Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creative Cooking...Spaghetti Squash Boats with Marinara Meat Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Boats with Marinara Meat Sauce

Have you ever tried Spaghetti Squash? I am a lover of squash and when I am in the market and see some great squash, I actually get excited. In fact, I am thinking of growing squash this year in my garden. And alas, I tried spaghetti squash almost two years ago at one of those chain restaurants. And frankly, I was unimpressed. The squash was flavorless and bland. I ate it, but I didn’t enjoy it. However, I knew that too many food bloggers used this squash with great results; so maybe, just maybe I need to find a recipe and cook it myself.

Imagine my excitement when I saw that Skinnytaste posted a Cheesy baked spaghetti squash in January. Man, I knew I was going to make it, but I was going to use some of my Italian meatballs instead of chicken. And baby, this dish did not disappoint. Frankly, any recipe you find on Skinnytaste is great. Although this is a weight watcher meals blog, the food has taste and is good for you. Now, my meatballs probably added more points but I tried to stay closer to the recipe this time, because this was my first time making Spaghetti Squash.

Ingredients: as adapted from Skinnytaste

1 medium spaghetti squash

Sea Salt and Crushed Black Pepper

8 meatballs cut into quarters (frozen Italian meatballs)

1 tsp of Italian seasoning

1 cup of marinara sauce (Bertolli’s Burgundy Marinara)

1 cup of skim mozzarella cheese

Basil for garnish

Count the knives and there were two more that you can't see.

Preheat oven to 350. Then you are supposed to cut your squash in half lengthwise. Let me tell you, the damn squash was hard to cut. I was using all my good knives trying to cut the thing. I feared I was going to cut my damn hand, but I eventually after 15 minutes got it cut, unevenly. I then proceeded to scoop out the seeds and the fiber stuff.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper and let cook until the skin gives which took about 40 minutes.

Seeded and fiberless and seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper

My marinara sauce I heated on low with the cut meatballs and Italian seasoning until warm enough.

Marinara Meat Sauce

When the squash was done, using a fork I fluffed up the “spaghetti” on each half and seasoned again with salt and pepper. Then I topped the halves with my marinara with meat sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes until cheese was bubbly. Then I topped with some fresh basil. This was Sunday dinner.
Fluffed Spaghetti Squash...
Dressed Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Meat Sauce and Mozzarella cheese

Verdict: Yummy! I will definitely eat spaghetti squash again. The squash was plain tasty when paired with the marinara sauce. I ate half for dinner and halved the other half for a dinner and lunch the same week. The small half was plenty filling. I had the itis, bad. I paired this with a small green salad. So if you haven’t tried spaghetti squash and want to try it, this recipe is probably the one you want to try to get your taste buds ready for such a unique squash. Let me know if you try it!

Doesn't this look amazing?

Here, have a taste...oh well maybe next time!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Will be back...

Sorry I haven't been posting, but on Thursday my stepfather died unexpectedly.  And since my sister and her brother were out of state, I had to go to the hospital and find out what was going on when my stepfather took a turn for the worse.  Do you know how hard it is to tell your siblings their father has passed?  Anyway, after over 17 years my siblings and I are under the same roof, but I sure wish it wasn't due to these circumstances.

I will be back when things return to normal...

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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Creative Cooking...Thai Basil Beef Stir Fry

Thai Basil Beef Stir Fry

I love making Asian dishes. Some are so simple you can’t help but try them, and then there are some that are a bit too complicated for me to even want to try. Frankly, I live in Alabama and sometimes finding the ingredients isn’t easy. Luckily, I have found a really good Asian market not far from my house with the ingredients that you can’t find in your local grocery store.

This particular weekend, I just wanted something simple and easy to fix and I ran across several simple Thai beef stir fry recipes. I liked the one found on Beyond Kimchee it looked simple.

I only had to purchase some Thai basil and Thai chilies. And they were relatively cheap. Side note: I don’t know about many of you, but I rarely carry cash. And this particular Asian market requires a minimum purchase of $10 in order to use your debit/credit card. Boo! My total was exactly $2.75, luckily I carry my checkbook now with me always and I wrote a check and she didn’t require any extra information on the check. And baby since my break in, my checks just have my name and address. Back to this dish…

Ingredients: As adapted from Beyond Kimchee

The stars of the dish aka the Ingredients

1 lb of beef (I used thin cut sandwich steaks) (scored a pound in a half for 1.82)

1 medium onion sliced

2 tbs of canola oil

2 handfuls of Thai basil

5 Thai chilies finely chopped

3 tsp of minced garlic (because I rarely buy fresh garlic and I used already minced garlic) I need to do better, but um, I need convenience sometimes.

1 tbs of Fish sauce

3 tbs of oyster sauce

½ tsp of sugar

1 tbs of water

First, you need to combine your Oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and water in a small bowl and set

Then heat 1 tbs of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add garlic and chilies for a few seconds then add your sliced beef and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove beef from pan and set aside.

Now, add your remaining oil to the pan and then add your onions and sauce and cook until your onions are soft.

Add your beef back to the pan and heat through and finally add your Thai basil and remove from the heat.

I served mine with brown rice that I added a bit of soy sauce to as well as steamed broccoli and carrots. Meal couldn’t be any simpler.

Verdict: Baby, baby! The little Thai chilies aren’t to be played with, they are hot. This dish isn’t as hot as the Thai Shrimp, which contains chili paste, but it does give a bit of a pause. I knew I couldn’t serve this to The Guy. LOL! The heat is part of what makes this simple dish an amazing flavored dish. It is almost sinful it is so easy to make, but it is equally sinful because it tastes so good. I will definitely be making this dish again and probably with chicken as well or shrimp. Let me know if try it.

Now, tell me your mouth isn't watering...

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.