When I gave birth little Teddy, I knew I wouldn't be in the kitchen for a while; what I didn't realize is that after our extremely generous friends and family members finished supplying food for us, that our diet would consist strictly of fast food, cans of soda and frozen pizza – three items we rarely have more than once a month, let alone five consecutive days in a row.
After a final drive-through meal of fried chicken, biscuits and mashed potatoes, I finally declared it time to haul it to the grocery store, get back in the kitchen, and start having our diets resemble something close to a balanced diet. I've made dinner twice this week, easy dinners of course — this roast chicken and these slow-cooker blackberry chicken sandwiches if you want to know — and it's felt sublime.
On top of getting back in the kitchen, I've also made a point to actually shower, dress semi-cute, and do my hair and makeup on almost a daily basis, and let me tell you, that does wonders for helping feel like myself again. Today, I managed to get dinner in the slow-cooker, get both myself and Teddy dressed before 1pm, and go out for a nice leisurely lunch (according to his feeding schedule, of course) with my mom for one of the first healthy meals I've had in weeks. I ordered a lovely lyonnaise salad with a perfectly seared piece of salmon, and my Mom ordered a plate full of spaghetti squash that was equally delicious. While I was very happy with my choice, my mom's meal made me want to bump up the spaghetti squash recipe I was planning on sharing later in the month to today.
I adore spaghetti squash, not only because the texture and appearance mimics classic spaghetti beautifully, but also because it's just plain tasty. Even simply seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper, it's a vegetable that I can eat as an entrée in a heartbeat – something not easily done with other veggies out there.
Here, I went with a sort of Tex-Mex version that requires only six ingredients (besides the squash), most of which can be found right within your fridge or pantry, and all which are extremely inexpensive to purchase.
The squash is first roasted with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, shredded into spaghetti, and then tossed with plenty of chili powder, black beans, a can of roasted tomatoes, and smoky cumin. It's topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and popped back into the oven until the cheese is melted and the inside is hot and bubbly.
Skip the plate and mess, grab a fork and eat this healthy meal straight from the skin . . .
- 1/2 large spaghetti squash (after roasting should yield 2 1/2 cups of spaghetti squash)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup canned roasted garlic and onion diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Drizzle olive oil over squash; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until you can pierce the squash easily with a fork.
- Use a fork to gently remove the "spaghetti" strands from the inside of the squash. Try to retain the shape of the skin because you will be putting the squash back in. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of squash. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add diced tomatoes, black beans, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the squash. Toss until combined. Transfer squash mixture back to skin and sprinkle with cheese. Place back in the oven until the cheese is melted and the mixture is hot, about 15 minutes.
- Main Dishes
- Serves 4