Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I had a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter that was in need of some love the other day. This is what resulted. Ate as a side for baked wild salmon one night and by itself with brown rice the next night. Goot and will make again.
Took much less time to put together since I'd roasted the squash and scooped it the day before when I had the time. I'm guessing this would be ok to make ahead of time and just bake it the day you'll be eating it...maybe add the bread crumbs right before baking though (and it would take longer to come to point of being bubbly when baking).

Spaghetti Squash Casserole:

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
~2 Tbs fresh chopped basil, or teaspoon dried basil
2 plum tomatoes, chopped or equivalent in cherry tomatoes
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs (I used whole wheat crumbs that I added Italian seasoning and garlic powder to)
Optional: I had some fresh spinach to use up, so I wilted the wet leaves in a skillet for a few minutes, squeezed out the water then chopped and added to the vegetable mix

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 10-15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Just want to mention that my squashes always seem to take different times to cook. Check after might surprise you and be done.

Raise oven temp to 400.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic and basil.
Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add the tomatoes.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is dry.
Add spinach if using.
To the bowl with the squash, add the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parsley, salt and the onion mixture.
Stir well to mix all ingredients.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Pour mixture into prepared dish.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Scones

Oh goodness. Well, some day I'll have to try to make these again with the amount of butter called for in the recipe.
2 extra Tbs. went into ours this morning! I'm not complaining about my mistake...too loudly. Seeing as they were so delicious and all. Probably wouldn't have spread quite so much with less butter, but man were they tender.
I went looking for a cornmeal scone recipe online the other day, since we'd enjoyed some really amazing ones from a bakery in Portland, OR. over the summer.
These weren't quite the same, but they sure were good! And, now I have the perfect excuse to make them again...the RIGHT way.

Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Scones:

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup stone ground whole grain cornmeal (I used a combo of fine and medium Bob's Redmill)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used turbinado raw sugar)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs cold butter
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans (I used toasted walnuts)
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs orange juice
more turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top

Heat oven to 400°. Lightly grease and flour a scone pan or baking sheet.
In a food processor or large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. If using the food processor, pulse a few times to combine.
Cut butter into pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse until the mixture is like a coarse meal. Alternately, this can be done by cutting the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender.
If using the processor, transfer the meal-like mixture to a large bowl.
Stir in dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and orange zest.
With a fork, mix in buttermilk just until dry ingredients are moistened.
With floured fingers, pat into a greased and floured 6-wedge scone pan or pat into a round on a lightly floured surface and cut into 6 even wedges; place on a greased baking sheet (I just used an ungreased air-bake cookie sheet).
With fingers or a pastry brush, brush with orange juice just to moisten tops. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.