Creamy Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

My husband had long ago decided that he did not like spaghetti squash.  No sir. Didn’t like it.   And then he tried this.

He changed his mind.  😀  I love it when I can change peoples’ minds about a food.  It makes me feel like such a success 😀  I’ve left my print on the world!!  Ohhh hey…that would be a good show for Food Network.  “I Didn’t Like….”  A competition to see which chef can change a picky person’s mind.  Ha!  I’m a genius.  Someone should hire me, haha.

This was a fantastic side dish for steak!!  It had that creamy, garlicy, cheesy satisfaction without the carb-filled pasta.  So tasty and quite healthy!!!  Yes it has a bit of cheese…but Parmesan is one of the best health wise! 🙂

One more fun thing about this recipe!!  I have never been too good at making sure spaghetti squash get cooked all the way.  Just being honest here.  Well, because of this wonderful book, Everything Gluten Free Slow Cooker Cookbook, I finally NAILED IT!  That’s right.  I cooked the spaghetti squash in a crock pot!!!  I love my crock pot, it helps me time things!!!  Yaaaay!!  I hope that thought will be a great tip for your kitchen too!!!!  You simply pierce the squash a few times, put it in the crock pot, and pour in a small amount of water, about 3/4 C and cook on low for 7 or 8 hours 🙂

Adapted from http://ahealthymakeover.blogspot.jp

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Large or Medium Spaghetti Squash, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3/4 C Vegetable or Chicken Broth, Preferably Low Sodium
  • 1/3 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Grated Fresh Parmesan…my 1/2 C was generous 🙂
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

  1. Get your spaghetti squash cooked!! If you want to try my new method, start the morning of, poke a few holes and place in a crock pot with about 3/4 C of water.  Cook on low about 8 hours.  Cut in half and shred squash with a fork.  You can also cut in half and  bake cut side down in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or even microwave about 12 minutes if you’re in a hurry!
  2. Melt butter or coconut oil over Medium heat.  Saute onions until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook about a minute more.
  3. Toss in the cooked spaghetti squash and stir so your tasty garlicy bits are incorporated throughout.
  4. Add the broth and almond milk and stir in.
  5. Add the parmesan and stir in.  If it is too runny, let it reduce for a few minutes.
  6. Add parsley, salt, and pepper, stir, and serve hot aaaaaaand delicious!!

So simple, and yet such delicious, classic flavors!  Perfect mid week side dish!

 

Pour your water into the crock pot!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 1

 

Stab the squash and place it in.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 2

 

And cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4).  Cut in half, remove the seeds, and shred with a fork.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 3

 

Now this is where things got crazy and the pictures had to pause.  Hahaha.

Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat and saute your onions until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Then add garlic and saute for about a minute more.  Toss in your cooked squash and stir.  Add liquids and stir.  Then add parmesan and stir.  Lastly, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 4

Now serve!!  This is one of those great things that could be a main dish or a side dish!  It’s just…all around glorious!!  I hope you enjoy!!

Lemon Dijon Broccoli, Roasted or Raw!

My husband…is my treasure.  He is also…a weirdo.  Especially when it comes to food temperatures.  Apparently, warming things up is too much of a hassle.  He’ll eat all sorts of things cold…restaurant leftovers, mashed potatoes, burgers…bleh!  This is coming from the lady that hates even eating pizza cold 😉  But that is a little weird, right?  I mean, come on…cold mashed potatoes?!  (Though, really…I was raised with three brothers….I should know by now that he is a boy, which means he is probably doing those things in front of me just cause he enjoys my reaction :P).  Anywho.  Most of the time I freak out and have to turn around when he is eating strange cold substances.  But a few nights ago the situation had a funny twist.

Do you remember when I was mentioning in my Caper Green Beans post that I have been so pleased to discover all the different things you can do with veggies simply by tossing them in different vinaigrette variations?  Well…this is one of the experimental variations I have come up with, all by myself.  And may I just say…I ROCKED IT!  Haha.

