Posts made in January, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Cooking | Comments Off on Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

We got so much spaghetti squash in our CSA this week.  So much.  And I was really craving pasta with red sauce today.  But I’m not a huge fan of just throwing spaghetti sauce on the squash, plus it’s more of a side dish and I didn’t feel like being bothered with making a main dish, too.  So I thought maybe a casserole.  I remembered I had some Tofutti “Better than Ricotta” cheese in the fridge that was going to go bad in, like, two days.  So I threw this together.  It’s super easy, but does require a pretty long cooking time (for the squash, then the casserole).  Mine was dairy free, but you could make it with real cheese if you want.  It’s gluten free and low-carb and I think it might be Paleo if you used cashew ricotta and the right spaghetti sauce, but I’m not sure since I don’t completely understand the rules of the paleo diet.  Is nutritional yeast OK?

It was a little experimental, clearly.  I put rainbow chard in it but didn’t cook the chard prior to putting it in the oven, and it turned out a bit salad-y.  I would definitely cook it next time.  But all in all it turned out well and was a hit.  Even my toddler ate it all, although that may have been because my husband bribed her with a cookie…

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole (about 6 servings)

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash

1 carton of Tofutti dairy-free ricotta (or 2 cups of regular ricotta or cashew ricotta)

1 bottle of store bought spaghetti squash (or about 2 cups homemade)

2-4 cups of chopped greens

Cheesy topping (vegan cheese, parmesan, parmesan substitute)

Instructions: Cut spaghetti squash in half, place cut side down on a rimmed cookie sheet with about 1/4 inch of water.  Bake at 375 for 45 min. Chop greens coarsely and steam for 5-10 minutes until bright and tender. Scrape spaghetti squash into a large bowl and mix with other ingredients. Top with cheesy topping. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes until topping starts to brown.

For my cheesy topping I used a vegan nut parmesan that is basically 1 part nutritional yeast and one part nut of your choice, from Artisan Vegan Cheese.  Which is an amazing cookbook, by the way, go buy it.

You can also bake your spaghetti squash whole for about 1 hour.  It’s easier to cut in half that way, but it’s hotter and I find it harder to get the seeds out.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Meyer Lemons Part I : Pickled.

Posted by on Jan 17, 2013 in Cooking | Comments Off on Meyer Lemons Part I : Pickled.

Meyer Lemons Part I : Pickled.

Our cat escaped.  Again.    (Yes again, and lest you think we are just bad pet owners, one time this cat literally tore a hole in a screen window in order to jump through, and we have since replaced a all the window screens with metal mesh.)  This time he apparently opened a locked door in order to get out.  The other two cats stayed put.  I think he once got a taste of freedom and liked it.

He immediately went to hide under the neighbors’ house, but he came out often just to taunt us, and as soon as we got near him he would retreat.

Two good things came out of this.  One, we did eventually wheedle the cat back in the house.  Two, the neighbor whose house he was hiding under left us some meyer lemons, near the cat trap.  (Yes, we have a cat trap.  DON’T JUDGE.)

Meyer lemons!  I literally squealed with joy, which made my husband look at me a little funny.  But I’ve been wanting to try one forever.  More, I wanted to try cooking and possibly canning with them.  I only got about 6, so I agonized about what to make.  Marmalade?  I’m actually holding out for grapefruit to try a marmalade recipe I found.  Lemon curd?  Candied lemon rind?  (Turns out I didn’t have to worry as these were evidently monster sized lemons.)  Then I found a recipe for salt-preserved lemons, which are apparently common in Moroccan cooking, and I just got this tagine which has been sitting in my cabinet waiting for recipes.  And a heat diffuser.  Mostly the diffuser.

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I researched a few recipes on how to pickle lemons, they mostly call for salt, lemons, and variable amounts of lemon juice and spices.  So I just sort of made it up as I went along.  Most of the recipes suggest quartering the lemons, but not all the way through, leaving the lemon joined at one end.  I thought about doing this but then my lemons wouldn’t have fit through the jar opening.  As I said, monster lemons.  So I just quartered them.

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Then I sterilized my jars, at which point, this happened:

IMG_3168Yes, the bottom of the jar broke clean off.  It caused me some alarm as it was not immediately noticeable and I couldn’t figure out why there was no water in a jar that was evidently submerged in water…

Then I liberally salted the bottom of  a sterilized jar, liberally salted the lemon wedges, and liberally sprinkled salt in between layers of lemon wedges.  (If you haven’t got the picture yet, that’s a lot of salt.) Then I pressed the lemons down with a wooden spoon until all the juice ran out.  My lemons were juicy enough that the juice pretty much covered all the lemon pieces, but if yours don’t you can add a little fresh sqeezed lemon juice.  I threw in a cinnamon stick, just for fun.  Now they need to sit for a while, and then in about a month, pickled lemons!  Hooray!

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