I love Italian food. Like majorly. I could eat it for every meal. But a ridiculous amount of pasta is not good for the waistline or the digestive system (for me). I'm not going totally gluten-free, because I'm too much of a foodie for that. But here is one excellent substitute for pasta -- spaghetti squash. Matt and I love to put it with spaghetti sauces. Light and tasty.
This evening, though, I just have a small onion, some old parsley stems, a wrinkling orange bell pepper, and the basic garlic and lemon to accompany tonight's spaghetti squash. This will be an excellent meal for two (maybe with leftovers, but we have a hard time monitoring our serving sizes with food like this, especially when it's mostly veggies and perhaps should not be monitored too closely in any case).
-1 spaghetti squash
-1 bell pepper (I recommend orange or red, as they are the tastiest)
-1 small onion
-1/2 bunch of parsley, or just the stems if you have them leftover from another dish, like I did.
-3 small cloves of garlic (or two large ones)
-1 tbsp vegetable oil
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-1/2 tsp thyme (optional)
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
-olive oil to drizzle
-salt to taste
-Preheat the oven to 375º
-Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (This is not easy. It will take perseverance and cautiousness so that you don't cut yourself. Or you can get a husband/boyfriend to do it. I prefer to do it myself. It's character-building.)
-Scoop out all the seeds and string from the inside of the two halves.
-Lay the two halves, face down (with the shell side up) on a baking pan or sheet. I have found it easier to line my glass pan with foil, for easier cleanup.
-Bake for about an hour.
-While that's cooking, chop up the onion, pepper, parsley, and garlic (mince as fine as you like).
-Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and sautee the onion and pepper on medium heat with some parsley stems (parts that will need more time to soften) for about 3-5 minutes.
-Add the parsley and the minced garlic and continue to sautee on low for a few minutes.
-Add the salt, and thyme and red pepper (if you are using them) and continue to stir for about a minute
(I added about 1/4 tsp of salt)
-You can turn off the heat and let this sit until the squash is ready.
-When the squash is finished, take it out of the oven and carefully scrape out the squash (I use two forks -- one for holding the squash, one for scraping. Cuz that thing is hot). Add the squash to the pan with the vegetables and turn the heat back on low to warm everything while mixing the veggies with the squash.
-Add the lemon juice and a drizzle (about 1 tsp) of olive oil to the pan until combined
-Add more salt if needed, and a bit of black pepper if you like.
-Serve immediately and enjoy!