Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grain-free Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Coming back to NH and the frigid winter temperatures for Winter Break is fun to a point, but it's also freezing! I find myself turning away from salads to warmer dishes. Incorporating protein, vegetables and fats is top priority in each dish, to ensure that it is nourishing and satisfying. Having something warm and easy to make to come home to is wonderful. Driving in the car home after a day at work is freezing! Whipping this up for dinner and sipping some green tea or raw hot cacaolate does the trick for me. I know that this dish will warm your insides too :)

This recipe was inspired by this recipe and this recipe. My version is probably more like the first than the second. It was delicious - thank you ladies for the great idea! This is one of the first dishes in a long time that I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers. The next day I warmed up a piece gently in the toaster oven in a glass baking dish and dinner is served, as delicious and flavorful as the first time!

Melted and gooey mozzarella

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
    serves 6, no leftovers, serves 3 with nice amount of leftovers :) Tastes just like lasagna!!

1 large spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dry italian herbs

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
garlic powder - as needed

3 cups leftover spaghetti meat sauce (spaghetti sauce with ground beef)
1/2 one small zucchini, diced
1/4 one large vadalia onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen chopped green beans
2 Tbsp fresh chopped green scallions

1 1/3 cup fresh grated raw parmesan cheese
1 fresh whole milk mozzarella ball, sliced thinly into circles

To make your casserole:
1. To cook spaghetti squash, chop open with a knife into two halves the long way. Place on a sheet pan with a Silpat with the cut side down, or spray with olive oil and place in a glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until it is easy to pierce through the squash skin.
2. Remove the squash from the oven and while holding in an oven mitt, shred out the squash with a fork. Place it into a olive oil sprayed glass casserole dish and push down, going up a little on the sides like you would a pie.
3. While the squash is cooking, on the stove-top sautee zucchini, both onions, and green beans in half of the herbed olive oil until tender. Add the spaghetti sauce (with meat) and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle garlic powder on top and stir.
4. Mix the ricotta with the other half of the herbed olive oil and egg whites. Spread on top of the bottom layer of spaghetti squash, avoiding the taller sides of the dish. Sprinkle garlic powder on top and add parmesan cheese on top of this.
5. Gently spoon spaghetti-veggie sauce on top of the ricotta layer. Spread evenly. Sprinkle lightly with more parmesan. Place sliced mozzarella on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then finish with the remaining parmesan cheese.
6. Bake in the oven until bubbly and slightly browned on top about half an hour. Remove from oven and let cool/set on counter before serving. Yum!

I had so much fun eating and making this dish. This is going in the "make more often - I love love love this dish - put into normal rotation" recipe pile. My parents agreed. Give it a try and I know you will too!

Enjoy :D and stay warm. I believe my thermometer says 1 degrees Farenheit outside.... Eek!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooh, yay, thank you for posting this!! I've been wanting to make this forever but didn't have the recipe.