Spaghetti Squash Discovery

Every now and then I come across something so simple, so fresh, and so healthy, it’s hard to imagine how I could NOT share it. Particularly since I just posted an article about healthy eating and it’s effects on your body and life. This most recent find of mine may be old hat to many of you, but, somehow, in my 30 years of existence, I have only just discovered spaghetti squash! What an incredible and unusual little vegetable. If you, like me, are often prone to have some starchy side dish with many of your meals such as pasta or potatoes, this would be an excellent substitution with the same general aesthetic. And, let me tell you, preparation doesn’t get much easier!

There are a variety of ways to cook and season it, but I opted for the time-saving simplicity of microwave cooking. I cut it in half length-wise, scooped out the soft middle section that contained the seeds, placed it open side down in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water, and covered it with plastic wrap. I then cooked it on high in the microwave for 10 minutes. When it was finished I let it cool long enough to be handled and then scooped out the spaghetti-like meat with a fork. I mixed it in a bowl with a bit of heart-healthy margarine, garlic salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. As you’ll quickly discover if you google “Spaghetti Squash,” there are MANY ways to prepare it. You just have to find something that inspires you.  I served it with steamed peas and sautéed mushrooms and onions on the side.  It was a lovely and fresh vegetarian meal requiring VERY little effort.

I highly encourage everyone to give this remarkable little vegetable a try. And let me know how it goes!

A “Little” Dinner Inspiration

There is something about new ideas, even ideas about such mundane things as cooking supper, that can fire me up for days.  Those of you who really know me will not be surprised to learn that making dinner in a muffin cup made me so excited and proud, that I took pictures to share with family and friends.  Roll your eyes if you like, but this supper is just too fun, too adorable, and much too delicious to not share.  So here it is:

I made teeny tiny meat pies in muffin cups!  And they turned out so well.  I was actually really surprised that they stayed together.  You could simply pop them out of their cups and onto a plate to enjoy.

The filling was made just as you would any pot pie recipe (I’ll give the specifics for mine in a minute for those of you who’d like to try it.)  Then I used crescent rolls from a CAN!  I use the reduced fat ones because of my cholesterol, but I’m sure the full fat one’s wouldn’t hurt the recipe :)  I laid each triangle of the crescent roll dough into the bottom of a muffin cup (sprayed of course), filled it with the filling, wrapped the three corners over the top, brushed with olive oil, parmesan cheese and italian seasoning, and baked (at the temp. on the roll package) for about 15 minutes!  Voila!

Let me tell you, it was delicious!  And easy to boot.  And much more fun that a big old casserole pot pie with never enough crust.  I encourage everyone to give it a whirl.  The recipe for the filling is below, but I am VERY loose with amounts so please do everything to your own taste.  These are just estimates.

About 1/2 lb of ground meat (I use turkey for my diet, but you can use beef if you prefer)
1/2 Small onion, diced
Minced Garlic (to taste)
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Small Bag of Frozen Mixed Veggies
1/2 Bag of Frozen Broccoli Florets
celery Salt, Italian Seasoning Blend, Ground Black Pepper, and additional seasonings as desired (all to taste)
Saute over Med/High heat until meat is fully cooked and veggies are tender.
Add 1-2 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup to desired moisture (Again, I use the Heart Healthy, Reduced Fat kind and you cannot tell a difference.)
Thin with Milk as needed.
Add Mozzarella Cheese and stir till melted.
Fill muffin cups as described above and ENJOY!