Squash for the Win

My first attempt at making spaghetti squash was a win!

It looked like it was pure cheese. With some beans and tomatoes thrown in. However, looks can be decieving.

The recipe came from this cookbook, which I rescued from the clutches of my school’s “free stuff” drive at the end of the semester. It’s been a lifesaver; I even used it this summer, when I was a cook at a summer camp. The staff even hunted me down for the recipes at the end of the term! I’d say that’s a win.

Southwest Spaghetti Squash (adapted from Incredibly Easy Vegetarian)

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

1 can (14 oz) organic diced tomatoes

1 can (14 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (don’t use cheddar like I did- it doesn’t spread well!)

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (or a teaspoon of the dried leaves)

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic salt (didn’t have any, so I used celery salt)

1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray baking pan and medium-sized baking dish with nonstick spray. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove and SAVE seeds! Place the squash, cut side down, into prepared baking pan. Bake 45 minutes or until tender. While donning oven mitts, shred hot squash with fork; place in large bowl. Add all other ingredients and toss well. Spoon the mix into baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with more cheese or cilantro if you’d like, and feast!

It was good; I definitely feel better about stuffing my face with this pasta-resembling form of squash than with actual spaghetti. Not like I don’t know the feeling, though! I actually existed on pasta for most of my childhood, with no veggies except for peas and carrots. And the peas HAD to be buttered.

But what’s the best part of cooking these seedy fall vegetables?

Saving the squash seeds and roasting them!!

After separating from residual squash goo, I tossed the seeds in some olive oil, salt, and garam masala and popped them in the oven to bake along with the squash while it was roasting. Then my sister and I got to munch on them while the rest of the mix was on round 2 of baking! So necessary; f.y.i., don’t start roasting squash only after you come back from a long chamber music recital. It’s worth the wait, but a bit more time-sapping.

 

 

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