Ode to the Spaghetti Squash

Ode to the Spaghetti Squash

Ahhh, the spaghetti squash!!  A quick Google search proves it to be a very mysterious food! Wikipedia labels it a fruit, other websites compare it to a watermelon, and it’s origin is a mystery as well; some say North America, some say Central America, and some say the Far East.  Whatever it is, or wherever it comes from, it is a great starter for many delicious recipes.

It would seem, I never used it when my children lived at home. My oldest son, on a recent trip home to Cape Cod, asked, “Mom, why did you never tell me about spaghetti squash??”  It is a staple in my home now.  Sorry Brendon, visit me often and I will make sure you get your fill!!!!

My recipes this week are “Aunnie H” originals….

Healthier Shrimp Scampi and Spaghetti Squash Chicken Fajita

Let’s start with the “Healthier Shrimp Scampi”

Ingredients:

Spaghetti squash

Olive oil

Butter

Minced garlic

Tarragon

Fresh ground pepper

Sweet Vidalia onions

Large shrimp

Part skim mozzarella shredded

I begin by steaming a large spaghetti squash until the flesh is tender, cool, remove the seeds, and set aside.

In a large skillet I combine:

2-3 TBSP olive oil

½ Cup white cooking wine

1 stick of butter

2 TBSP minced garlic

2 TBSP tarragon

Several sprinkles of fresh ground tri-color pepper (black, white, and red peppercorns)

2 sweet Vidalia onions minced

Simmer until onions are tender

Add 1 – 8 oz package of baby bella mushrooms chopped roughly

Simmer until the mushrooms are tender

Add 2 lbs large raw shelled and veined shrimp

Cook until shrimp is pink

In the meantime, deseed cooled spaghetti squash and scrape flesh into a large bowl, top with one cup part skim mozzarella cheese.

Add shrimp mixture, top with additional cup of mozzarella, toss and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

All measurements for any original recipes are approximate.  I am a “pinch of this,” maybe a “pinch more of that” kind of cook. So please, when trying to duplicate, feel free to take artistic license!

Prepping the Spaghetti Squash

Preparing the Shrimp

Healthier Shrimp Scampi
Healthier Shrimp Scampi

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I give this recipe a 5 for ease, only 2 pans required so minimal clean up.

It gets a 5 for taste, buttery and garlicky, decadent without being terribly detrimental to your waist line!

And finally, 4 for presentation, looks pretty on the  plate, great for an intimate dinner for 2 or a small dinner party.

“Spaghetti Squash Chicken Fajita”

Ingredients:

Chicken tenders or thin sliced chicken breasts

Olive oil

Cumin

Paprika

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper

Minced garlic

Sweet vidalia onions

Cooking white wine

Orange, red, and yellow sweet peppers

Canned tomatoes with zesty green peppers

Black olives

Cheddar or taco blend cheese shredded

I begin by steaming a large spaghetti squash until the flesh is tender, cool, remove the seeds, and set aside.

In a large skillet I combine:

2-3 TBSP olive oil

Minced garlic

Chicken tenders chopped to bite size

2 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp paprika

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tsp cayenne

The chicken needs to have a coating of the spices, if above measurements are not sufficient, slowly add more until the chicken is coated.

Simmer until chicken is browned, add ¼ cup cooking wine, add sweet vidalias and sweet peppers chopped in half spirals.

Simmer until onions and peppers are tender.

Add one can undrained tomatoes with zesty green peppers, and add one can drained sliced or whole black olives, simmer.

In the meantime, drain, deseed and scoop the flesh of the spaghetti squash into a large bowl, keeping the spaghetti squash shell in tact.

Add chicken fajita mixture to the bowl of spaghetti squash and mix thoroughly.

Scoop chicken fajita, spaghetti squash mixture into saved spaghetti squash shells, top with cheddar or taco blend cheese and cook at 350 until  the cheese is melted.

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Spaghetti Squash Chicken Fajita

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I  give the ease of this recipe a 4.  It too, has only a 2 pan clean up, but does require quite a bit of chopping and attention.

Taste is a 5, spicy and a little cheesy, what more could you want!

And presentation is a 3.  Probably wouldn’t make a magazine cover, it is definitely no Giselle Bundchen, but would be good for a casual dinner or small get together.  It could be sliced or scooped for serving.

Please submit your recipes for next week’s blog…..healthier side dishes for the season’s first BBQ!!!!!

Enjoy!

Aunnie H