Sorry! We spend Friday in Oklahoma to see the Alan Jackson Concert at the Winstar and I was trying to menus, job hunt, and everything on short week.
But the concert was Fabulous!!! His music is just great and very touching. I know I cried during Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning. So many memories of friends, loved ones, people I haven't seen in years but we keep talking about getting together one day, 9-11, and then the Ft. Hood Attack. Yeah it hit right in the heart. I wish he would have sang longer, so you know it was a good concert! Plus it was nice to get out the house. Someone here needs a social life!! LOL
So lets get to the food shall we??
This is a variation of something I made for my family when I was like 9. I used regular spaghetti noodles then. This is a healthier version that uses a Spaghetti Squash. You know what it is?? NO!?!?!? OK I can help you with that.
This is a Spaghetti Squash Split in half lengthwise.
Its pretty solid on the outside and the middle reminds me of a pumpkin with the "Guts and Seeds"
This is how it looks cooked.
The meat turns in to strands and you scrape it out with a fork to help separate the strands.
When you are done you have an empty shell of just the outer skin.
Spaghetti Squash Pie
1 small - med Spaghetti Squash
4 cloves minced Garlic
1 jar of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
1 medium Onion, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
2 cans of Mushrooms
1-lb of Ground Turkey Meat
(if you have one of the people you are feeding that is against anything but Ground beef they won't really be able to tell the difference so save fat calories for something else I say)
These are to your taste:
Thyme, Cayenne, Basil, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Olive Oil Non-stick Spray
Pre-heat your oven to 350
Use a heavy knife and carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (the long way). You will need to be very careful cuz you will probably have to rock your knife in and out of it to get it cut all the way around. Once you have it split in half you will have a mass of pumpkin looking seeds and "guts" in the center. Take a spoon a scoop just them out.
Take a sheet pan and cover it foil and then spray it with non-stick spray. The spray the cut sides and inside the well of the squash. Then smear approx 2 cloves worth of minced garlic just in each well. Sprinkle with a little Salt and Pepper and Place cut sides down on the sheet pan you prepared. Place Pan in Oven and cook for 45-60 mins or so. Until the squash when you grab it gives some (Like a quick squeeze of the Charmin LOL) Wear your oven mitt when you do this!! PLEASE
Once the squash is ready. Just take the sheet pan out and let the squash sit to cool for 10-15 mins at least so it will be easier to scrape out the flesh. Normally if this was a side I wouldn't do this as I want to serve it piping hot with a little toss of Olive Oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan but since this is going back in the oven, its a non-issue if cools down alot.
Meanwhile, Saute your Onions til just wilted and then add the Bell Peppers and saute til the onions are just getting translucent. Add your ground Turkey. Be Sure to season as you go!! Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Thyme, Cayenne, Basil, and/or Oregano. Add all this to your Sauce pan with the jar of Spaghetti Sauce and simmer it while you wait on your squash to be ready. Remember his is a home-style dish so do what makes you and your family happy. No rules just fun! :)
Once the squash is now cooled enough to think about handling grab a half an set it stem end up in a big bowl and take a fork and just start scraping out the flesh down into the bowl. This will give you some stability while doing this. If the squash is still warm just put a pot holder or a folded kitchen towel between your hand and the squash.
As you scrape you will see the flesh coming out in strands and you will have it plus nice roasted garlic (from what we put in the well) in the bowl. 95% of whats in that shell will come out. You may have to flip over the squash to scrape the part that started in the bowl. Once you have all the meat of one half in the bowl switch to the other half and scrape away until you have 2 empty shells and a bowl full of squash strings.
OK. Everything that needs pre-cooking is now cooked. Now if you are really busy person. You could do all of the above the night before, come home from work the next night and put this all together but it will take longer in the oven as you will be getting everything hot all the way through to the center. This all can be done in one night for dinner though with out an issue so don't think you need two nights to do this.
Putting this dish together you will need:
Cooked Spaghetti Squash
3 beaten eggs
1/2 c Parmesan Cheese
1 c Cottage Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella or other Cheese
In your bowl of squash strings add 3 beaten Eggs and 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese. Toss well to get well coated.
I used an 8X8 pan but it will depend on the size of your squash. You could need to use a 13x9. You want about a 1 inch shell so keep that in mind.
Spray your pan with cooking spray and press your squash into the pan so it forms a shell.
Spread your 1 cup of Cottage Cheese into your shell and sprinkle Italian Seasoning and a little garlic powder just over the top of it.
The spread some of your sauce over the top of just the cottage cheese. You want a nice healthy layer of this. Any Sauce you have remaining you can serve on the side at the table for those that want more sauce.
Place this in the oven at 350 for 30 mins to get everything back to steaming hot and the eggs will help pull the squash into a tighter unit. Then sprinkle the top with your cheese and put it back in the over to melt and get bubbly.
Let this sit for 5-10 mins to let it setup and then cut and serve.
Ok now lets go somewhere else... A little Asian???
Shrimp Stir Fry
Fresh ginger and garlic, plus a vibrant mixture of vegetables and tender shrimp (packed with heart-healthy omega-3s), give this stir-fry big flavor and color. Make sure you have all the veggies prepared and all about the same size before you start to cook. Once you’re ready, this dish cooks up in less than 10 minutes. If you can find cut packaged stir-fry vegetables at the supermarket, your prep time will be finished in a flash!
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons plus 11/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
11/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined fresh or thawed frozen shrimp
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large bell pepper, any color, cut into thin strips
8 ounces snow peas, strings removed
1 small head of fresh Broccoli, trimmed into florets1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Whisk together 2 teaspoons of the oil, 11/2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, and garlic in a large bowl; add shrimp and toss to coat.
Lightly coat a large skillet or wok with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add shrimp and cook until pink, 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over high heat; add ginger and cook 30 seconds.
Add the broccoli and mushrooms saute until the mushrooms are just starting to wilt a little,then add the scallions, bell pepper, snow peas, and red pepper flakes and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in shrimp, any juices on the plate and remaining soy sauce and toss to combine. Serve hot. Serves 3-4
Now Lets go .... Mexican....
Mexican style Chicken Soup
One of my mom's favorite soups is Tortilla Soup. Since we are trying to cut down on the carbs and do more veggies and lean proteins this soup really hits that spot for her. This richly flavored, quick-cooking, southwestern-style soup tastes like you cooked all day but really it takes no time to prepare.
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced
2 Garlic cloves, minced2 teaspoon ground Cumin
Salt and black pepper
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 - 10oz can of Rotel
1 1/2lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups mild refrigerated salsa
3 Tbsp Lime juice1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, jalapeño, a little salt and pepper and saute 5 mins until tender and translucent then add garlic and cumin and cook 30 seconds more.
Add broth and Rotel, increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. Add chicken and cook til no longer pink about 3 mins. Then add the salsa, lime juice bring back up to simmer and then check seasoning. Add salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne if needed.
When serving sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top.