Tag Archives: squash

Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash.

As you all know, with the start of a new year, we all make resolutions.  We all have some sort of goals that we set for ourselves that are inevitably broken by the time February rolls around.  I’m pretty sure mine are much like yours:  eat healthier, exercise more, lose some poundage, be a better person, blahblahblah.

I don’t typically set out to make resolutions, but new year or not, I’ve decided to take my health into my own hands.  I’ve always been of bigger stature, and much like most of us, I’ve failed many times at dieting.  But on January 2nd, when the scale told me that I now weigh five pounds more than I did when I was nine months pregnant, it was the kick in the pants I needed to make a real lifestyle change.

Christmas 2K11. Yep, it's time for a change.

So this year, I’m hoping to eat a more plant-focused diet (despite my love of bacon).  I’m aiming to work out at least three times each week (there’s really no excuse… I have a treadmill and an elliptical at my disposal in my basement).  I’d like to finally complete the Couch to 5K program with the goal of being able to run my very first 5K this Spring or Summer (as it stands now, I huff and puff going up and down the stairs).

The Husby is out of town this week for work so I’ve been left to fend for myself.  And usually when that happens, I end up ordering in or eating out.  But not this time.  I packed up the Fruitaholic and we headed to the grocery store, determined to make and eat the majority of my meals at home this week.

Wanting to keep things easy since I’d just be cooking for me, I bought a couple prepackaged salads, a couple chicken breasts, a ton of fruit for snacking, and a small spaghetti squash.  I’m not sure what caused me to buy the squash since the first time I tried it, I had some kind of small reaction to it.  But there it was right in front of me, begging me to bring it home.  And so I did.

But what to do with it?  I knew I didn’t want to drown it in pasta sauce.  Even though it shares a name with and is touted as a pasta substitute, it’s not pasta!  I knew I wanted it to be healthy and full of flavor.  And my oh my, it certainly was!

I had originally planned to cook up one of my chicken breasts to go alongside it, but once it was ready (quickly and easily, I might add), I realized I didn’t need it.  I had half of the squash and it was super filling, but so tasty to the point that I would’ve (and since it’s healthy, could’ve) eaten the other half as well.  I may have even moaned as I was eating it, soliciting dirty looks from the Fruitaholic (who wouldn’t touch it, sigh).  I’m anxiously awaiting the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and to making it again many, many times during the course of the year.

Cheers to a healthy, flavorful 2012!

Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash - slightly adapted from Gourmet Magazine via Epicurious

  • 1 3-4 Lb.  Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter, unsalted (to make this dish Vegan, substitute a Vegan butter spread or Olive Oil)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 Cup Golden Raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped

With a small knife, pierce the squash all over to prevent bursting.  Place the squash on a microwave safe plate and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, then turn the squash over and cook an additional 8-10 minutes, until the squash is soft.  Allow to cool 10-15 minutes.  Alternately, place the whole pierced squash in a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

While the squash is cooling, melt the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute.  Stir in the spices and salt and remove from heat.

When the squash is cool enough to touch, carefully halve lengthwise.  Remove and discard the seeds.  Scrape the flesh with a fork to release the strands from the skin.  Add the toasted almonds and golden raisins, then toss with the spiced butter mixture and top with cilantro.

Easiest Ever Porkchops and Roasted Butternut Squash.

Around this time last year, my friend Shawn hosted a holiday cooking party.  She invited over a group of friends for wine, appetizers and dinner.  But before the big meal, she channeled her inner Giada and showed us all how quick and easy it was to prepare the super delicious, good for you meal.  Ever since, this meal has graced my table at least twice a month.  You can prepare and cook both the pork chops and the butternut squash at the same time.

Shawn’s Easiest Ever Pork Chops

  • - 1 Package Boneless Pork Chops, butterflied if preferred
  • - 1/2 Bottle Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette Dressing
  • - 1 Pacakage Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • - 1/4 Bag Trail Mix with Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit (I always use Trader Joe’s Oh My Omega Trek Mix)

Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange pork chops in a baking dish and cover with dressing.  Top with goat cheese and trail mix.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Shawn’s Roasted Butternut Squash

  • - 1 Butternut Squash, cubed (I leave the peel on to add extra nutrients, but you could certainly peel it as well)
  • - Honey (a big drizzle should be enough)
  • - Cinnamon, to taste
  • - Nutmeg, to taste
  • - Cayenne, to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into a baking dish.  Bake for 35-40, until tender.