March 8, 2013

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash

So I've been on this weird squash kick the past few days.


It's particularly weird because I always kind of hated squash.  I never liked the texture of yellow squash or zucchini, and found their flavor to be....blah.

However, after becoming a plant-based rock star over the past few years, I've discovered a variety of foods that I never had tried before - and that I love now!  Like squash.

Very low in calories and fat, high in calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and fiber - the squash is a nutritional winner.  Go squash!


Personally, I still don't love yellow squash, and zucchini and I have a luke-warm relationship.  However, I have fallen completely in love with acorn squash (like in Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash), butternut squash (like in my Butternut Squash Risotto), and spaghetti squash.

The other night, I literally had roasted butternut squash for dinner - with a salad.  I would post the recipe, but there really isn't one - just turn your oven on to about 425, cube your butternut squash, toss with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper - and roast until golden brown.  You could add any seasoning you like - I added a little bit of paprika and garlic powder.  Delicious and oh so very simple (I'm all about simplicity lately, remember?).


Let's move on to spaghetti squash - because it's freaking awesome.  We have used this awesome veggie in a couple of recipes (like in our Spaghetti Squash Casserole and Tofredo Spaghetti Squash).  I love it as an alternative to pasta.  Don't get me wrong, I could eat brown rice pasta every single day of my life.  However, it's nice to switch it up sometimes.  The texture is a little less firm than pasta, but the flavor it adds makes up for it.  Plus, it's lower in calories than pasta, so I can eat more.  Which is ALWAYS a plus for me!!

This time, I decided to put a southwestern spin on the spaghetti squash - because I love the flavors and the combination of the sweet and spiciness - but mostly because I could add avocado to it.  And everything is better with avocado.

So tell me, what's your favorite squash??

Love & Kale,
Ali

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta in the southwestern dish.  Plus, it adds just a touch of sweetness that pairs perfectly with the spiciness.  The addition of beans and veggies give great texture and lots of fiber and protein!  Top with some avocado or guacamole and ENJOY :)

Serves: 4

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 cups veggie broth (depending on how large your squash is)
  • 1 - 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 15oz can no-salt added corn, drained
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp. taco seasoning (homemade recipe below)
    • 4 parts chili powder, 2 parts ground cumin, 1 part paprika, 1 part crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper, 1 part dried oregano, 1 part onion powder, 1 part garlic powder, 1 part salt, ½ part black pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • Scallions, avocado, cilantro, nacho cheese, etc. for garnish
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds in center.  Place directly in the oven, cut side up, and bake until tender, around 45 min to an hour (depending on how large your squash is).
  2. Saute onions, pepper, and garlic over medium heat with a little broth, for about 5 min or until tender.
  3. Add seasonings, beans and corn.  Saute for a few more minutes, adding broth as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and enough broth to make a light sauce (about a cup or 2).  Saute until tomatoes start to become tender.
  5. When squash is done, remove from oven and scrape out the flesh with a fork - it will look like spaghetti!  So fun.  Add squash to bean mixture and stir until combined.  Adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Top with chopped scallions, avocado, or whatever floats your boat!  ENJOY :)
Saute veggies, beans, and seasonings

Think that's pasta?  NOPE!  Isn't spaghetti squash fun??

Add squash to bean mixture and combine

Add tomatoes and combine

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash


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