Friday, January 27, 2012

Healthy, Party of 1?

Nobody likes to cook dinner for 1 person, I get that.  How many recipes can you actually make that don’t give you way more food than you can eat before it goes bad?  And who wants to go through all that trouble just for a dinner after a long day?  It’s much easier to go to happy hour with friends or stop for take-out on the way home.
Spaghetti squash to the rescue!  This is probably one of the easiest things to make, is perfect for 1 dinner plus leftovers for lunch (bonus!) or can easily be a dinner for two.  There are a ton of things to do with spaghetti squash, so here are the basics and some fun ideas.

1.        Preheat the oven to 375⁰.
2.       Cut the squash in half length-wise.  Sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing to do, so make sure you have a sharp chef’s knife to work with.  Here’s a great video to show you how:

3.       Scoop out all the insides – it looks very similar to a pumpkin, but yellow.

4.       Place the two halves face down on a cookie sheet that you have sprayed or lightly oiled. 
5.       Bake for 35-45 minutes.  This gives you time to prep whatever else you want with your squash, or go put your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine.  J  When the squash is done, you should be able to squeeze the sides and they will be soft.  35 minutes will make it a little al dente.
6.       Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  When it’s cool enough to handle, pull the flesh apart with a fork.  It will look like really thin noodles!

There are a ton of different ways to eat your squash:
1.       Just like a bowl of pasta, with sauce and a little parmesan.
2.       Not as healthy, but spaghetti squash casserole can be delish.  There are a million different recipes out there.
3.       My favorite: sautéed with whatever vegetables you want.  Last night, I sautéed baby bok choy and mushrooms in garlic and olive oil. 

       Once the mushrooms were tender and the bok choy was wilted, I added a little bit of low sodium soy sauce and the spaghetti squash just to mix the flavors.  I’ve also done kale, mushrooms and tofu.  Whatever you choose, sauté those ingredients until they are done and then add the squash at the last minute and toss everything together.
4.      It’s also great as a side to compliment whatever else you want to have for dinner.  Add a little salt and pepper - voilá! 

The possibilities are endless!  I ate about half of the squash and veggies and love that my lunch was ready for me this morning.   Anyone out there have a delish way they like to enjoy spaghetti squash?

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