Sunday, December 30, 2007

Spaghetti (Squash) with Vegetable Marinara Sauce

Marty is such a wonderful chef. He is spontaneous and discerning in the kitchen, and there has only ever been one dish of his that turned out horribly (and that was because everything burnt to the bottom of the pot and we still tried to eat it). The only problem with Marty's cooking is that he does everything on the fly. I have never once seen him use a recipe. It's great that everything of his turns out to be a masterpiece, but it's not so good when I need to replicate the meal for some reason... I'm getting better at shooting from the hip when it comes to the kitchen, but I still feel more comfortable with a recipe of sorts.

Marty is the mastermind behind our Boho Spaghetti Squash meal. In the post that follows, however, I will try to distill everything into a somewhat common sense recipe format. Luckily, it's not so technical of a meal that everything has to be precisely measured or cooked for x amount of seconds at y degree of heat. It's vegetarian cooking at its finest: seasonal, local, and SUPER EASY!

Spaghetti Squash Bowls


- 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half, cored (i.e. spoon out the guts!), and sliced on each end so that it is able to stand up as a bowl after cooking
- seeds of the spaghetti squash, separated from the guts, washed, and set aside
- 1-2 tbsp oil or coconut oil for cooking
- 8-9 brown mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1 eggplant, cubed
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2 or 3 carrots, sliced coarsely
- 2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 onion, sliced
- garlic and ginger to taste, minced
- 1 or 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes (depends on how saucy you want your sauce, on how many people will be eating, or on how many meals of leftovers you wish to have)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- random spices to taste. We threw in a bit of cumin powder, oregano, and paprika.
- sprigs of parsley for garnish (optional)
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast for garnish (optional)

1. Gently heat oil in large saucepan at a low temperature.
2. Add onions and saute with the lid on until just tender (2-3 minutes).
3. Add mushrooms, eggplant, ginger, garlic, carrots, and celery, and saute with lid on until vegetables are tender (5-8 minutes).
4. Add crushed tomatoes and spices and continue to simmer the sauce.
5. Add zucchini and gently simmer sauce until zucchini is slightly tender, but not soggy!

1. Place clean squash seeds on a baking pan, salt lightly, and place in oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until seeds are slightly brown and popping. Remove from oven and set aside for garnish.

2. Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a pot. Use 1 pot or pan for each half of squash.
3. Making sure that the squash has been scraped, de-seeded, and sliced cleanly on each end, place face down (like an upside down bowl) in the boiling water. Cover if possible and let cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the inside of the squash is tender and easily scraped with a fork.

To serve:
1. Remove squash halves from boiling water and place face up (like a bowl) on a large plate. Because the tips of the squash have been cut before cooking, the bowl will stand upright but some slight leakage may still occur. Hence, the plate.
2. Fill the squash bowl with sauce until sauce is level with the rim of the squash.
3. Garnish with parsley, toasted squash seeds, and nutritional yeast if desired.

To eat:
1. Use a fork to scrape the inside of the squash. Delicate, spaghetti-like strands will peel off and can be eaten with the sauce-- YUM!!
2. Refill sauce if needed.

Note: The squash bowls provide a GIANT serving of food for an average human, even those with large appetites. When you have stuffed yourself full of spaghetti squash goodness, finish scraping off the inside of the squash and add to remaining sauce for leftovers. Voila! Delicious and nutritious.

No comments: