Whether it’s called a frittata, quiche or strata…it all has to do with eggs in some sort of casserole form. Eggs have so many good qualities that I have to agree with the commercials that boast their incredible, edibleness. Eggs are an inexpensive form of protein that are easy to prep in a variety of different ways. They contain tons of vitamins, minerals and nutrients including selenium, choline, and essential amino acids. Be sure not to short yourself by ditching the yolk! It’s good for you and does not increase cholesterol or risk of stroke…in fact some studies show it’s quite the opposite.
This recipe is packed with protein, veggies, and flavor and is very versatile. Keep it vegetarian or add in a little uncured bacon for additional flavor and protein. You can also play around with adding or swapping out vegetables depending on taste preference and availability. The best part is that it’s perfect for any meal and tastes great warmed up the next day too. For me, leftovers are an easy and fast way to get in a veggie packed meal when I have little time.
Mushroom Spinach Spaghetti Squash Strata
1 medium spaghetti squash, about 2.5 lbs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped, packed tight
6 large eggs
1 cup feta or goat cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 tsp onion or garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half and place face side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool until safe to handle.
In the meantime, preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and saute until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the crust, remove seeds from the spaghetti squash and separate flesh into strands using a fork. Transfer to a medium bowl along with 1/2 tsp thyme, garlic, and salt; mix to combine. Transfer to a deep oven safe dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil and press evenly onto bottom and sides using your hands. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, feta/goat cheese, mushroom kale mixture, 1 tsp onion or garlic powder, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and mix to combine. Pour into prepared crust and flatten with spatula.
Bake in 400 degrees F oven for 50 mins or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool and set for 10 mins. Cut into 8 slices and serve hot.
Tips: Any dark, leafy greens like kale can be used in place of the spinach. Use fresh thyme if you it available.
Adapted from an ifoodreal recipe. Pictures from www.ifoodreal.com.
What could be better than a healthy meal served in it’s own straight-from-the-earth bowl? Um, nothing that’s what! This dish is an easy, vegetarian, low carb go-to meal that packs lots of fiber and flavor to keep me satisfied. It’s also one of those meals that tastes even better the next day for lunch after all of the ingredients have had a chance to sit around in the fridge and get to know one another.
Spaghetti Squash is my favorite when it comes to the squash family. It’s low in calories, versatile, delicious, and easy to make. Whether I use it as a pasta replacement, a side dish or a main dish, this squash never disappoints. There are several ways to cook it but I prefer to slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub it with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake it. This method gives the squash a little bit of that roasted, slightly charred flavor that I love.
Squash can be a bit intimidating with all the varieties, shapes, colors, and an outer shell that hides it’s goodies inside. It all seems too mysterious to take a chance. Spaghetti squash is a good “beginner” squash that has a mild enough flavor to take on whatever spice or sauce it’s cooked with. Never fear, a great spaghetti squash recipe is here!
Black Bean Spaghetti Squash Bowls
YIELD: 4 large servings (each served in half of a spaghetti squash shell)
2 medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced (leave seeds in for added heat)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1 medium avocado
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice each squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds with a large spoon, and place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Scrape out the spaghetti squash from the shell with a fork, creating the “spaghetti.” Set aside the squash in it’s shell for later use.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add red onion, garlic, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Sauté 1 more minute. Stir in beans, corn, lime juice and half the cilantro until well combined. Add the “spaghetti” from each squash to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season as desired.
Set oven to broil. Stuff each squash half shell with the squash/vegetable mixture from the skillet and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until cheese melts and gets brown and bubbly, 1-2 minutes.
Top with remaining cilantro, slices of avocado and green onion. Serve warm and with wedges of fresh limes or salsa if desired.
Fall is my favorite food season! The markets right now are full of the years best offerings of winter squash, apples, pears, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Spaghetti squash is one of the most versatile of the winter squash options to cook with. Spaghetti squash can be used to replace pasta or rice and easily takes on the flavor of the herbs and spices it’s cooked with.
Cooking with winter squash can be intimidating if you have never done it before. The outer shell is difficult to cut through in it’s raw state. Having a good sharp knife is essential to any kitchen, but when cutting winter squash it’s an absolute must. If you still fear cutting off an appendage while trying to get to the good stuff inside, never fear, there are ways to cook squash whole.
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 5 links chicken sausage (I used Aidells Chicken & Apple)
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 5 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise, spray the inside with olive oil in an oil mister (Misto makes a good one). Turn the squash cut side down on a baking sheet with edges or a 9×13 glass baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Spaghetti squash can also be cooked whole by piercing the squash several times with a skewer and baking at 375 degrees for 1 hour. By baking it whole, it will not have a roasted flavor like when it’s cut in half.
2. While the squash is baking, chop onion, slice mushrooms and thin slice sausage. In a 12 inch skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onions and mushrooms for 5-6 minutes. Add sausage and dried thyme (use fresh thyme if you have it) and continue sauteing for another 8-10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and turn heat down to low until squash is ready to be added.
3. After the squash is removed from the oven, flip it over to cool just enough so you can remove it from the shell. Use a fork to shred the inside so that it looks like spaghetti. Add squash to the mushroom and sausage mixture and turn heat up to medium. Fold in squash and heat 4-5 minutes or until heated through.
4. Recipe makes 5 servings. Top each portion with 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese. Use any left over portions for lunch the next day!