Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce

This may seem crazy to you, or maybe you’re just like me, but until last week, I had never had spaghetti squash. They were selling them for some ungodly low price at Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago, and it has been staring at me expectantly since then. Just when it was starting to stare at me accusingly, I decided to cook it. Apparently, the most common way to treat spaghetti squash is just like spaghetti, that is, topped with a lovely tomato sauce. I was skeptical at first; it’s not spaghetti, it’s a squash. But, this is the type of thing at which I am often happily surprised. So, if you have been cagily eyeing a new food, I say take the plunge and give it a try. This was so phenomenal, I had it for breakfast the following two mornings. Going vegan, or changing your diet in any way, is a great opportunity to expand your scope of foods. So, if you find yourself making the same meals, over and over, head to the grocery store and choose something you’ve never made before.

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh herbs chopped (try parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, chives, or sage)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375º. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Lay face-down in a baking pan and add water 1/2” up the side of the pan. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the squash onto its back, recover with foil, and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Remove the seeds and throw away. Using a fork, pull the squash in strands away from the peel. Place the squash in a large sauté pan. Add the olive oil to the squash and sauté over medium heat for one minute. Add the herbs and toss gently. Taste for salt and pepper.

Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 container baby bella mushrooms sliced
1 zucchini halved and sliced
1 onion sliced
1 eggplant diced
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup walnuts chopped
1 tablespoon basil chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 375º. Cover a sheet pan with foil. Spread the mushrooms, onion, zucchini, and eggplant in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. In a small pot, combine the vegetables, tomatoes, and walnuts. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the basil and taste for salt and pepper. Spoon over the spaghetti squash and serve immediately!

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