So.  I was preparing to roast some broccoli…I had it all washed, chopped up, I mixed up a nice sauce and tossed the broccoli in it, then dumped it out on my baking sheet…but right before I tossed it in the oven, sweet husband walked up and grabbed a piece. He had smelled the sauce from the living room and had to inspect.   In usual OCD chef form, I started flipping out!  My first thought; “no! Don’t do that!  What if we won’t have enough?!”  (Wow…like one floret is going to change the success of a meal.)  My second thought; “what the heck?!  That’s gross I have to cook it!  You’re so weird!  Don’t…no…wait…stop…oh.  You did it.”  (Apparently I forgot that I gladly eat raw broccoli with veggie dip.)  His eyes got wide, he grabbed another floret and shoved it in my face.  I started squirming away but he kept insisting that it was “SO GOOD.”  So I finally gave in, he plopped it in my mouth…and it was DELICIOUS!  So garlicky, tart, and wonderful.  Like seriously, I would make it for a snack!  So we laughed together, and I popped it in the oven, saying “Wouldn’t that be so sad if it’s not good roasted?”  Good news.  It was good roasted too!  A different kind of crunchy, the ends slightly blackened and roasted, lemony and still garlicky…but somehow, a different flavor!  And so.  In this recipe, you have a choice.  Hot or cold?  Yum either way!!!!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Large head Broccoli, or 2 Small (I used 3 of the chunks you buy individually instead of the pre-wrapped heads)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Few Squirts of Hot Sauce

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees if you are roasting.
  2. Wash and dry your broccoli, and chop into florets.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Place your broccoli in a large bowl, drizzle with the sauce, and toss together so it all seems to be coated.
  5. Eat raw, OR cover a baking sheet with foil for easier clean up, and dump your broccoli onto it in a single layer.
  6. Roast for 30-45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes.  I like ours really crispy and blackened, so I left mine in pretty long…but that part is up to you!!!

Serve with a lovely protein, and enjoy!

Mix up your sauce!!  Just like a vinaigrette, but I used melted butter instead of olive oil!  I love the taste of butter on veggies…and did you know that if you really get down to the nitty gritty of health…it is not recommended that you cook with olive oil?  Apparently heating olive oil destroys every health benefit and something happens chemically that can actually cause it to be harmful.  Weird, huh?  That’s definitely what I was told growing up, but we have learned that in some of our research.  So save the olive oil for salad dressings…and if you’re gonna heat a dish…stick to coconut oil or butter.  Yes, I actually think butter in moderation is a good thing 🙂

Lemon Mustard Broccoli 1

Choppy choppy broccoli broccoli!!!!

Lemon Mustard Broccoli 2

Tossin it with the sauce, hey hey hey hey!

Lemon Mustard Broccoli 3Now roast it, or just eat it cold!  You decide!!  Here’s to Mr. Rodgers for making that fine discovery…without his persistence I would have turned up my nose and never known how wonderful it could be!

Lemon Mustard Broccoli 4

Here it is being served with my new favorite, TURKEY FETA BURGERS!  Yeah baby!  See how crispy I got it?  Yay.  Beautiful combo.  Lovely meal.  My favorite company, even if he’s a weirdo.  It was a wonderful moment 🙂  I hope you have a moment just as wonderful with this meal!  Try it out and let me know what you think 🙂

Feta Burger and Broccoli

Caper Green Beans

This…was the lovely side to the leg of lamb that I posted last week 🙂  I’ve been surprised at how many different tastes you can get simply by taking some veggies, cooking them or leaving them cold…and tossing them with a vinaigrette!  In fact I’ve been so inspired by it that I have started trying my own combos!  But those, we will save for another day!  Today, I will show you one from perfectweightamerica.com.  I was very excited to try it, because through making his favorite white bean tuna salad for lunches (like seriously…he eats it every day, haha!) my husband has fallen in love with the taste capers add to the dish.  So it was fun to try another recipe that used them 🙂  As always, I upped the garlic 🙂  We opted to eat these warm, but you can also toss them into a bowl of ice water after cooking them if you want a cold bean salad 🙂

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Green Beans, trimmed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 6 Leaves Basil, chopped
  • 2 Leaves Oregano, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil

 

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, ensuring that it will be enough to cover the beans.
  2. Salt it generously, the original says about a tsp of salt per quart of water 🙂
  3. Toss in the beans and cook 8-10 minutes.
  4. Mix up the vinaigrette ingredients (everything else) and toss it with the green beans.
  5. Serve, eat, enjoy the taste and nutrition you are loving your body with 🙂

