Tag Archives: recipes

How to: Spaghetti Squash

7 Mar

Most recipes I find on the internet for spaghetti squash say to put it in the oven but it takes an hour or so to get it perfectly shreddable. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Anyone ever see that YouTube video? They play a remix of it at the hockey games now when someone gets a penalty – ain’t nobody got time to put a remix together of a news story and make it one of the top viewed videos on YouTube…crazy people. 

Instead of putting the squash in the oven, I steam it in the microwave for about 11 minutes depending on the size of your squash. It works perfectly and makes for an easy dinner!

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If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, I strongly urge you to! David and I love it. We will sometimes portion out half of our plate with squash and half with whole wheat spaghetti noodles and then put the sauce on top. I have made it instead of hashbrowns in cheesy hashbrown casserole. I’ve made it with just some olive oil and parmesan cheese. I’ve made it as a spaghetti stuffed boat or even a mexican stuffed boat – which we had this week, recipe at the end of this post!

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The texture of spaghetti squash when it’s perfectly done shreds into strands very similar to spaghetti pasta. It doesn’t have much of a taste but is less ‘carby’ tasting than pasta. It’s low in calorie, full of vitamin C, and a fair amount of fiber (Livestrong.com). More benefits of spaghetti squash.

Start by picking out your squash. Spaghetti squash does get cheaper as it’s in season late summer/fall but you should be able to find it year around. They price by the poundage. Pick your size, I usually try and get a medium sized squash because we will each attempt to eat half, but it’s great leftover too!

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When you go to make your squash, I recommend pealing the sticker off and sticking the whole squash in the microwave for 4-6 minutes or enough to make it slightly easier to cut in half lengthwise. Like most squashes (<– is that the right word or is there a plural word for squash? It reads funny for me, like saying geeses), it’s really hard to cut in to. The hardest part of this whole task is cutting it so anything to make it easier for you.

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After you get it cut in half, take a break because you’ll be needing one after all the work it takes to cut that sucker! Then remove the seeds and the gooey hairs, as you would a pumpkin.

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Once each half is ready to go, put one half or both depending on the size and lay cut-side down. Fill the pan with about 1 inch of water. Cover your dish and place in microwave.

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Cook the squash halves for 11 minutes or so. Depending on the size, you might want to check it after about 8 and then you will probably have to check at 11 and possibly even put back in for a few more minutes. Usually mine seems to be just about perfect after 11 minutes though.

This squash was too big to fit in my pan so I cooked each half separately for 11 minutes each.

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You will know when the squash is done when you can take a fork and dig in, shredding all the way to the hard shell fairly easily. It’s overdone if it turns mushy as you do this. It should have a nice spaghetti-like hold to it, but not be too firm that it’s slightly chewier or crunchy – then it’s not done enough, turn back over in your pan, cover, and cook for a few more minutes. So no mushy, no overly chewy.

Once it’s done, enjoy! There are so many wonderful spaghetti squash recipes out there and this cooking method makes it so much easier and faster!

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Last night I tried this recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.

It turned out very good BUT after sauteeing the vegetables and adding the spices and thinking 1 tbs of each spice it calls for seemed like a lot yet going ahead and adding that amount of spice to it, I realized it was just too seasoned for us and dumped it. So after starting over, I decided I don’t really like ground cumin anyways so I’m leaving that out (I also hate cilantro so I left that out as well). I spiced mine with a little garlic powder, s & p, salsa, a little bit of chili powder, and a little bit of chipotle seasoning. I also added some ground burger that we had on hand, some tomatoes, and instead of a jalapeno pepper, I sliced up a few pepperoncini peppers.

There are so many awesome recipes on Pinterest for what to do with your spaghetti squash! It’s very versatile and delicious as well as very nutritious. I don’t think it should be a replacement for pasta – still love my carb fixes! but it is nice to stretch portions without the extra calories or to just have something different!

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?

How do you cook yours?

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Mashed Cauli, Spaghetti Squash Boats, and Peppers

7 Feb

I have made 3 new recipes this week! I found all of them on Pinterest, with slight changes, they were too good NOT to share! After our Vegas trip with too many Denny’s meals and large buffets with heavenly dessert bars, these were my attempt to feel healthy again. Best thing is, none of them tasted ‘healthy’ at all!

Every Sunday, I wake up, David starts a load of laundry and I pull myself to make the dreaded grocery list and meal menu for the week. Most of the time, this is a fun task for me but lately I’ve gotten bored with the same ol’ same ol’ recipes. I try to make at least 1 new recipe every week but I fall in love with one and then that gets repeated…like my chicken tortilla soup which I don’t think David can stand anymore I’ve made it so much! (hehehe)

I grab my grocery list…(we got a magnetic pad on our refrigerator door that I absolutely love and have gotten so use to I know where every item is listed)

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I’ve seen these pads at Pier One but when I went to get a few for ‘stocking stuffers’ for Christmas, they didn’t have any and it was too late to order them on Amazon but you can buy them here.

