it (a tip I got from Janet at the Gardener's Cottage many years ago). Then I just hold the squash as steady as I can and chop through it one end at a time, very slowly.
      I have read that microwaving a squash (that has been poked all over with a sharp fork) for 3 to 4 minutes can soften the skin, but I've never tried it (I don't have a microwave it my kitchen).
      I hope you try the recipe but be careful cutting if you do! xxx

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  4. I just heard the microwave tip from a gentleman in front of me at the checkout - he was very enthusiastic! For cutting safety you might try taking a narrow slice off the bottom or sides first; that will give you a flat firm surface to hold the squash against the board with.

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