Every Sunday before we go grocery shopping, we try and map out what our dinner menu will look like for the week. I find that with a hectic work schedule, knowing what will we be making for dinner makes things a little easier.
Back a few years ago, while visiting some small country stores in central Massachusetts, Jeff and I came across the cookbook, The Big Book of Casseroles by Maryana Vollstedt. This was one of our first staple recipe books and if you have children, this is a must have. We have made at least 20 recipes from the book. The recipes are easy, tasty and enjoyed by the whole family.
While I was flipping through the book looking for Victory Casserole, which we will highlight, I came across this recipe, Spaghetti Squash with Vegetables. I hadn't made spaghetti squash in years and I loved the combination of mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes. This recipe tasted so fresh and was extremely light (except for the few pats of butter). Our family devoured the entire dish, I wished I had doubled it.
If you are looking for a light, healthy meal or side dish for dinner, consider this recipe. It's a great alternative to pasta.
1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
6 green onions including some tender green tops, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, unpeeled, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tomato, seeded, diced and drained
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and loose strings. On an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, place squash, cut side down. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes. (See Note) Remove from baking sheet and cool. With a fork, scrape out flesh and place in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish, lightly coated with Pam.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic and saute until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add more oil if needed. Stir in tomato, broth and seasonings, simmer 5 minutes longer.
Transfer to casserole dish containing squash and mix well. (I added a few pats of butter as I thought it might dry out) Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
Bake uncovered until heated through and flavors are blended, about 40 minutes. Serves 6.
Note: Spaghetti squash may also be cooked in the microwave oven. Cut squash as directed. Place cut side down in a shallow glass dish with 1/4 cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap. Cook 7-8 minutes on high and then proceed as directed.