Spaghetti Squash is a wonderful and nutritious vegetable that can be used as a substitute for everything from actual pasta to shredded potatoes. I personally use love using spaghetti squash as a vehicle for mounds of homemade tomato sauce with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan. It is simple to prepare and is a great way to add more vegetables to your diet. Gram for gram, it has about 1/10th of the carbs of regular spaghetti! Once you are able to cook plain spaghetti squash, the ways you can use it are endless.
Basic Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Rinse the outside of the spaghetti squash and pat dry. While this part will not be consumed, I find it’s safest to clean the outside of the squash to avoid bringing any contaminants into the part you will consume while you are cutting and preparing it.
2. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a serving spoon to clean out the strings and seeds. If you’d like, set the seeds aside as you can roast these later, they are delicious and taste just like pumpkin seeds!
3. Drizzle or spray a small amount of olive oil on the spaghetti squash (no more than one teaspoon per side is necessary) and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or in a glass baking dish and place in oven.
5. When the squash has finished cooking, allow it to cool for at least ten minutes before attempting to handle it.
6. Using a serving spoon, scrape the squash away from the shell on both halves. The squash will separate into strands, hence the name spaghetti squash.
In case you have been living under a rock…it’s THAT time of year, ya know the one where there are a bunch of holidays coming up and everyone is getting sick. This time of year, while super festive, can be extremely chaotic and stressful and also full of sniffles and coughs. It’s common for people to reach for vitamin C once they’re already sick (I know I always did!), but the latest studies and evidence show that ingesting Vitamin C post cold onset does not help in reducing the length or severity of the illness. While the aforementioned holds true regarding the general population and while further research may be conducted, some studies have shown that taking vitamin C daily could help reduce the likelihood of contracting a cold in those who are at risk for vitamin C deficiency, those who subject their body to extreme, rigorous exercise and those who, for whatever reason, have prolonged periods of exposure to cold temperatures.
Despite the lack of evidence for using vitamin C to reduce the duration and severity of colds, vitamin C is absolutely crucial to our health and the majority of us are able to get the amount our bodies need just from our diet alone, without supplementation. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, plays a role in helping with the regeneration of vitamin E (another antioxidant), helps to metabolize protein and is necessary for our bodies to produce collagen. In summary, vitamin C is important for our body to function, but you shouldn’t necessarily expect a recovery miracle from using it while you’re sick with a cold!
So what can you do when you have a cold? Aside from rest and drinking lots of fluids, the most recent studies and reviews show that Zinc is actually helpful in combating colds by reducing the severity and duration of symptoms when consumed within 24 hours of when your symptoms begin. Zinc can be found in dietary sources such as oysters, beef, pork, chicken, yogurt and cashews. Since the richest dietary sources of zinc are found in meat, vegetarians should consider supplementation, as should people with gastrointestinal issues (they could have decreased absorption capabilities) and women who are pregnant and breastfeeding (the fetus of a pregnant woman requires a lot of zinc and breastfeeding can cause zinc depletion).
In my family (of two), one of us is a Thanksgiving/holiday traditionalist who likes things the way they always have been and one of us is not, so we compromise. These cilantro lime carrots are a perfect example. Traditional roasted carrots are jazzed up by bright and tangy colors and flavors that are the perfect contrast to the rest of the white-ish/grey-ish, decadent, indulgent foods. Go ahead and make some, share some and live a little outside of tradition!
Cilantro Lime Roasted Carrots
Makes 8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 Pounds of Carrots
Juice From 2 Limes – About 1/3 Of a Cup
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Honey (Substitute Maple Syrup, Etc. to Make This Vegan)
½ Cup Packed Chopped Cilantro
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Wash and peel carrots. Cut them into halves (or thirds depending on their length.) Cut each of those pieces into halves, lengthwise this time and each of those pieces into lengthwise halves.
- Toss the carrots with 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
- Arrange carrots on a baking sheet. I line mine with parchment paper so they don’t stick. Season with a quick sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pop them in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until, flipping them halfway through.
- While your carrots roast, prepare the dressing in a glass (or other microwave safe) bowl by mixing together the cilantro, lime juice, honey and remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Take the carrots out of the oven and place in a bowl. Microwave the dressing for thirty seconds.
- Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat. At this point, I like to remove my carrots from the excess dressing and place in a serving dish so they are not swimming in the dressing. Feel free to pour the excess dressing into a container and serve it along side the carrots!
If cilantro is not your thing, try this recipe with other herbs such as parsley or basil or even a combination of the two! If you prefer flavor but in a more subdued way, try tossing the carrots in the dressing and then baking them.
Every year before summer is even over, I start preparing for fall. I start to think about my fall wardrobe, what fall decor and plants I want to put out on my porch and even about what will be on the menu for Thanksgiving. I absolutely love summer, but the runner up for my favorite season (in a very tight race) is absolutely fall. Continue reading Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding
So for those of you who know me personally, you are probably aware of the fact that my husband Mike and I are a mixed couple…I am a vegetarian (technically pescatarien) and he is a meat lover. This has led to some serious, sometimes contentious conversations like how we will raise our future children and what we are going to have for dinner. Continue reading Creamy White Chili Two Ways