Since Meghan and I moved in to our apartment, I haven’t exactly been cooking the most exciting or unique meals for myself (hence why you’ve seen me post nothing but omelets and salads). Getting settled in a new place is partially to blame, but my straight-up lack of enthusiasm for cooking as of late is the main culprit. When I first started eating paleo, I was enthralled by all the culinary possibilities that come along with a diet like that. I would hang out in the kitchen for hours just experimenting and
ruining meal after meal creating fun concoctions with all the new paleo ingredients I had discovered. Ever since the holidays (and all the indulging that ensued), I’ve just been void of that certain oomph! I desperately need to get me goin’ again.
Well, I think I’m ready to put my gloves back on and get back into the ring. I’m going to attempt a few new paleo recipes each week so I don’t go insane in the membrane eating nothing but lettuce and sliced almonds every day. Additionally, being the sole reason for your boredom in life is not something I want weighing on my conscience.
So, to kick things off (drum roll please), I made Spaghetti Squash Italiano. I got the recipe from The Paleo Cookbook – which was written by Dr. Loren Cordain, the founder of the paleo diet. If you’re considering switching to a paleo lifestyle, or are even just thinking about trying it, this is a great resource. It explains the paleo diet in detail (including dos and don’ts), lays out a two-week meal plan to get you started, and has a crap load of great recipes, providing you multiple options for every meal.
Let’s take a look at just how poorly I executed this recipe, shall we?
The paleo diet does not allow for the consumption of wheat, so real spaghetti is a no-go. A great substitute is spaghetti squash: it has a similar look, significantly fewer calories, and is not nearly as dense as the real deal. I like using a medium/large spaghetti squash because I know I’ll always have leftovers. No matter what I’m cooking, I try to make each dish large enough for at least two meals, just to save time – dinner makes a great next day lunch.
First, pre-heat your oven to 425, halve your squash, and scoop out the seeds.
Next, fill a shallow pan with an inch of water, place cut side face down, and carefully place in the oven. Let your squash bake for 40 minutes.
*** You can also line the pan with aluminum foil, drizzle some olive oil onto the cut parts of the squash, and place face down. This adds a little more fat to your meal, but it might be worth it seeing as you won’t spill water all over your kitchen floor.
While your squash is baking, begin making your “sauce,” which is simply basil, cilantro, oregano, and olive oil. The recipe called for a tablespoon of flax seed oil, but I just replaced it with more olive oil.
Chop and combine with some of this:
I shook mine up in a recycled jar (that Meghan incessantly makes fun of me for keeping).
See? Not exactly sauce, is it? But, it adds just the right amount of flavor to this dish. Once your squash is done, use a fork to separate the spaghetti-like strands, and let cool.
This makes a good 4 servings, so portion out your squash onto your place and add some of your “sauce” from earlier – you don’t need a lot. I also added a few sundried tomatoes for a splash of color and some garlic chicken sausage to make it a bit heartier.
The finished product:
This turned out pretty well, I must say. Ok, it was delicious and super satisfying. Spaghetti squash is a surprisingly filling food. That may only be surprising to me – who knows. And YAY!!! for me not ruining it! Woot woot, I cooked something edible! There’s a song and dance that typically follows, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.
I think now that I’ve decided to be super ENTHUSIASTIC about new recipes, I should develop a program of sorts. Perhaps a cooking series? Yes. That’s it. Now, what to call it?
Kitchen Olympics: Aim for Silver but Realize You Won’t Even Place. Or as I like to say: Kitchen Olympics: ASRYWEP
Ok, that’s too long. Shooootaaahhhh! We’ll save naming my program for another post.