spaghetti squash veggie boats
While the weather may not quite feel like it this week, it’s time to start embracing fall meals – cozy, warm dishes that are a dose of comfort after dealing with the new chill in the air all day. Spaghetti squash has quickly risen in the ranks of our favorite fall foods because it’s so easy to make dishes that taste like comfort food but that are also a) easy and b) healthy. It’s a trifecta, friends.
The first step in any spaghetti squash dish is cooking the squash. Don’t be deceived by its hard exterior and daunting shape – cooking this bad boy is a breeze. Because we like to put the emphasis on the “easy” part of our meals, we do it in the microwave – though you can also cook it in the oven.
Simple cook the squash in the microwave for 8-12 minutes. When it’s done, carefully (it’s hot!) remove and slice in half. Don’t forget to poke holes all over the squash with a fork before you cook, so the steam has a place to escape. You can see a picture of our squash, ready to go in the microwave, at the top of the post, placed delicately next to our seasonal table decorations. Target dollar section chic – revel in it.
Once the squash is done cooking and sliced in half, scoop out the seeds and then use a fork to pull the contents of the squash into a bowl. It will shred nicely into a spaghetti-like consistency.
Now, sauté up some of your favorite veggies. We used onions, broccoli and carrots, but you can use whatever you love (or whatever needs to be cooked ASAP before it goes bad). Just make sure you end up with about four cups of cooked veggies.
Mix together the sautéed veggies, some salt and pepper (to taste), spaghetti squash strands and one can of tomato sauce. You can also use pasta sauce here – just omit the salt and pepper, since pasta sauce is already seasoned.
Pack the veggie/squash/tomato mix back into the scooped-out hulls of squash rinds, so it makes two portable (and cute) squash boats. Like so:
Now, this last part is totally optional – except in our book, cheese is never optional. However, if you don’t like, or can’t eat cheese, be sure to skip. You can proceed right to eating your squash boats (they’re most delicious when hot!).
But if you do like cheese, pick your favorite kind and scatter over the top. We recommend putting the boats into the oven for about 5-10 minutes at 250, just long enough for the cheese to get a little melty. You could also broil the boats until the cheese gets nice and browned. Up to you. We went with some thinly sliced mozzarella, let it melt a bit, and then sprinkled some red pepper flakes on top.
Then we cracked open a bottle of red and got down to eating. Enjoy!