Friday, May 25, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Bake

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We are pretty big couch potatoes. Thank goodness we don't own a TV, or our brains would turn into mush from watching the tube 24/7. Because of studying, we've limited our TV time to only when we eat our meals. Yeah, I know... but meal time conversations are over-rated. Our favorite food network show is Diners Drive In and Dives with Guy Fieri. He has literally the best job in the world! Although, it also probably includes heart attacks, myocardial infarctions and hypertension over time :\

Anyway, in the episode he went to this restaurant called The Pitstop and introduced a new recipe for my blog. I couldn't wait to try it. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to carb-y pasta and this dish can be made vegan (using nutritional yeast) or vegetarian. It's quick if you use bottled pasta sauce or you just have some lying around. And 1/2 a serving will make you extremely stuffed. So remember you're cooking for 2 :) You seriously won't miss the carbs in this dish. Even bubs liked it and he's a steak and potatoes kind of guy.

I have a pseudo scientific tip for the ladies this time! Enjoy.
Interesting Tip: Marry a Man with a LONG Ring Finger
A man with a longer ring finger has apparently been exposed to more testosterone in the womb. Dr. John Manning of Rutgers University. A person with high testosterone levels have been associated with being more logical, decisive and ambitious. But then too much testosterone means highly competitive and aggressive people douchebags. That's why women are such a good balance :D

So ladies, it's great if you meet someone at a bar and his muscles are rippling and he looks like a cross between Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. But remember to look if he's got those "man" qualities with a long ring finger. If it's short and stubby... watch out. He could be a huge sissy.

Spaghetti Squash Bake
Adapted from the Food Network

1 Spaghetti Squash cut lengthwise
4 oz Mozzarella + Parmesan shredded (I also used 2% sharp cheddar)
1 tsp Rosemary or basil

1/2 lb ground turkey (optional for vegetarians)
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 zucchini small
1 cup mushrooms sliced
1/2-1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted)
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Rosemary or basil
1 tsp Oregano (or italian seasoning)
pepper + salt

Preheat oven 350F.
Slice squash in half, scrape out the seeds and place fleshside down in a baking dish

Add 1/4 inch water. Bake for 40-50 mins or until tender.
While that's baking, let's make the marinara sauce!

If you already have left over pasta sauce or if you're going to use ready made pasta sauce, then you can skip this step! Or jazz up bottled sauce with vegetables and meat if you like. I actually doubled the recipe here to make leftover sauce for future meals.

Dice your onions, mince the garlic, slice zucchini into half moons, slice mushrooms.

In a large skillet, saute garlic and onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the turkey if you're a meat eater and cook until just brown. Add zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for another 5 mins. Add your seasoning herbs, pepper and salt to your liking.

I added tomato paste and let it simmer for about 8-10mins to make it more saucy.

Your spaghetti squash should be nice and soft. Careful because it is hot! You can scrape the strands inside and then transfer it to a bowl.

Using a fork, rake the flesh to create the "spaghetti" strands.

Mix in about 3/4 cup of the sauce, 1/2 of the cheese and remaining fresh rosemary.

Put it back into the squash shells, top it off with some extra sauce and remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Crack some fresh black pepper on top. Bake until the cheese begins to melt and bubble and create that lovely crust. About 10-11 mins.


I added some sharp cheddar cheese under the mozzarella

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