Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eating in Season: Spaghetti Squash and Apples!

When I arrived at Eliot’s house with ingredients for our dinner, I proudly presented a spaghetti squash I bought from the Farmer’s Market. I had no idea what make WITH the dish, I merely focused on the squash aspect of our meal. I left that part of the meal in Eliot’s capable hands while I waited for my squash to finish cooking in the oven. Spaghetti squash does not have the familiar taste of spaghetti, but looks an awful lot like it (and when you do not cook it until tender, as I learned the week prior, it can have a crunch to it.) It really ought to be called Squash Spaghetti – it is first and foremost a squash, secondly a fun spaghetti alternative. If you have not tried spaghetti squash, you really should! It is now in season and you can get a good price on it – I’ve seen them for 99 cents a pound up to $1.99 a pound for organic.
After we devoured our spaghetti squash with his marinara, Eliot and I wanted dessert. Desserts can be tricky when trying to make them gluten, dairy, and tree nut free. We continued with our extremely healthy meal with more Famer’s Market finds: apples! And a fresh jar of peanut butter! (Side note: if you are gluten free or you are feeding someone who is gluten free, make sure to use a new or a dedicated peanut butter jar. Most people like to scoop peanut butter onto bread and then put that same knife into the jar – that now has bread crumbs!) Here are the recipes from our dinner:

Michelle’s Spaghetti Squash
One spaghetti squash (2.5-3 pounds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and dry spaghetti squash. CAREFULLY slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Put aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Place the squash halves face down on the foil. Stab the outside of squash (about ten times?) with a fork. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is tender. Do not overcook. Let the squash cool for a few minutes before turning it into spaghetti. To turn it into spaghetti, take a fork and scrape the inside of the squash. Instant spaghetti! Serve with Eliot’s Garlic Tomato Oregano Rosemary Marinara.

Eliot’s Garlic Tomato Oregano Rosemary Marinara
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Minced Garlic
San Marzana Italian Peeled Tomatoes (one can)
Dried Oregano
Chopped Fresh Rosemary

With a high temperature stove, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan with a bit of Kosher salt. Once the oil is hot, add the fresh minced garlic. As soon as the garlic has a fragrant smell and is aromatic, add the peeled tomatoes and stir. Let the marinara bubble vigorously for a little while then reduce the heat to medium and then to simmer (the length of time for the drop in temperature depends on your stove – whether it is gas or electric). While this is simmering, stir in dried oregano and fresh rosemary (or another Italian blend of your choosing). You can always add more salt to taste as this point.

This really is one of those “to taste” recipes. Add as much or as little of the above ingredients as you prefer! Garnish with fresh herbs.

Micheliot’s Peanut Butter Apple Dessert

Peanut Butter
Dark Chocolate (really make sure to read the label on this one if you have food allergies or intolerances)
Dried Cranberries

Rinse and dry the apples. Cut the apples with one of those nifty apple slicers. Beautifully arrange on a plate or bowl. Drizzle peanut butter on top. Add freshly grated dark chocolate on top. Halfway through eating after Michelle puts her camera away, add dried cranberries to the remaining slices of apples.

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