Stuffed Spaghetti Squash for Dinner with a Friend

Went skiing last week for a couple of days and visited with my friend Victoria (you remember her – she’s the one who I talk with about solving all the world’s problems ūüėČ ). This time we planned out each others complete¬†financial retirement plan. ¬†The good news is neither of us will be eating cat food when we are old! ¬†Yeah!

I was supposed to only be there for 2.5 days but we had a huge snow fall and I didn’t want to drive home till the roads had been cleared so I got to stay an extra day. Was a real bonus day as we got to just hang out and play games, read and talk. Oh yes and the other thing we always do when we get together…..Cook!.

I blogged my friend Zannats spaghetti squash recipe a couple of weeks ago and we thought we would make a version of it for dinner one night. Here’s what we added and how it was prepared (using ingredients already in the fridge) – Healthy, satisfying and tastes great – the trifecta!

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Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash cut in half

1 chicken sausage removed from casing and crumbled (can leave this out to keep vegetarian)

6-8 mushrooms chopped

¬Ĺ chopped red pepper

1 can of white kidney or navy beans

¬Ĺ tsp Italian spices

Parmesan cheese grated

Mozzarella shredded

1 tomato diced

Directions:

Trim the ends off the squash first, then cut squash in ¬Ĺ and take out the stringy centre. Coat lightly with some olive oil and place cut side down on a tray covered with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour till slightly browned and fairly soft.

Using a fork, scoop some of the squash out to make room for the mixture (should scoop¬†out like strands – hence the name “spaghetti” squash). Add the strands of squash to¬†the bean and chicken mixture along with some grated or shredded Parmesan. Mix well and pack¬†into the ¬†semi hollowed out¬†halves of¬†squash shell and top with mozzarella. Put back into a 350 degree (F) oven till cheese¬†is melted and lightly browned.

Enjoy!

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Cooking with friends

Recently I was visiting my friend Victoria in the Peterborough area and we always get into cooking when I go to spend a couple of days there (We also talk about financial ideas, the economy, the psychology of people Рgreat brain work out). Anyway, we decided to do a combo dinner where I would bring the soup and she would make the salad. I made my homemade vegetable soup with beans sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese- recipe below.

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…and Victoria made a wonderful spinach, pear and caramelized walnut salad. ¬†Perfect dinner. The salad was from the cookbook called “The Pollan Family Table” by none other that Tracey Pollan (remember her – married to Michael J. Fox and starred in Family Ties? – click on link above for recipe).

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Vegetable soup recipe:

Talk about hearty! I used the vegetables that were in the fridge and usually I add some pasta to this soup but thought I would add white beans to give it more protein and fibre.

Ingredients

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 sliced medium sized carrots

2 sliced stalks of celery

2 small onions chopped

1 tetra pak of vegetable broth

1 large can of low sodium diced tomatoes

1 can of navy white beans

1.5 tbsp brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 handful of chopped kale (I buy a fabulous product called “Chopped Greens” which is a bag of frozen chopped and cooked kale. ¬†I add it to everything and it is wonderful! – use as much as you want)

 

Directions

In a saucepan add the olive oil and the diced onions. Stir till translucent. Add the chopped carrots and celery and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add the diced tomatoes. Stir well and then add the vegetable stock. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Stir this and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then add the kale (since it is already cooked it doesn’t need as long). Cook for another 15-20 minutes and then add the canned beans. Sprinkle in the brown sugar (takes some of the acidity out of the tomatoes and adds a slightly sweet note to the soup). Let this simmer all together for another 10-15 minutes and you have a wonderful hearty soup.

I served it with some shaved parmesan on top and it was perfectly filling and warming. Just what you need on these cold cold days.

 

Breakfast the next day was one of my favourites.

I have developed a craving for poached eggs. I always loved them but used to make egg whites for breakfast every morning. Now I make a poached egg on a slice of toast with a bit of cheese as my go to brekkie every day.  The whole egg has all kinds of things that are good for you and if cholesterol is not an issue then I say go for it.  Keeps me feeling satiated until lunch. This time we shared an english muffin (whole wheat) and I used some baldersons 4yr old white cheddar cheese with a couple of slices of avocado. YUM!!!

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Turkey Chili

This recipe is adapted from a beef chili recipe I had but since I don’t eat a lot of red meat these days I substitute turkey for many recipes I used to use beef with.
Ingredients
1 lb. ground turkey
2 medium onions chopped
2 clove garlic  minced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (5 ¬Ĺ oz.) tomato paste
1 tbsp  Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
Tabasco sauce to taste
1 tsp each of paprika, cumin and  brown sugar 
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can chick peas
1 small can corn kernels
1 can black peas (optional – if you like a lot of beans)
Directions
Saut√© turkey, onion and garlic. together until turkey looks almost cooked – separate turkey into pieces by stirring so it doesn’t clump. Add all ingredients except the beans and bring to a boil. Add beans and cook another 25 minutes till all heated through. ¬†Serves 4 (at least)
***I also make this in a slow cooker where I sauté the meat, onions and garlic Рthen throw everything into a slow cooker give it a good stir and cook on low for 4 hours.
Feel free to add or subtract ingredients from this recipe according to your tastes – you can’t really go wrong with chili!