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Posts Tagged ‘spaghetti squash’

Harvest Meal

August 24, 2012 56 comments

Harvest Basket + 5 Ingredients

We often have pantry meals – we make something for dinner out of just what we have in the pantry (and maybe add a few things from the refrigerator and/or freezer). These meals can be creative. Sometimes we just don’t want to go to the grocery store or farmers market, this is a good alternative. Well this week, I went outside and harvested a basket of veggies from the garden: tomatoes, spaghetti squash, green beans, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and herbs. I decided to make a “harvest meal,” using the ingredients in the basket plus 5 kitchen staples: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

I made a quick marinara sauce to top the spaghetti squash and served it with sautéed green beans, and a chopped salad. It was a tasty meal, made even better because we grew the veggies! We’ve only been gardening for two years, so it’s still a treat when we harvest. I don’t really have recipes and exact measurements, just guidelines. Hope you are enjoying the summer bounty! It’s time to think about a fall garden.

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

Olive oil

Onions, chopped

Celery leaves and stems, chopped

Bell peppers, chopped

Tomatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper

Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Balsamic vinegar

Spaghetti squash pasta (see the next recipe)

Parmesan cheese

Heat some olive oil in a pan; add the onions, celery, and bell peppers. Sauté until tender. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are tender. You can mash some of the tomatoes with a fork or potato masher or even use an immersion blender. Depends on the texture you prefer. Stir in a splash of balsamic vinegar and the fresh herbs. Serve over the spaghetti squash with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta”

1 medium spaghetti squash

You can bake spaghetti squash in the oven at 350º F for 45 minute to an hour, until tender. However, it is August and I prefer not to heat up the house by using the oven for this. The microwave does a fine job.

You can cook spaghetti squash whole, but I prefer to cut them. Wash the outside of the squash. Dry it thoroughly. The rind is tough so it can be a little tricky to cut, so use care when cutting it. Wrap it in a towel, place it on a cutting board and use a large knife to slice it lengthwise from stem to end. Then use a spoon or a sturdy ice cream scoop to scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff. This is similar to how you clean a butternut squash or a pumpkin.

Place the two halves cut side up in a microwave safe container (I use a Pyrex pie plate). Fill the cavities with water. Pour a little extra water in the bottom of the container. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Rotate the squash halves and pour a little more water over the cut edges – this keeps them from drying out. Microwave another 5 minutes. Let them rest for about 5 more minutes. Then, use a fork to shred the squash so that it looks like strands of spaghetti.

Finished Meal

Green Beans

Green beans, washed and snapped (if needed)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Stir in the green beans. Sauté until slightly tender (I like them with a little bite). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs.

Chopped Salad

Tomatoes, chopped

Cucumbers, chopped

Onions, chopped

Celery leaves, chopped

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese

Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

Toss the vegetables in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. Toss well. Serve.

 

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1 Can of Coconut Milk = 2 Recipes

March 22, 2012 2 comments

I love coconut milk, but don’t have many recipes that use an entire large can.  Most recipes use a cup or less.  The large cans of coconut milk have almost two cups. When I find the tiny cans of coconut milk, I stock up.  But I don’t find them very often.  So, what to do with the leftover coconut milk?  Many possibilities: Thai coconut soup, smoothies, sorbet, rice pudding, coconut oatmeal, pina coladas, etc.  But, I thought it might be nice to have two recipes that go well together which use one entire can of coconut milk.  So, I give you Curried Coconut Spaghetti Squash and Coconut Pigeon Peas and Rice.  Coincidentally, each recipe also uses half an onion!

Curried Coconut Spaghetti Squash

I originally found this recipe on an interesting paleolithic diet website: (http://www.paleoeffect.com/recipes/paleo-coconut-curry-spaghetti-squash-a-delicate-vegan-side/)

I don’t eat paleo so I took a few liberties with the recipe. Ok, I took a lot of liberties with the recipe.  Wasn’t really in the mood for green curry or cilantro so I used red curry and hot pepper flakes.  Also, added some orange peppers because it sounded like a good idea. I was craving sunny orange and yellow food.  This certainly fit the bill!

This is a nice, light vegan side dish that is great served with Coconut Pigeon Peas and Rice. 

Curried Coconut Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash

6 ounces coconut water or plain water

1 tablespoon coconut oil

½ a medium-large onion, chopped (or 2 large shallots)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon red curry paste

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 medium red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon honey (or agave)

½ cup coconut milk

¼ cup cashew pieces (raw or toasted)

You can bake spaghetti squash in the oven at 350º F for 45 minute to an hour.  However, it is mid-March and we are experiencing record temps in the mid to upper 80s here in  North Alabama.  Do not want to turn on the AC yet so I used the microwave to avoid heating the house.   

Some people bake or microwave spaghetti squash whole, but I prefer to cut them.  Wash the outside of the squash.  Dry it thoroughly.  The rind is tough so it can be a little tricky to cut, so use care when cutting it.  Wrap it in a towel, place it on a cutting board and use a large knife to slice it lengthwise from stem to end.  Then use a spoon or a sturdy ice cream scoop to scoop out the seeds and the stringy stuff.  This is similar to how you clean a butternut squash or a pumpkin.

Place the two halves cut side up in a microwave safe container (I use a Pyrex pie plate).  Fill the cavities with either coconut water or regular water.  Pour a little extra water in the bottom of the container.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Rotate the squash halves and pour a little more of the liquid over the cut edges – this keeps them from drying out.  Microwave another 5 minutes.  Let them rest for about 5 more minutes.  Then, use a fork to shred the squash so that it looks like strands of spaghetti.

In a large sauce pan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger.  Sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Add the spices, salt, and the bell peppers. Sauté for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the honey and coconut milk. Turn the heat to low, add the spaghetti squash and the cashew piece.  Mix and serve immediately

 

Coconut Pigeon Peas and Rice

Pigeon peas are one of my favorite legumes.  They are also known as tropical green peas or gandules (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeon_pea).  You can buy them canned or dried in most major grocery stores or international markets. In Huntsville you can get them at Publix, Garden Cove, Kroger, and Earth Fare. If you use dried, just soak them for a few hours, rinse, boil for until tender, and then drain. If you use canned peas, drain them for this recipe. 

I have a friend and former neighbor, from Puerto Rico, and his specialty was pigeon peas and rice.  It was one of my favorite meals and I looked forward to the days when Hector cooked.  Over the years, I’ve tried to replicate Hector’s recipe, but nothing can top the original.  Therefore, I decided to create my own version of Pigeon Peas and Rice.  This is a vegan, curried version with coconut.  It’s totally different, but I still like it.  Hope you do too.

Coconut Pigeon Peas and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon coconut oil

½ a medium-large onion, chopped

¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon curry powder

1½ teaspoons salt (or less if you want to keep the sodium low)

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1½ cups rice, rinsed (basm­­­­ati, jasmine, or brown long-grain rice)

¼ cup dried unsweetened coconut

1 cup coconut milk

2¼ cups water

2 cups cooked pigeon peas

Heat olive oil and coconut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, turmeric, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook until onions are translucent and tender, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and coconut. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and water.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Then, gently stir in the pigeon peas. Cover the pot. Turn the temperature to low. Leave it alone for 20 minutes (no peeking!). Remove from heat and let the rice sit for another 5 minutes.  Fluff/stir the rice and peas. Serve.