Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Red Pepper Alfredo

Tonight's recipe is our new favorite thing to do with a spaghetti squash. It technically serves 2 as a full meal (a HUGE meal), but could easily become a side dish if split into smaller portions. It's rich and flavorful and easy. It's not particularly photogenic, but it's really, really good.  It takes about an hour to make, but most of that time is just waiting for the squash to cook, so it's not very labor intensive.

1 spaghetti squash
1 TBS olive oil, plus enough to brush the squash's inner surfaces
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 TBS lemon juice
1 cup of cashews (if you don't have a high powered blender, boil these for 10 minutes, then drain before using)
1.5 cups of unsweetened coconut beverage ( I use this one which is 45 calories/cup and imparts no coconut flavor)
1 TBS corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
dash of dried basil

First, slice your spaghetti squash in half (this is hard, but worth it), remove the seeds and stringy bits, then brush all of the inner surfaces with olive oil and place face down on a cookie sheet. I like to put parchment paper down first to keep it from sticking and to make clean up easy.

Bake at 375 for about an hour, flipping it over at 45 minutes. It's done when you glide a fork along the flesh of the squash and it easily makes "noodles" for you.

Once you flip the squash, it's time to make your sauce. Get a large pan and cook the onions and peppers in 1 TBS olive oil until the onion is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the contents of the pan and all of the ingredients (except the squash and the basil) to the blender. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy. If it's at all gritty, keep blending! This should be silky smooth.

Add the sauce back to the pan and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until it thickens.

Remove the squash from the oven and gently coax out the "noodles" by scraping the squash long-ways with a fork.  Pour sauce over each half and sprinkle with basil (I used dried basil, but I'm sure fresh would be delightful).

If you eat half of the squash and half of the whole batch of sauce, it's 581 calories - the other stats are too hard to calculate now that the old site I used to use for that is dead. RIP Calorie Counter. :(

Monday, January 2, 2017

Apple Pie Oatmeal

I've often mixed apples and cinnamon into oatmeal to give it flavor. However, the flavor is usually pretty mild and I always want to add too much sugar to make up for it. This recipe is a huge improvement on the old way.

3 cups water
1.5 cups rolled oats (not instant or steel cut - these are the 5-minute oats)

Topping:3 small to medium apples peeled and chopped (I use gala)
3/4 cup water
1.5 tsp apple pie spice
pinch salt
1 TBS  unpacked brown sugar
1 TBS corn starch
1.5 TBS pecan pieces (optional)
6 TBS Coco Whip (optional)

Peel and chop your apples, then place in a saucepan over medium-high heat with the water and apple pie spice for about 7 minutes, until apples soften nicely.

Bring another pot with the 3 cups of water to a boil at this point, and cook the oats in that pan for 5 minutes.

Back to the pot of apples, add in the sugar and salt and mix the corn starch in a separate container with the smallest amount of water you can until you get something you can pour (no clumps), then drizzle it into the apple pot slowly, while stirring. Keep cooking until the sauce gels up and the apples are tender.

Portion the oats and the topping into 3 bowls, then serve each bowl with a half TBS of pecan pieces and 2 TBS of Coco Whip (or other non-dairy whipped cream, but Coco Whip is really good). It's so rich, feels like a tasty dessert, and sticks with you for hours and hours.

Calories: 296
Fat: 7.2 g (11%)
Carbs: 56.2 g (19%)
Fiber: 9.3 g (37%)
Protein: 5.4 g
Vitamin C: 55%
Calcium 1%
Iron: 72%