Tag Archives: Main dish

Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats

This recipe has been floating around on social media for awhile and I have to say it really piqued my interest.  So much that here I am blogging about it!  There are so many recipes out there using spaghetti squash and if you were like me it is a vegetable that I did not know too much about.  Year’s ago I received one in my CSA box and had to do some research on what to do with it.  Here is what I shared a while back.  My love for spicy food led me to try this along with the fact that the calories per serving were only around 300 and no carbs.  That is definitely a win for everyone.

This recipe was inspired by Skinnytaste.  If you have not seen her blog check it out and her new cookbook is out also.  It is great!  I have been trying out many of her recipes since I acquired myself the infamous Instant Pot.  Do you have one?  I love mine, but yet another story.

So let’s get cooking.   If you like to plan ahead then it would be a great idea to make the taco meat a day ahead or even make it and freeze it.  I think it is much more flavorful.  But, making it the same day as you serve it is good!  I chose to make the taco meat from this recipe that I love from Gourmet Magazine 2003.

I just adore Skinnytaste’s pico de gallo.  It is similar to this one  I have used, but I do like that it calls for scallions instead of red onion.  That way my husband who is not a lover of onion thinks that he is just eating cilantro!!!  Give this pico about 15 minutes for the flavors to blend and enjoy!

Now to the cooking of the squash.  Don’t let it intimidate you because believe me without proper instruction cutting it might lead you to the emergency room.  This was the method that I used.  Just be cautious and don’t overcook it!   Not a good thing when that happens.

Using a knife make small cuts from stem to stem as you would make a dotted line to use when you cut the squash in half.

Place the squash in the microwave on high for about 4 minutes for a 24 ounce squash.

Let it cool so you can handle it or use an oven mitt.  Using a sharp knife cut in half along the dotted line that you created.

 

Scrape out the seeds and strands not the flesh from the sides .  Discard the seeds and strands.

Spray or brush with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place on a pan with parchment paper cut side down  and bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

 

Watch carefully because it is easy to overcook this squash.  The squash is done when a fork pierces the flesh easily.  PERFECTION!

 

I love this recipe!  It is so flavorful and very filling!

Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats inspired  from Skinnytaste

  • 3 small spaghetti squash about 24 oz. each
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese

Taco Meat filling  from Gourmet

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles (including seeds), finely chopped ( I used jalapeno)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pico de Gallo from Skinnytaste

 

  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Use a knife to make small cuts from stem to stem on the squash.  Microwave on high for about 4 minutes.
  3. Let it cool or handle with an oven mitt.
  4. Using a sharp knife cut in half along the dotted cuts.
  5. Scrape the seeds and strands from the flesh.  Discard.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two if they don’t fit). 
  7. Spray or brush the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the squash facedown on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the flesh easily pierces with a fork.
  8. Meanwhile, brown ground meat  in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
  9. Combine the ingredients for the quick pico de gallo in a medium bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  10. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the inside so the strands appear. Spoon scant 1/2 cup meat inside each squash bowl.
  11. Top each with 2 tbsp cheese and transfer them to the oven and bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  12. Remove from the oven, top with pico de gallo .

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

Squash Soup

 

I can count the number of times on one hand that I’ve cooked or eaten butternut squash.  Someone should have introduced me to this jewel of a soup a long time ago.  I will be making this many times!     It’s amazing both hot or cold. It’s restaurant good.

Sonja one of my fellow teachers, loves to cook.  She and I share recipes and this is one of hers.   I knew it was a hit when her son brought a cup of it to school for his girlfriend to taste.  When does that ever happen?

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Fettuccine with Sausage and Kale

I have been enjoying kale for about four years now.  It seems that every food magazine and food show recently is using this nutrient rich green.  Just this morning I saw in my new Bon Appetit Magazine a grilled kale and apricot salad that I must try.  But, now here is another wonderful recipe from Gourmet Quick Kitchen  for kale that I have enjoyed at least six times and I love it!  It is so easy and with the super nutritious kale you can’t go wrong.  I made this dish again last Friday night with kale that this young actress brought me from her parents’ garden.  It was wonderful with  spicy sausage topped with shaved Pecorino Romano.   Oh my gosh!  By the way check out Ashley in this movie that’s just been released on HBO.  What could be better – pasta, kale, and a good movie?

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Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Walnuts and Bacon

This gourd of a vegetable is all new to me.  I had never tasted it nor cooked it until it arrived in my CSA box right before Thanksgiving.  I had no idea what to do with it.  Luck would have it that one of my favorite blogs Clotilde’s Chocolate and Zucchini  just happened to post this Spaghetti Squash Gratin that same week.  It looked delicious so I just had to try it.    I am so glad that I did because it is fantastic and super easy!  In fact the hardest part is cutting the squash in half!

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Salmon Cakes

I love good crab cakes and this recipe is so much like them without the expense.  It meets criteria for an easy, quick and yet inexpensive way to feed a family and packs a lot of flavor.

I will have to admit that it has been awhile since I have used canned salmon, but when I saw the recipe posted on Sara Cucina Belle I was compelled to try it.  Sara writes a fantastic blog.  I just love the way that she includes her children in cooking at home.  What a great way for them to learn to cook and cook healthy!  Check out her blog for other helpful information.  She is on a spending diet  giving out  tremendous tips on budgeting your food dollar.  Information that all of us can use.  She has also adopted me from Dine and Dish to give me tips to build a better blog.  Hopefully here soon, that is when school ends,  I can implement more of them.

Okay so here is the recipe for some easy and flavorful Salmon Cakes.  I have made them for the third time.  Yes, they are that good. 

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Beef Stroganoff Made Easy

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  It is easy to put together and it taste great. To me it is comfort food.  Rich gravy made with white wine added mushrooms over rice.  Heaven on a plate!  The recipe came from my long ago friend Cile that lives in Baton Rouge where great food runs rampant.  It is one  of those dishes that you can throw together in 20 minutes and leave it alone for about an hour.  When you return to check on it the flavors are unbelievable.  Trust me if you like a nice rich gravy with tender strips of steak this is it!

In the last couple of years I have had a really hard time finding a top and bottom round steak .  They are now sent to supermarkets as top round steak or bottom round steak.  Even at that they are cut paper-thin.  For this recipe the steak needs to be about 1 1/2 inches thick.     After much experimenting I found that round steak cut for fajitas works fantastic.  It is cut to the right thickness and in strips.  That is even better because the step of slicing while partially frozen can be skipped saving much time.  The results I think are much better.

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