I walked outside early this morning and did a double take – my gosh, winter moved in while I slept. My first thought was “Well, finally. I can make my first batch of chili.”
My second thought was, “No, I think I’ll take a healthier route to celebrate the arrival of these wonderful fall temperatures. I’m cooking up a batch of spaghetti squash instead.
This dish is a healthier alternative to pasta. A variety of winter squash, it’s rich in beta-carotene and is also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Foods that are rich in beta-carotene are shown to protect against heart disease.
The flesh of spaghetti squash comes out in long strands, very much resembling the noodles for which it is named. In this recipe, the ‘noodles’ are tossed with vegetables and feta cheese. You can substitute different vegetables, but be sure to use ones that have contrasting colors."
Spaghetti squash with Feta and tomatoes
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I’m using Rotel)
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons sliced black olives – I’m not crazy about olives and will substitute some chopped bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil – still coming in the garden
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
- Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm – serves six.