Mexican Spaghetti Squash
This naturally gluten-free vegan recipe makes a tasty light meal for a weeknight supper. It also works as a flavorful side dish. Even those who don't ordinarily care for spaghetti squash admit, This is actually very good! Well, yeah. Told ya. (Serves 4)
Ingredients for roasting the squash:
1 medium spaghetti squash
Sea salt and ground pepper
A drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil, as needed
A sprinkle of cumin and good chili powder, to taste (I added a sprinkle of minced garlic as well)
A splash of water, as needed
Instructions for roasting:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Halve the squash lengthwise and place cut side up in a roasting pan. Season with sea salt and pepper, a drizzle of good olive oil, some cumin, chili powder (and garlic, if adding). Add two inches of water to the pan to help keep the squash from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Roast in a hot oven for about an hour, until the squash is fork-tender. Half way through roasting I poured a little bit of spring water on each squash to keep it moist. When the squash is done, remove it and let it cool.
Ingredients for the topping:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet or red onion, diced (a leek would work great here, just the white part)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off [or try a red bell pepper, diced]
Cumin and chili powder, to taste
1 cup ripe and juicy grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 14oz. can black beans, rinsed, drained well
Two whole roasted green chiles, mild or spicy, seeded, chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
Toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
Fresh chopped cilantro
Option: Cubes of goat cheese or feta (leave out for vegan)
Instructions for assembly:
Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet [I like to use an iron skillet for the iron it adds to food]. Add the onion, garlic, corn kernels and spices; stir for five minutes until the onion has softened. Meanwhile, when the squash is cool enough to handle: take a fork and scrape the squash, making spaghetti-like strands.
Now you have choice. You can assemble the ingredients in a casserole-style baking dish and bake it - or you can do it all on the stove-top in the large skillet.
If you're going to bake it - toss the squash strands into a large mixing bowl. Add a little of your best olive oil to moisten. Season with more sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle in some added cumin or chili powder, if you like, to taste. Toss well. Add the skillet mixture, tomatoes, black beans, green chiles. Combine. Grate a lime and add the zest. Cut and squeeze the lime juice all over the mixture and toss lightly. Pour the mixture into a casserole style baking dish. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven until heated through - about 20 to 25 minutes.
If you'd rather do it up in a skillet, add the squash to the skillet mixture, and stir in the remaining ingredients, as above. Cover and gently heat through over medium heat - roughly five to ten minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and some lime wedges.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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