Posts Tagged ‘Spaghetti Squash’

Bison Steak Grilled Fajita Paleo

Here are my three main meals from today.  Breakfast was a whole bag of frozen turnips and turnip greens tossed with some ground turkey and seasoned with Mrs Dash garlic and herbs.  Probably should’ve added an egg too, because I started getting hungry faster than normal.  Oh well.  Lunch made up for it though: spaghetti squash mixed with mushrooms, marinara sauce, more leftover ground turkey, garlic chives, and goat cheese.  But it was dinner that was really exciting!

Bison Fajita Paleo Dinner

After my pilates class, I stopped by the grocery store still all sweaty and freshly worn out to grab a couple bunches of organic green and red leaf lettuce, and happened to also notice that some of the bison steaks were on an about-to-go-bad-soon sale!  I don’t remember ever having bison before, so of course I decided to try it!  We just grilled it like a steak after marinating it in red wine vinegar, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder.  I served it up finger-food style with grilled fajita veggies and salsa/guacamole dipping sauce.  It was totally delicious!  Tasted basically like steak if you ask me, though maybe a little milder in flavor.  And five minutes of research online (not the most reliable method, but hey) told me that bison is generally considered healthier than beef because it has less fat and more iron.  Cool.  I’ll pick up some more if I ever see it on Manager’s Special again.

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Spaghetti Squash Meaty Dinner Plate

Compare pasta with spaghetti squash calories carbsSpaghetti squash is the bomb.  I haven’t convinced the other omnivore in the house yet – he likes it, but still likes old fashioned pasta noodles better.  I’m sold though.  There’s about a 400 calorie and 100 grams of carbs difference between our two plates, just because I chose spaghetti squash instead of Penne.  And of course my plate was still crazy delicious and filling – but without the bloaty pasta need-to-nap feeling afterwards.  I hate that feeling.  I mean, food is supposed to be fuel, not a sedative, right?

It’s getting hot here though, and let’s be honest – 97 degrees at only 3% humidity is still hot.  Too hot to turn the oven on anyways.  So I looked up how to microwave my spaghetti squash, and I’m so thrilled that the instructions I used made perfect SS noodles!  Here are the instructions, copied from an article on about.com:

  1. spaghetti squash rawCut the spaghetti squash lengthwise (you can remove the stem first, but don’t cut through the ends.)
  2. Scrape out the seeds and fibers using a large spoon. Again, be careful not to break through the ends.  [I stupidly used a fork.  A spoon would have worked much better]
  3. Take one of the halves and put it cut-side-up in a close-fitting microwave dish (such as an oval casserole.) You want it to be as stable and as level as possible. If it isn’t, cut a very thin strip of skin from the bottom.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup water into the hollow of the squash itself (not into the dish), then place the other half on top cut-side-down.
  5. Carefully place it in the microwave and cook on full power. A small squash (under 1 1/2 lbs) will take about 10 minutes to cook.  Let it rest for 5 minutes before opening it up.  [My squash was a bit over 2lbs, so I cooked it for 12 minutes and let it sit for 10]
  6. To test for doneness, just squeeze the top half gently (wear an oven mitt for this!) If it’s flexible, it’s likely to be done. Carefully remove the top half to see if the flesh has turned a rich, semi-translucent yellow (as opposed to opaque yellow-white)
  7. Drain any remaining water (there may not be any) and pull out the strands with a fork.

spaghetti squash meat parmesan dinner plate

 

The best part is that I have some leftover sauce and the other half of the spaghetti squash to make another big plate of low carb/low calorie/big flavor spaghetti for myself tomorrow!!!

Steak and Zucchini

We got a great deal on a bunch of Grass Fed Flat Iron Steaks from La Cense Beef a couple weeks ago, so I’ll have lots of opportunity to experiment with how best to marinate and cook them.  This also means that I’ll have to flex my creative chef muscles to keep from being too repetitive.  I get bored easily.  😛

One way I made this meal more fun was to broil the zucchini strips laying flat on a baking pan first, and then string them up on a clean kabob stick to serve.  Everything is more fun when you eat it off a stick, right?  Right!  Oh, and I cooked the steak almost perfectly this time on my cast iron skillet.  I’m getting better at cooking these delicious little cuts!