 

Super easy, quick, and healthy 🙂

Caper Green Beans

 

Easy (And Tasty) Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Little brains!!!  Not a lot of people enjoy them.  They seem to be the black sheep of veggies…the ones that adults and children alike shudder in terror when you mention.  Well.  That just will not do.  Because they can be delicious!  They have so much potential…they’re just misunderstood! 😉  Now that we have given them our psychiatric evaluation…let’s explain one way they can be absolutely delightful!  This one, I must admit…I didn’t change a thing so don’t give me credit!  Perfectweightamerica.com had it, well…perfect! 😉  Sweet from the honey, tart from the mustard, flavorful from the thyme and garlic…and a little zing from the vinegar!

I LOVE roasted veggies.  Definitely my favorite way to eat them.  Warm…so comforting.  Crunchy…so the perfect texture.  And simply delicious, cause their natural taste is the star!!  So, without further a do:

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 C Brussels Sprouts (Sidenote: they sell bags of them at Sams Club that end up being exactly 4 C, and pretty cheap!)
  • 5 Cloves Garlic (You know its gotta be good when there is that much garlic!)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 *generous* tsp Honey
  • 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

And here’s what you do (seriously, I don’t think it could be easier):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash your sprouts and chop ’em in half.  Trim if needed.  I started trimming the ends off of mine and they just started falling apart and not working well..and I realized that there was nothing gross or weird about them, so they probably didn’t need to be trimmed.  And they worked much better when I made that realization.
  3. Peel garlic (give it a little squish to help.)  Run your fingers down the thyme sprigs to remove the leaves.
  4. Put your Brussels sprouts and garlic in a large bowl.
  5. Mix everything else in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  6. Pour the sauce over the sprouts and toss to coat.
  7. Lay out the sprouts on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Pop into the oven for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.  That’s it!!  Yummy browned crispy sweet and tangy goodness!  And soooooooooo good for you!  🙂

What’s your favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts?!  Any good healthy recipes for me to try?

Washed and sliced in half, waiting to be dressed and roasted!

Brussels Sprouts 1Roasteeeeeeed!  So toasty 🙂

Brussels Sprouts 2And served along side a beautiful roast!  Yummy!  That one is soon to come, and it is one of our new favorites!!  So be watching!!

Brussel Sprouts 3

Just A Little Weekend Note :)

I just wanted to let you all know…that I’ve been working hard doing research for you!!!  🙂  Does it make me a weirdo that this is how I spend my days off?

Just a Note

If so…then I don’t want to be a…not-weirdo!!!  🙂  I already have a 3 page list of recipes that I want to try!  Can’t wait to continue my reading, for the sake of my dinner table, my family’s health…and you, my faithful followers!!!

 

Garlic Ginger Peas!

I enjoyed this…nice and simple, some of my favorite flavors 🙂  I was pretty generous with the ginger, and it was wonderful 😀  Garlic and ginger.  I mean really.  Can you get much better than that?  I really don’t have much more to say about it…other than its yummy…and warm…and garlicy…and gingery.  Ha.  I’m so great with words.  Let’s just get on with it.  Baha.

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 4 Mint Leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, fresh minced or paste (I used paste, and added an extra little squeeze)
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1 Bag Snap Peas

 

Ahd here’s how you do it:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions for a couple minutes until just starting to get soft.  Add garlic and ginger and cook for about one minute…DON’T BURN THE GARLIC!!  I do that way too often.
  3. Add the peas and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the water and chicken stock and let cook for about 2 more minutes, or until it has cooked down a bit.  More…just get it how you want it, with the veggies as tender as you please and the right amount of liquid for your tastes 🙂
  5. Season with salt, pepper, and sprinkle with the fresh mint!!  Annnnnnnnnd eat eat eat eat eat!!!

 

Slicey clicey, choppy choppy, mincey mincey….prepare to get yummy!!!  Oh wow…I’m sorry…I’m so tired…haha

Ginger Peas 1And here it is done!  Sorry the lighting was bad, but the veggies were super delish!!!  I hope you enjoy 🙂

Ginger Peas 2