Then I usually flip it over, write the days of the week on the backside and add in if we have something going on a certain night. I almost always plan an “easy” night that can be used for leftovers, breakfast for dinner, or freezer clean-out. I use to write a meal for basically every day and found out that it was wasteful because almost always plans change so that allows us to be flexible. (We also do a “poor week” once and a while after hearing from a friend who’s in-laws do it…I’ll touch on that in a different post). When I go to figure out what meals we are going to have for the week I usually ask David what he’s feeling like which most of the time I get “it doesn’t matter” which means “I’ll think of an idea while we are walking through the grocery store already buying things for what you planned already…” 😉 Usually Pinterest and my recipe basket with lots of my mom’s and sister’s recipes in it decides what we are having for dinner that week.

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This week I found 3 new recipes on Pinterest that sounded good.

1. Table for Two’s Stuffed Peppers -The only thing I did differently with this is I added 1 cup (uncooked but steamed in my rice cooker beforehand) brown rice.

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2. Hungry Girl’s Mashed Cauliflower -I used garlic powder instead of real garlic (I always do) and I used our 1% milk instead of buying Half and Half as I knew it’d be wasteful if I bought that for the small amount I needed. I also added a little bit of dried parsley. Oh and a little bit of ground flaxseed, I try and sneak that in whenever I can!

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3. Skinny Taste’s Spaghetti Squash Boats – I made one medium sized squash, David ate a full half and I ate just over half of the other half. I was stuffed! We didn’t make with chicken, instead I used the rest of the ground turkey from the stuffed peppers. I also made the squash in the microwave then shredded the squash, seasoned with pepper, garlic powder, oregano, sprinkled the cooked ground turkey, then sprinkled italian seasoning over that and added the sauce and cheese. It was a winner and although I love spaghetti squash, this was the first recipe with it that I could NOT tell a difference without the pasta!

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I definitely recommend all of them! We had the mashed cauliflower with my mom’s meatloaf recipe which is also very delicious and fairly healthy with a side of green beans. The squash boats we had spinach salads and garlic bread on the side. And the stuffed peppers we had spinach salads and David had some bread and butter to accompany. All very easy, all fairly inexpensive, and all very good for you! Enjoy!

Comfort Food

13 Nov

With the weather getting colder all of a sudden…it’s like 30 degrees for highs the past few days! Yikes! I am getting more and more ready for the holidays, snow, fires, and all of the fun things to come during the winter time. That includes some recipes that I loved last winter that I can’t wait to bring back in the mix now!

1) Famous Dave’s Corn Bread Muffins Mock Recipe from MacaroniandCheesecake.com – these were SO good and more like a dessert than a ‘side’ but I’d love to make them healthier…

2) Healthified Mini Pizza Meat Loaves from LiveBetterAmerica.com – also very good and David loved them!

3) Lighter Cheesy Garlic Bread from Portuguesegirlcooks.com – this bread was a great replacement for our typical frozen texas toast garlic bread that we usually resort to. It was fun to make this bread on my own and it was a little better than what we usually throw in the oven as a side with spaghetti or stuffed shells. I substituted the buttermilk for 1 cup greek yogurt and a 1/2 cup milk. and for the garlic I used garlic powder and olive oil instead of canola.

4) Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup from Pillsbury.com – this is our favorite chicken noodle soup and it is SO easy! I’ve given this to many people to try out and everyone seems to love it. It’s probably not the healthiest but it’s still very good!!

5) Hungry Girl’s Minestrone Soup from hungry-girl.com – not sure if you’ve ever heard of Hungry Girl but I LOVE her recipes so much! She always has really easy recipes and they are usually pretty healthy or at least lower calorie. This soup was a huge hit last year and I actually forgot about it until I went through my recipe list for this post! Might be on the menu for next week!

6) White Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels from YourCupofCake.com – I made a huge batch of this last Christmas to add to cookie trays. It was my favorite and I literally could not stay away from it! Probably worst than most of your holiday cookies out there but it was a delicious treat!!

Now I’m craving sweet treats for the holidays! I have some really easy, great holiday recipes like Saltine Cracker Toffee and Tiramisu Balls that I’d love to create a whole other post with. I will save those for later but for now…feel free to check any of these out and let me know what you think! If you have any ideas on making any of these even healthier, I’d love to get some feedback!

Time to snuggle with my pup and watch another episode of Revenge! Do any of you watch that show?