Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pie For Dinner?

As misleading as that title might be, I did make a Spaghetti Squash Pie for dinner the other night that got rave reviews.  It's more like a shepherds pie but with spaghetti squash instead of mashed potatoes.  I found a recipe a while back on Things My Belly Likes for a Spaghetti Pie that looked pretty good so I gave it a try.  It was good but there was not much to it.  I decided to remake it and amp up the veggies (including the amount of squash), I took out the mushrooms because I don't like them and added more fresh herbs.  See what you think of my Spaghetti Squash Pie (I already have requests to make it again soon!).
First things first, get your oven pre-heated to 400 degrees.  Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Lightly brush with oil and a dash of salt and pepper.  Place the squash cut side down and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until fork tender on the back side.
While that's in the oven, chop an onion
and mince a few cloves of garlic.
Chop about 2 cups of cauliflower.
Shred one carrot.
Dice up a couple of tomatoes.
Round up some fresh herbs.  I like basil and parsley but if you're going to use just one, go with basil.
Once you're all prepped, it's time to get cooking.
Start by heating a little olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onions and garlic until they start to soften.
Next toss in the cauliflower and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to soften. If you have a lid for your skillet, pop it on there to speed up the process a little by letting it steam for a couple of minutes.
Now add your ground beef.  I've got this great antibiotic free beef from our meat CSA that is remarkably better tasting than what we buy at the grocery store.
Once the meat starts to brown, add the tomatoes and herbs and cook until the tomatoes start to break down.  Season with salt and pepper.  When the squash is done, scrape the inside with a fork and remove the strands to a bowl (or not, which ever works for you).
While that's under way, rinse the spinach and tear the leaves if you're not using baby spinach.
Once the meat is fully cooked and tomatoes are broken down, remove from heat and stir in the spinach until wilted.
Pour your meat and veggies into a 9x9 casserole,
Top with the spaghetti squash,
and a thin layer or cheddar cheese.  Lower the oven to 375 and bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned.  If you're in a hurry, you can just pop it under the broiler to melt the cheese since everything is already cooked.
Every time I see this picture I'm thinking scrambled eggs...but it's not.  Doesn't that look good though?
And there you go, a nice veggie packed flavorful dinner with a nice side salad and you are good to go!

Spaghetti Squash Pie

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 Tbs olive oil
16 oz ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups cauliflower cut into small florets
1 carrot shredded
3 cloves garlic minced
2 med tomatoes chopped
a handful of fresh basil chopped
a handful of fresh parsley chopped
3 handfuls fresh spinach roughly chopped
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake cut side down on a baking sheet for 25-30 min or until fork tender. When done, scrape the inside of the squash with a fork and scoop out the squash. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook stirring until softened, about 3 minuets. Stir in the cauliflower and carrots and cook about 5 minutes more, until cauliflower begins to soften. Add ground beef (or turkey) breaking it up with a spoon and cook until beef has browned. Add chopped tomatoes and herbs and cook until tomatoes have begun to break down and meat is cooked all the way through. Remove from heat and stir in spinach leaves until wilted.

Pour mixture into a casserole dish (9x9 works) and top with a layer of spaghetti squash. Top with a layer of cheddar cheese and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Serve hot with a nice side salad.

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