Paleo Spaghetti Sauce

Recipe for Simple Paleo Spaghetti Sauce

(one serving)

  1. One finely chopped tomato
  2. One tablespoon tomato paste
  3. Once diced slice of an onion, doesn’t really matter what color/type
  4. Two tablespoons coconut milk
  5. One minced garlic clove
  6. One teaspoon dry oregano (or four medium fresh oregano leaves)
  7. One teaspoon dry basil (or four medium fresh basil leaves)

Dump everything into a pan on medium heat and stir.  Though if you’re using fresh herbs, leave them out until the very end of simmering time.  As soon as your ingredients start to show signs of boiling (or as close as something that thick can get – probably about a minute or two at most for one serving), turn it down and let it all simmer with a lid on for about 20 minutes.  Add a little salt and pepper if you want to, though I didn’t feel it needed it.  Then stir again and serve, hopefully on spaghetti squash with big fat delicious meatballs!

Shame on me for not having some green veggies on this plate, but damnit!  I was worn out after cooking my first whole chicken and first spaghetti squash in one day.  It was kind of stressful because I didn’t really know what I was doing.  But I will save you that headache and tell you below exactly how to make these two things together, pretty much stress free.  Cool, right?  This recipe makes enough for probably about six people.  But because we are only two people, we will be eating this again as leftovers tomorrow!  🙂

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Whole Young Chicken (usually about 4-6lbs)
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pesto (or other herbs/spices for the squash)

1. Preheat the oven to 375

2. Zest two lemons (that means take a cheese grater to the lemons’ skin)

3. Dice two cloves of garlic

4. Combine lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano with some olive oil.  Exact amounts really don’t matter here.

5. When the oven is heated up, pop your whole squash in on a pan.  That easy.

6. Get your chicken out of the fridge and stick your hand up his butt to pull out all the giblets (if your chicken has them still).  Mine did, and it was pretty gross.  But I just kept telling myself that at least I didn’t have to chop this chicken’s head off and feather it, so I should be happy to remove gizzards!  That mostly worked.

7. Quarter one of those zested lemons and shove those quarters up into the chicken’s cavity.

8. Place chicken breast side down into a big pot with about an inch or two of water in it.  Bring water to a boil.

9. When the water is boiling, put a lid on the pot and turn the stove down to just above simmer.  I think this is called parboiling… The idea is that the steam is most of what’s doing the cooking.  I think.

10. Simmer the chicken with the lid on for about 50 mintues.  After 50 minutes, it should be done.  If you want to double check though, stick a meat thermometer into his thigh (don’t touch bone) and it should read 165 degrees.

Now you can go take a break while your squash and chicken are cooking.

11. When your one hour is up for the squash, just take it out of the oven and sit it on the counter or your cutting board or whatever.  So long as you don’t cut into it, it will stay nice and warm for quite a while until your chicken is ready.

12. When the chicken is finished parboiling, maneuver it out of the tall pan and onto the same pan you used to bake the squash.  Turn your oven up to 450 degrees now.  We’re going to brown that chicken!

13. Smear that zesty olive oil rub you made earlier all over the chicken.

14. Pop the chicken back into the oven for another 15 or so minutes until you like the looks of the chicken.  Remember, it’s already fully cooked, so this is just a personal preference thing now.

15. When you take the chicken out of the oven, set it aside.  You’re supposed to let it “rest” for a good 10 minutes so that all the juices can settle.  Or something like that.

16. While the chicken is resting, we’ll move on to the squash!  Chop that thing in half, scoop out the seeds, and then rake out the spaghetti strips with a fork.  Store whatever squash you don’t use right away in a ziplock in the fridge.

17. Mix the spaghetti squash strands with a little pesto (I cheated and used some grocery store in-a-bottle pesto).  Or you can use whatever herbs and spices you want.

18. Time to carve that chicken!  If you don’t know how, go look that up on Youtube.  🙂

19. EAT!

Check out my chicken carcass.  Awesome!  🙂