Thursday, May 3, 2012

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

I've never been much of a meat-eater. Especially red meats and pork. As a kid, it was a battle to get me to eat meat (#firstworldproblems) and now, I really could take it or leave it. Recently I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and was blown away by some of the statistics. And as a result, I'm trying to decrease my meat consumption. (Except for fish...I could never give up fish).

This past weekend at the lake, my sister introduced me to spaghetti squash. What an interesting vegetable! Wait, it's a squash so it's a fruit right? IDK. Point is, it was delicious.

On another note, I'm a calorie counter. I count every calorie I eat each day and track it. Ok, if I'm on vacation things may get a little carried away and I may not track. Ya only live once!

Real life at the lake this weekend....don't judge ;) 

But because I do this, I love knowing exactly how many calories I'm eating. Especially during the day because dinner is, 99% of the time, home cooked and you never really know exactly what you're getting. So for that reason, I usually take my lunch to work, consisting of a Healthy Choice frozen meal. Don't get me wrong, I think a majority of these are delicious. They're easy to grab on the way out the door and I know exactly how many calories I'm eating. And even better, I've never had one that was over 350 calories. But, the sodium. The sodium content is just too much. And probably all in the form of preservatives. Aka, it's not fresh. And we all know that fresh foods are better for us.

So, all of that brought me to this: I was browsing Pinterest for some vegetarian recipes and for something that I could cook several servings of in advance (for my lunches) when I came across this one for Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and thought I'd give it a try. Here's my version.

What you'll need:

* 1 spaghetti squash
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 red onion, chopped (mine was a little small & I love onion, so I used the whole thing)
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave seeds in for more heat. i like the heat. i left the seeds.)
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 Tbs. ground cumin
* 1 Tbs. Mexican oregano
* 1 Tbs. chili powder
* 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 lime
* 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used fat-free mozzarella b/c it's what was in the house) 
Preheat oven to 375.
Roast squash on a baking sheet for 50 minutes. Let cool another 30 minutes, then cut in half. Spoon out the seeds, then using a fork, scrape up the flesh, making the “spaghetti.”

Honestly, you can't even tell it's NOT spaghetti!! 
Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper and red bell pepper. Saute 2 minutes. Add cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute another minute. Add the beans, corn and cilantro. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the lime juice and give one last stir.

It's just pretty. 
Add the squash to the bean mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season accordingly.
Switch oven to broil.
Stuff each squash half with the mixture and top with grated cheese.
Stick it back under the broiler until the cheese melts and gets all brown and bubbly.
This ended up making 5 servings for me, but it will obviously vary based on the size of your squash. There was a little kick to it so if you don't like spicy, you can cut back on the jalapeno and spices. The only thing I thought of after I devoured my one serving for dinner last night was the fact that I had fresh avocado that would have been DELICIOUS sliced on top of this. Oh well, I have four more servings in the fridge so I'll add it next time ;) 

I'll definitely be making this dish again. Maybe next time I'll make it and share with the family! 

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