Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes & Parmesan

I've been on a bit of a spaghetti squash kick. Maybe because it is light, sweet, and goes with pretty much anything. Maybe because the leftovers keep well and are easy to prepare for lunches at work. Maybe because when I reheat it my co-workers don't freak out on me for stinking up the office area with steamed broccoli or cauliflower at lunchtime...

Anyway, it's delicious, and here is another way to prepare it--the simplest way I've found so far.

Roasted Tomatoes
Our local Baker's supermarket has an antipasto bar next to their cheese selections (for being one of their dumpier stores, it actually has a fantastic and reasonably-priced cheese selection). Ben discovered their Fire Roasted Tomato Bruschetta on the antipasto bar recently, and we've been adding it to salads, veggie side dishes, and anything else we can think of ever since. It's not like a traditional bruschetta, though--it's mostly just roasted tomato halves and garlic in a marinade of olive oil, vinegar, and some herbs. Roasty, tangy, rich, and garlicky, it's a great compliment to the mild flavor of spaghetti squash. You could probably also rehydrate sundried tomatoes for a similar (though not quite as delicious) effect, too, or use the sundried tomatoes from a jar.

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan

1 spaghetti squash, baked (see here or here for instructions)
1/4 C (approx--more or less to your taste) roasted or sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp(approx--use more or less to your taste) shredded parmesan (I use Kraft Shredded Parmesan from the refrigerator section)

After the spaghetti squash has been baked and cooled slightly, scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to release the strands. Place desired serving amount in a bowl (I usually serve myself 4 oz). Add the tomatoes and 1/2 of the cheese and mix. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and serve.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baked Spaghetti (Squash)

In addition to the baked chicken parmesan I wrote about in my last post, I also had baked spaghetti--with spaghetti squash substituting for spaghetti noodles. Delicious, and virtually no carbs!

I made this again not too long ago, when we had a snowy weekend, and since we had plenty of advance warning of the snowstorm, I stopped by the UNO Outdoor Venture Center and rented some winter gear: snowshoes, cross-country skis, and poles. :) Ben and I went down to Fontenelle Forest to hike around in the snowshoes--and it was so much fun! We were exhausted afterwards, but it was much easier to snowshoe than I thought it would be. Cross-country skiing was a different story. After watching a how-to video on Youtube and a brief practice session in the backyard (of which Mamie did not approve--she kept attacking my skis), I headed out to the golf course and tromped around. Yes, tromped. I certainly didn't feel very graceful, and I didn't smoothly skim the surface of the snow with my skis. But I got a good workout in, I guess.
Mamie does not approve of skiing.

So, after so much activity in the cold and snow, the baked chicken parmesan and baked spaghetti (squash) was a delicious, warm, comforting dinner.

I got the idea for this dish from Pinterest when I saw a picture of baked spaghetti. I figured I could do something similar, but with spaghetti squash, sauce, and cheese, and it turned out really well. The only downside is that the squash does tend to release more moisture as you continue to bake it, so it got a little watery. I used my homemade marinara sauce, but in hindsight, I will probably simmer it down longer to thicken it, or purchase a low-sodium spaghetti sauce that is a little thicker.

Baked Spaghetti (Squash)

1 spaghetti squash
3 Tbsp light, part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 C grated mozzarella cheese
1 C spaghetti sauce (I used my homemade marinara with mushrooms)

Cut spaghetti squash in half and scrape out seeds. Place squash on foil-lined baking sheet, cut sides down, and bake at 400-425 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then scrape squash out of shell with a fork. Reduce heat on oven to 375 degrees.

Place spaghetti squash strands in an 8x8 casserole dish. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce over squash, and place dollops of ricotta cheese (by 1/2 or 1/4 tbsp) on top of sauce. Spread remaining sauce over the dish, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 7-10 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted. Remove from oven, let rest for 3-5 minutes, serve and enjoy.