Happy Columbus Day! Though Columbus didn’t exactly discover the United States part of America, I’m sure glad he “discovered” this side of the globe. As a result, I have
penned uhhh….typed some praise for Florida.
I love fall in Florida! I was born and raised in the flat peninsula, so I know nothing of colored leaves and drier air and needing to wear boots for reasons other than fashion. And I love that! (Though I did go to Rhode Island one October and those leaves people talk about are indeed lovely.) Fall in Florida means you can still wear shorts if you want, but you can also get away with wearing a scarf in 70 degree weather, it also means you can technically plant your garden late because the summer is too hot anyway, and it means that you can still lay out by the pool with summery drinks if you choose, because it’s just warm enough.
I also love that we still get the benefits of all the ripe squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and gourds that fall brings. So, since hubby and I are eating lighter – it somehow makes the idea of impending Holiday weight seem ok – I decided to celebrate fall with the simplest spaghetti sqash recipe in the world. This is the type of recipe you could cook while you’re getting ready in the morning, toss it in a container, and run off to work or school.
Mmm….spaghetti squash. I cannot lie to you. Though it kinda looks like spaghetti, it does not actually taste like or have the same texture as spaghetti noodles. I love it as a pasta alternative since I’m always trying to creatively get more vegetables into my diet. And get this! 2 cups of spaghetti squash has 84 calories, whereas 2 cups of cooked spaghetti noodles has 442 calories. It doesn’t take a genius to do that kind of math. Yay, healthy eating!
Spaghetti Squash Recipe serves 2-4
1 spaghetti squash
1/2 yellow or white onion
1/2 bell pepper
2T olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese as garnish optional
The first order of business is to get the spaghetti squash cooked. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. (I say carefully because it can get roly poly on you!)
Scoop out the seedy middle, which will be about 1.5 inches deep into each side
and discard seedy middle.
Prepare a baking pan with about an inch of water in the bottom and set the squash inside, cut sides down.
This water bath steams the squash easily without burning it. Place inside the oven for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, if you’re not ambitious enough to switch out the laundry or jump in the shower you could begin to prep the vegetables. Dice the tomato, bell pepper, and onion, and mince the garlic. (I used a garlic press to nix the mincing step from my list.)
Once the spaghetti squash has cooked, remove from the oven to slightly cool. I flipped mine over with the metal tongs to show you the cooked inside.
Prepare to saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic by bringing a skillet with the olive oil to medium heat.
Once the onions are transluscent, add the tomato to heat it up.
At this point, I added the salt the veggies stirred a moment more, then turned the heat to low. At this point, the spaghetti squash is still hot, but should be touchable. Take a fork and etch the inside of the squash to pull out all the strings.
At this point, the entire inside of the squash can be eaten, so shred liberally.
Toss the squash together with the veggies. Add a little bit more olive oil and the Parmesan cheese if desired and garnish with freshly ground black pepper.
Healthy, delicious, and a lovely portrait of summer kissing autumn. And if you like a saucier, spicier topping, check out my Healthy Garden Sauce.