Sunday, March 14, 2021

Some Things for Sunday

Cooking healthy. So, I've been making a lot of new healthy recipes. New to me, but something I've heard about for years is spaghetti squash. I had no idea what I was buying, so just took a leap of faith. 

I found a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Lasagna. The first thing you have to do is cut the squash in half and scoop out the insides. I put Butch on it and he cut them very unevenly. To be fair, I put him on it because it was so hard to cut---sort of like sweet potatoes---only bigger. Then I made him try to even them up. We wound up with this!
I went ahead and put the extra sliver on the skinny side. Then they were sprayed with Pam, salt and peppered and placed upside down on parchment paper. They were baked at 375 for 45 minutes. When it was done, it scooped out like spaghetti! It seemed kind of miraculous--and fun to do.
Here's the finished dish. I use an 8" square baking dish. We got 3 meals out of it. It was really good---very good--in fact, delicious. But don't kid yourself, that squash in no way tasted or felt like spaghetti! Still so good. Here's the recipe--I multiplied it by 4 for 4 servings. Like I said, we got 6:

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

3 ounces Jennie-O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage--I just used ground turkey
1/4 cup 2% Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese--I substituted no fat cottage cheese because I had that on hand.
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder 
2 tsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp dried Basil 
1 cup Spaghetti Squash, cooked 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil cooking spray. Season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a fork, scrape the flesh to get spaghetti-like strands. Measure out 1 cup of spaghetti squash and place on the bottom of an oven-safe container. Sprinkle garlic powder and dried basil on top of spaghetti squash. Then drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta on top. Remove the Italian sweet sausage from their casings. Place the sausage in a medium sized skillet and cook over medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly. Drain the fat from the sausage. Measure out 3 ounces of cooked sausage using a food scale. Sprinkle the sausage on top of the ricotta cheese. Then add Rao's marinara sauce on top of the sausage. Next, add mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Makes 1 Serving (I made 4 servings and swapped out ground turkey for the sausage. I also used non-fat cottage cheese just because I had that on hand.)

Then I made this dish---Shrimp Puttanesca. I had some large shrimp that I wanted to use up. Plus, I got a new "zoodle" maker. Little did I know when I bought it that Mindy had one in her closet along with all the other wedding gifts they don't have room for! She doesn't even know what she has up there. I only noticed it because I have started baby steps to clean it out! 

Butch manned the "zoodle maker"---although it actually took two of us. I held the bowl. 

Shrimp or Chicken Puttanesca 

4 Servings

28 oz cooked shrimp (or 24 oz cooked chicken)

3 medium zucchini, spiralized (we only did two and it made a lot)

2 tsp garlic, minced 

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 1/4 C canned crushed tomatoes (I used a can of petite dice tomatoes)

3 Tbsp sliced pitted Kalamata olives

1 Tbsp capers, drained

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

¼ C Parmesan cheese

Bring an extra-large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Cook and stir zucchini noodles until hot and slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a strainer, and thoroughly drain any excess liquid.

Remove skillet from heat. Clean, if needed. Re-spray, and bring to medium heat. Add garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until garlic is fragrant and browned, about 1 minute.

Add crushed tomatoes, olives, and capers to the skillet. Cook and stir until hot, about 2 minutes.

Add basil, drained zucchini, and cooked shrimp. Cook and stir until hot and well mixed, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

This was another really good recipe--even though I forgot about the parmesan cheese at the end! The shrimp I had were jumbo, so I cut them in half. I didn't have quite the amount the recipe called for, but it was enough. I cut the red pepper in half and it gave the dish a slight kick. But I'm thinking the full 1/4 t. wouldn't be too much. I'm going to try it with chicken the next time and put the full amount of the cayenne pepper.

The only recent healthy thing I've made that neither of us cared for was the mashed cauliflower. Somehow you are supposed to equate that with mashed potatoes. Uh, no! Not even close. We like cauliflower so there's no need to mash it and try to fool ourselves. That's just crazy. We can't be fooled. Potatoes are potatoes. You can't fake them.

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