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Spaghetti Minus the Spaghetti...

Posted Sep 04 2009 10:46am
Vegetables are fantastic! They really are. It's not so much a statement as it is a fact. Their color, variety, and versatility are astounding. I am forever finding new and strange fruits and vegetables to experiment with. (ie- Monstera Deliciosa) Today's experiment...... THE SPAGHETTI SQUASH!
While not quite uncommon, the premise behind the Spaghetti Squash fascinates me. After cooking, the flesh becomes stringy, like a spaghetti noodle. In fact, many people eat Spaghetti Squash in the same fashion as they would spaghetti noodles, topped with marinara. Fascinating! As a lover of all things veggie, I just had to give this winter squash wonder a try.
The problem: Work. Spaghetti Squash is normally roasted in the oven for at least one hour until soft. A faster cooking method would be 20 minutes in the microwave. I don't know about you, but that's just a little too long of a spin in the microwave for my comfort. It just seems unnatural. I decided to find a different approach and settled on my beloved Slow Cooker. I wrestled back and forth with topping options. Marinara, spinach and "cheeze", where should I go with this?! Who am I kidding? I ended up reinventing an old Katrina Classic and calling it a day. Without further ado, I give you.... squash!

Spaghetti Squash a la Gidget(the name needs work)

Ingredients:
- 2 cups Water
- 1 medium Spaghetti Squash

- 1 medium Zucchini Squash, chopped
- 1 medium Yellow Squash, chopped
- 3 Carrots, chopped
- 3/4 pint Grape Tomatoes
- 1/2 pound (or so) Green Beans, cut into 2" pieces
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, julienned
- 1 cup Broccoli Florets
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon Basil
- 1 teaspoon Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- juice of 1 Lemon

- 1/4 sweet Onion, diced
- drizzle, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- splash Rose Wine
- dash Low Sodium, Organic Vegetable Stock
- zest of 1 Lemon

Place Water and Spaghetti Squash in a slow cooker/crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 5 hours.
Once squash is soft, remove from slow cooker and allow to cool.
Cut cooled squash in half,
scoop out seeds, and "spaghetti" with a fork.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
While squash cools, combine chopped vegetables, oil, and spices in a bowl.
Toss gently to combine. I use my hands. Dump vegetables onto a foil lined baking sheet
and roast 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Vegetables are ready when the Grape Tomatoes begin to burst. (A word of caution: When you open the oven door step back for a minute. The damp heat whooshes out. I thought my eyebrows had been burned off!!!) Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Once vegetables are roasted, heat a dash of Olive Oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Saute Onion and Garlic until translucent and soft. Add the Wine and Stock and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the Lemon Zest and VOILA!

To serve, plate desired amount of Spaghetti Squash topped with Wine and Onion reduction and crown with Roasted Vegetables. I drizzled a fruity Balsamic Vinegar over top my portion. Feel free to top yours with Parmesan Cheese. (That's what GF Guy does!)

This is my plate after 5 minutes...


After 10...


I hated it... ;-)

Daily Dose of Dickens:
Dickens has become quite the Book Worm! We just can't seem to tear him away from the book shelf!
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