Spaghetti squash casserole.
After help from my friends and family on facebook, I think that I’ve fixed the issue. Now I’m sure some of you are downright sick of hearing about it ( I’m kinda getting sick of typing it) but I still feel the need to share that post in its’ entirety, so we will start with that.
( feel free to skip if you just can’t bear to have your eyes view it again~ it’s ok, I’ll still love you. Like lots. )
friends. If you are connected with me on my facebook page , then you’ve had a sneak peak at what’s cooking in my kitchen
Get yerself a sketti squash, because trust me, you will want to make this!
I’ve eaten here many times and have tried many things on the menu. ALL fabulous.
Twice now, I’ve had friends order the spaghetti squash casserole, and both have raved about how good it was.
( truth be told, both friends offered me a bite, of which I accepted and wow! I just knew I had to make it at home)
I did a little research * puffy heart google* and voila! found the recipe!
click the link for complete recipe
|1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheesenow since I’m home with a healing pup, I had to improvise the recipe just a littleI did not have the peppers, but I did find a sad little jalapeno in my crisper drawer, and we like it hot 😉 so I used that in place of the red and yellow peppers.
Start by cooking the squash. The recipe says to add entire squash into a big pot of water, bring to a boil for 50 minutes.
check on pup
Now, I usually cook squash in the oven but I was intrigued to try this method. So I did.
My only comment would be that cooking it in the oven it was easier to separate the seeds from the flesh, but over, I would cook the squash either way.
while the squash is cooking ( whichever way your little heart desired) Chop up your veggies
Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan ( I’m a die hard believer in cast iron.. I’ll explain why if ya wants to know 😉 )
add the onions and carrots to hot oil, season with a bit of salt and cook for 5 min
check on pup
next, I added the the pepper and celery with a dash of red pepper flakes
allow to saute for about 10 minutes, until veggies were soft. Taste for salt, if it needs a little more, go ahead and knock your self out 😉
* I kept adding little bits of water throughout so that the veggies didn’t dry out and stick while softening.. maybe 2 tablespoons at a time each time I stirred it ? )
check on pup
f you have a press, by all means use it
add the crushed tomatoes m sprinkle of allspice (the secret ingredient, we discovered) , the garlic.
now you may have noticed the dish of roasted tomatoes. I had some maters that were to ripe to eat raw, so I roasted them like I did when I made my
I added these sweet babies in addition to the crushed tomatoes
I also added a sprig of rosemary.
I hate to follow directions 😉
and btw~ this smelled heavenly
Next I used a pair of tongs to remove squash from boiling water ( CAREFULLY) and place on a cutting board until cool enough to cut
scoop out seeds ( if you cooked it in the oven, you’ve already done this. great job, you overachiever, you 😉 )
add to tomato mixture and stir
check on pup
Now full disclosure… since I was cooking this for just Scott and myself, I spooned out half of the tomato mixture and reserved for another recipe ( veggie chili, perhaps? ) and only used half of the spaghetti squash itself. Had I known I could have halved the recipe, but being my first time making it, I wasn’t thinking.
I mean just look at this! Incredible.
next, layer 1/2 the squash mixture in baking dishes , add 1/2 the cheese, the rest of the squash mixture, and top with remaining cheese
guess which one was mine 😉
As far as the cheese goes, I used shredded because I had it and on Sunday when I played around with
smoked tofu crumbles, I smoked a few mozzarella balls as well ( just curious how it would come out) so I cut those up and topped our dishes with a bit of that crazy cheese flavor.
I baked it in a 350 over for about 20 minutes, topped with shredded basil and a tiny drizzle of olive oil
do I have your attention yet?
yeeeeeaaah… this was pretty awesome. and healthy? CRAZY healthy!
If you would like to make this vegan, substitute Daiya cheese. simple!
My friend, Cindy stopped by yesterday to visit with me and brought me lunch. From where? True food of course!
I had the edamame dumplings and they were incredible. Together we disected the taste and came up with what we think would be a good recipe.
I have my next challenge!
Thank you, Cindy, for lunch and the company 😉
my sweet girl ❤
al’ight…. since I’ve spent 46,000 hours writing,losing,finding,re~losing, re~ finding,fixing and re~ posting this…. you just might wanna make this… and let me know 🙂
ok. next. While I was hanging out with my sweet pup this week, I watched a lot of Food Network I came across a show that was focusing on Mocktails… you know, cocktails sans alcohol.
Kelsey Nixon made blackberry sipping vinegar to use as a base for a mocktail recipe.
I was curious, so I used the base/ idea of her recipe to make Strawberry~basil vinegar.
( because that is what I had in~ house ..
start by using equal parts fruit-sugar. I used a cup of each and added shredded basil
mash fruit and sugar up well and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate ( I love re- using rubber bands from veggies all over the kitchen 😉 ) for 2 days , stirring occasionally
On day 3, add equal amount ( 1 cup ) of apple cider vinegar ( I swear by Bragg’s.. highly worth the extra buck or two ) and stir.
The next day, using a fine~ mesh strainer, strain all solids out, using a flexible spatula to press out every last bit of liquid ( you do NOT want to waste any )
to make your life easier ( because let’s face it, it’s all about you 😉 ) strain it into a dish or measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring.
Pour into a jar and store in fridge!
( I have a batch with Meyer lemons in the fridge now. I’ll let you know how it comes out )
I made a mocktail by pouring about an ounce of the vinegar over some ice, topping with sparkling water and a wedge of lime.
There is something about the vinegar that really elevates this drink., It feels like a special drink
In the show, Kelsey used an infused tea as well ( click the link up there for complete recipe) but I’m a simple girl and this drink suited me just fine.
So for my friends out there who don’t drink alcohol, for one reason or another, here’s a new option for you!
It is also a Crazy- delicious base for a salad dressing.. more on that tomorrow.
On another note, my PT is going well. Really well. my PT recommended that I get a theraputtic massage to break up some of the scar tissue in my hamstring from the tears. ( not my torn ACL leg that i just had surgically fixed, the OTHER leg that went into crazy hyper horrificness thanks to being on crutches post- surgery
The massage therapist ( This was NOT a relaxing massage AT ALL, btw) worked on my hips, glutes, ( where one of the tears are) and then she moved to my back.
She discovered that I have a muscle along my spine ( not the spine itself) that is all twisted up and is sending pain signals down my leg.
After 60 minutes with her, I noticed a difference ( the next day)
I was shocked to realize halfway through the day that I wasn’t struggling while doing simple things like just walking
So my PT is also working on this and is having me start some strength training , lots of squats, single-leg squats and lunges of all angles.
and I’m feeling good for the first time in a LONG time.
I asked Matt ( PT) about possibly training for a 5k. He said he’ll let me start jogging ( under his supervision) on the treadmill in 2 weeks.
He humbling shared with me that he came in in the top 20 of the Boston Marathon last year. Not percentage, but overall.
I’m uber- impressed.
Friday I made a last minute descison to sign up for an Earth- Month 5k around the corner from my house. ( with his approval)
I went into this knowing that walking was the only option and that my time would not matter.
I had 2 friends who signed up with me.
we finished dead last, but that didn’t matter. We did it.
I had my first benchmark for races here in Colorado and the only thing that I can expect from here is to get better and move forward..
I hope that your weekend was fabulous!