My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Cool (Totally) Spaghetti Squash


Since it's the last day of November and the final day of Vegan MoFo, I wanted to squeeze in this final food post, with its Fall decor, before the calendar turns to December! (Not that I never plan to share more food posts in the future - there were several I'd intended to post this month that I didn't get to, like my other two sandwich salad recipes and BW's homemade pizza. This is why I didn't officially participate in Vegan MoFo! As a blogger, I'm totally unreliable). :-)

And so is my ISP, which has been down since 1:30 this afternoon. I was beginning to think I wouldn't get to squeeze this in today at all! But I'm up and running now, so here's my little homage to spaghetti squash, which I think is such a fun dish I seriously have to wonder why I don't make it more often!

Last week I had some leftover pasta sauce from our dinner the night before, so I cut a small spaghetti squash in half, scooped out the seeds, and baked it at 350ºF in a shallow glass baking dish for about 30 minutes on each side (starting with the flesh side down, skin side up) till the skin was tender. After a few minutes when it had cooled enough to handle, I scraped the slightly crispy, slightly sweet, pasta-like flesh out with a fork, put my reheated sauce on it, sprinkled a little nooch on top and voilá...


While spaghetti squash is usually served like, well, spaghetti, here are a few other ways to enjoy it...




And here's a closer look at the adorable card by my plate of squash...


My generous and thoughtful friend Rose (who had the most awesome Vegan MoFo posts with her Random Road Trip, which you really must check out if you missed it) sent it to me along with a gift of adorable recipe cards last month, all the terribly cute creations of Michelle at My Zoetrope. I've had this card displayed on our dining room table since it arrived in mid-October and packed it away with my fall decorations today to enjoy again next year. Not only are the colors festive and the illustration charming, who doesn't love to be told they're "so cool, totally" and "'ed" several times a day? :-)

Rose, you are so cool, totally too, bless your ! (And I'll be making that vegan pot roast recipe you included with the card very soon!) :-) xoxo

12 comments:

  1. Yum! I love spaghetti squash, but don't make it nearly as often as I could, or should! That big plate looks so enticing...we're having roasted potatoes and salad tonight, but now I want some of this...it's coming soon to my table for sure!

    Thanks for all the links too! I especially like the sound of the New Mexican and Santa Fe versions!

    I'm so glad you like the card and the recipe cards Laurie! But, really all of MyZoetrope's art is just outright awesome and adorable in my opinion! We usually do homemade kitchen gifts and the like for Christmas, but this year, I'm thinking of supporting vegan artisans in my gift hunting!

    You are very welcome as you know! And thank you so much for all your kind words! Enjoy! Happy December! :)

    Oh, and do keep the recipe posts trickling in...

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  2. I have to admit that I have only made spaghetti squash once in my lifetime -- the reason being is that I thought it was tasteless. Wait -- the reason was that I did not cook it properly. I then had it at my daughter's and it was wonderful. So next garden season I plan on trying it again with some Farmers Market organic spaghetti squash. I am glad you included how you baked it. You must be a fabulous cook! Your presentation was beautiful. -- barbara

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  3. Hehe, I'm glad you like the card and recipe cards! <3

    And YUM on the spaghetti squash. I have one taking up counter space right now that needs to be made.

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  4. I have a spaghetti squash sitting in my fridge. You may have just given me the motivation I needed to do something with it.

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  5. You were able to squeeze alot into your evening last night. Thanks for making time to talk to me and I'm so happy that you were able to sneak this last food post in before the end of the month! The spaghetti squash looks great. Ashley was telling me about it just recently. Twice it came up in one month means I probably should try it!
    Have a great day!

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  6. I love Michelle's work! I've purchased several of her cards in the past and whoever receives them always adores them. :)

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  7. Rose ~ You too? We need to make a pact to make spaghetti squash more often! :-) Your roasted taters and salad sound really good too.

    You're welcome for those links! I thought they sounded tasty as well, and plan to try them sometime (especially if I don't happen to have "gravy" sitting around!) ;-)

    I love the card and recipe cards! It was so sweet of you to do that! And I think your ideas for Christmas gifts - homemade in years past and by vegan artisans this year - are great! I did quite a bit of the latter last year but not as much this year (since I did quite a bit of my Christmas shopping in Maine), but next year I'll return to buying most of my gifts from vegan artisans. Vegan Etsy has some great stuff!

    Happy December to you too, and I promise to keep the recipes trickling in. :-)

    Barbara ~ BW and I both used to hate Brussels sprouts for the same reason - we thought it was the sprouts' fault, but it was the way they'd been prepared (I'd never cooked them myself, why would I cook something I was convinced I hated?) :-) But I had several vegan friends tell me how to cook them properly and urge me to give them another chance, so we did and now they're a regular veggie in our house. I'm glad you were able to have the same sort of experience with spaghetti squash!

