Good Wednesday evening to you, blog readers! I have spent a few hours in the kitchen today. I had extended family over for dinner and made a great gluten free dinner for everyone.
To celebrate autumn, I decided on a recipe with Spaghetti Squash! I made another recipe from skinny taste.com – I just love the recipes on this website. Tonight was spaghetti squash with meat ragù. Click here for the recipe. For those of you who have not tried it yet, spaghetti squash is a great vegetable that can be used as a replacement for spaghetti or other noodles and is full of beta carotene, potassium, folic acid and fiber. It has a lot of healthy benefits – a great food to introduce to your diet. (FYI, one cup of spaghetti squash has 35 – 40 calories, compared to about 350 calories of one cup of regular pasta.)
In other news, I started my day with coffee, a piece of toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam. I watched news, and read some of the book I am reading. I changed into exercise clothes and my mom and I went for a 45 minute walk outside (we covered 3.2 miles in that time). Then we headed out to Whole Foods for some spaghetti squash and lean beef for the ragù.
When we got home I started chopping my vegetables. The recipe did not call for garlic, but I added two cloves anyway.
I heated up the butter and olive oil and sautéed the vegetables for several minutes. The aroma was amazing – as it always is when you are sautéing things in olive oil and/or butter.
After the vegetables were cooking, the onions were translucent and the carrots and celery were softened, I added the meat. Now, if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I do not cook with b-e-e-f much. But today I made an exception, and it was pretty great. I bought lean beef from Whole Foods, fresh from the butcher there. I could tell that going with the boeuf (channeling Julia for some reason…. I like calling it boeuf better than b-e-e-f) was a smart idea.
It browned up really well. Then I added the crushed tomato. The white wine. I wish you could have been in the kitchen to smell this amazing stuff!!
I never knew that white wine was something that could make ragù so delicious. But it does! Did you know that? I am probably a bit late to the party – because I don’t make ragù all that much. I might start now.
In the mean time, I started prepping the spaghetti squash.
They were a bit hard to cut! But I got it done without slicing myself open. It was well worth the effort.
Do people roast spaghetti squash seeds? Do they taste like pumpkin seeds? I’m sort of curious now…
I wish I had toasted a few…
But the spaghetti squash came out perfectly. I roasted them in the oven for one hour at 400 degrees. It warmed up the kitchen nicely. The ragù was cooking on low while the squash cooked. The house smelled gorgeous!! Just like autumn is supposed to be. I feel like i should have had some oatmeal cookies in the oven…. but we did bake some gluten free brownies (they were fabulous, too!).
The spaghetti squash was golden brown when they were finished cooking. Just lovely.
I had a big bowl of squash ready for everyone:
Dinner was a big hit. I served the squash and ragù with a salad of mixed greens and vegetables, toasted garlic bread (gluten free and old fashioned french bread, too) and a lovely mixture of roasted pumpkin, onion, cranberries and other vegetables from WF.) Dinner was very popular. Everyone cleaned their plates and two people went back for small seconds of the spaghetti squash and ragù – I deemed my day of cooking a success.
I will definitely be making this recipe again – and I am very excited for the leftovers. I have a big cooking project on tap for Friday – so check back in with me soon. Happy (and healthy) cooking, everyone!