What’s for Dinner: Spicy Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti squash plate

I love experimenting with new recipes and I especially love when it involves new foods I’m not used to cooking with (as opposed to sugar, butter, chocolate and vanilla!).  This recipe is sure to impress the taste buds!

I was looking for something healthy with a lot spice that looked, well, fun.  I think I found a winner when I came across Spaghetti Squash on Pinterest from Whole Foods.  I’ve changed up the recipe a little for my liking and you can do the same.  I didn’t add any meat to this but I bet grilled chicken strips on the top would make it even better!  Or maybe a grilled shrimp skewer!

What you will need: 1 small/medium spaghetti squash, olive oil, 1/2 cup onion, 1 small jalapeno chili (told you I wanted spicy!), 1/2 cup red pepper, 1 can black beans, 1 can sweet corn, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/3 cup cilantro, 1 tbsp lime juice and 1 tsp sea salt.

spaghetti squash cooking

Cook the spaghetti squash:  There are many ways to cook a spaghetti squash, but I found the easiest is the microwave.  Cut the squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  Cutting it was tough though – notice my uneven cutting job.  Then put open side down in a microwave safe bowl filled with 1/2 cup water.  Cover with plastic wrap and cook for 10 minutes.  Cook both halves.

spaghetti squash

Once cooled, use a fork to scrape out the flesh from the squash into noodle-like pieces (hence name “spaghetti” squash). 🙂

spaghetti squash fillingCook the filling: Chop up the onion and red pepper and mince the chili.  Saute all 3 in the oil for about 5 minutes until onions are tender.

Drain and rinse beans and corn.  Add both with chili powder (optional) and heat thoroughly.

Finally, add the squash noodles, cilantro (finely chopped), lime juice and salt and mix for about 1 minute.

Fill the halves of the shells with the mixture.

This is a low fat, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian dish!  Even though all that good stuff is omitted, the spaghetti squash tastes amazing and is very spicy.  If you don’t like spice, don’t add the chili powder or jalapeno chili.  To me, spaghetti squash doesn’t taste like anything when plain but it ends up tasting like whatever you cook it with.  It really added great texture to the veggie mix.  The lime juice also adds a hint of cool, sweetness that combines great with the spice!

spaghetti squash zucchini chipsContinuing with my healthy vegan dinner, I wanted to try Zucchini Chips.  I have recently discovered that I really like zucchini.  Zucchini boats are one of my favorites.   Let’s also not forget the chocolate zucchini cupcakes!  MMMM!

So for the Zucchini Chips, I took a fairly straight, level zucchini, washed it and cut into very, very small slices.  The slices should be less than a quarter in thickness.

Next lay on a single layer on parchment paper and spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Then season with your favorite seasoning.  I used sea salt and creole because I wanted a spicy chip flavor.  Don’t over do the seasoning because the chips will shrink.

Bake at 225 degrees for 45 minutes.  Rotate and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes until crispy.  I know this is a long time but make these first, then the spaghetti squash.

Next time, I will experiment with a higher temperature and less time because there were soo  good I kept taking samples to “test the done-ness.”  They definitely taste better when they were crispy!

Do you have any other favorite zucchini recipes worth sharing?

Bon Appetite!

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