    The "spaghetti squash" link I shared is actually to a gardening site that tells how to grow your own. All the sites I found that address growing it talk about how fun and easy it is to do, so if we put in a garden this year I hope to give over some space to spaghetti squash.

    There are actually several ways to cook it, but since I buy fairly small ones that are easier to cut in half, this is my preferred method. You can also bake them whole (piercing the skin several times first, of course), but it takes a longer - an hour and a half, as I recall.

    Thank you very much for your compliments! I don't consider myself a fabulous cook, just a good one... my meals tend to be pretty simple affairs! :-)

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  8. Michelle ~ Wow, it's the artist herself! :-) Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! Your card and recipe cards are totally adorable (Rose and I are particularly fond of Asparagus Man in his Y-fronts. LOL) Your artwork is so cute, I'm totally smitten with your foxes (I especially adore foxes!)

    Bon appetit with your spaghetti squash! (No need having it take up counter space when it could be taking up tummy space!) :-)

    Jamie ~ Well whadya know, two commenters in a row with spaghetti squashes in their possession! :-)

    In putting this post together, I found quite a few sites that address the proper storage of winter squash, and while a few said keeping it in the fridge was okay (though not for long-term storage), most advised against doing that (unless the squash had been cooked), saying winter squash does best stored in 50-55º temps. We have a storage room in our basement that's perfect for storing veggies like squash, potatoes and onions. I realize not everyone has a spot like that in their home, but thought I'd mention it in case you might.

    Jo ~ After we got off the phone and I fed the dogs, I checked my computer and yay - I was connected again! I was glad not to have to go through the rigamarole of an after-hours phone call.

    It was no problem making time to talk to you last night - it was fun to get a surprise phone call (and all your news!), and the timing was perfect. I did squeeze quite a bit in last evening, but it was downright lazy compared to today, which was utterly insane. I swear I think I managed to be in several places at once, though it's all such a blur I can't remember how I might have managed it. Probably had to do with creating a rip in the fabric of the space-time continuum, or something. ;-)

    That's funny that Ashley would have been telling you about spaghetti squash recently! (Does she like it?) I'll bet if you were to wait, it would come up a third time in the next week or two! But why wait when you can enjoy some now? :-)

    Molly ~ I can sure see why your Zoetrope card recipients would be thrilled to receive them! They're totally endearing! Just like you. :-)

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  9. So cute, and so sweet of Rose.
    I'm a bit picky about spaghetti squash. Sometimes I've thought it was great, but mostly not:(
    I need to figure out the secret. I think I like it very al dente, and the moment it goes past that, "forget a bout it". I really want to like it.

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  10. Jennifer ~ I'm not sure if there is a secret, since spaghetti squash comes in different sizes, varieties and levels of ripeness and which will all effect cooking time. I just followed the directions on my squash's label and it came out perfectly, but I've seen a variety of recommended baking temps (from 350º to 450º), cooking times, and methods online. I think if you bake yours, in the final 20-30 minutes or so of cooking you might want to pierce the skin every 10 minutes or so and take it out as soon as it feels tender. See if that gets you the results you're after and prevents it from being overcooked.

    Here are a couple of websites that may help you get more consistent results...

    Gluten Free Blog: Spaghetti Squash ~ these bloggers like their au dente too (it is, after all, supposed to be a bit crunchy!) and in the comments someone asks them how to cook it that way. Their cooking method is different than mine, and their tips may help.

    Tony Tantillo's Spaghetti Squash tips (audio) ~ Tony Tantillo's got some very useful tips on selecting, storing and preparing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (several vegan or easily veganized). It was his directions we followed when we cooked Brussels sprouts for the first time. He's a "produce guy" that folks in the Bay Area might recognize (not sure if that includes you!) We call him "Tony Tomatillo." LOL

    And here's his article about selecting and storing winter squash, in case that might be helpful too.

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  11. Laurie!!!

    Help! I'm sorry I took so many giveaway slots...I didn't think of it that way...but woke up at two in the morning thinking that it must have seemed rude of me to keep commenting on the giveaway post! Please only take one of my comments as an entry...I just wasn't thinking.

    I'm sorry, and you can delete them if you want too.

    I tried to send you an email, my email is not working this morning.

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  12. Rose ~ Fear not, sweet friend! You may comment as often as you want to on that post, it'll just be one entry. :-)

    I'm sorry that caused you to wake up at 2am! You are just too thoughtful!

    Sorry your email isn't working, that's a bummer! I hope it fixes itself soon!

    We're heading out to run the dogs and when we get back I'm making a big pot of chili. Homemade bread is rising on the counter, and a pumpkin pie is in our future as well. Wish you could come over and join us! I'd even let you take a nap this afternoon to make up for your sleep deprivation! :-) xoxo

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"