Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
This recipe will change your life.

No kidding.

For all of you trying to stay fit and healthy by exercising and eating right...which I think is basically everyone I know...this recipe is a godsend and will make that 'eating right' part, a walk in the park.

I love carbs and I am a strong proponent of the 'everything in moderation' motto, so don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those anti-carb people who eat their burgers without a bun, I love bread. Thankfully I'm not really in love with eggy, floury pasta. But I know a lot of people are, and I don't judge, but I have just the recipe for you...

...Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

Spaghetti Squash strands waiting to be sauced, herbed, and baked!
It is golden, delicious, tender strands of spaghetti squash baked with tomato sauce, an abundance of italian herbs and a lovely, delicate crust of parmesan and panko breadcrumbs.

It's not spaghetti but it's a close, almost carb-free substitute. And with a few glasses of wine downed while waiting for it to bake, I'm sure you could easily convince yourself it is in fact pasta. ;)

Spaghetti Squash Casserole prepared and ready to be baked.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole - Let's eat!


Spaghetti Squash Casserole
from Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:
  1. 2 small or one large spaghetti squash
  2. 1 can of plain tomato sauce
  3. 1 tbsp of olive oil
  4. 1 tsp sea salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon  black pepper
  6. 1 1/2 tsp of dried basil
  7. 1 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  8. 1 tsp of thyme
  9. 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes *optional
  10. 1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese *optional
  11. 1/4 to 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs *optional
  12. *feel free to add fresh spinach or chopped proteins
Directions:

1.  Fill a large pot with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer. Add the whole spaghetti squash and cover with a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes flipping the squash over at the 15 minute mark. After cooked, remove from pot and let it cool. Do this step in the morning before work or, if you have time, a  few hours before you want to bake the casserole.

2. Once cooled, cut the squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds. With large metal spoon scoop out the strands of squash, moving length wise and scooping from side to side. If you've never prepped a spaghetti squash, this slightly confusing process becomes clearer once you open the squash and see the strands for your self. Place those golden strands into a large bowl.

3. Preheat your oven to 425 F.

4. Add the tomato sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper and dried herbs to the squash, toss to coat evenly. Add more salt or herbs to taste. Place squash mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs evenly over top of the squash mixture.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes and serve!