Saturday, February 8, 2014

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Do you ever see a beautiful photo of food and want to make that dish? That happened to me when I saw Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Pastured Bacon, Garlic and Sage (Dairy Free) on Foodgawker posted by Jody Engstrom from her blog, Living Nutrition. It made me think of the Japanese word "oishisou" (that looks delicious). Go ahead, click through to her post and see what I mean. Doesn't that look delicious?!
I've had a spaghetti squash sitting in a wire basket in my kitchen for about...ah...two months. They last a long time. When I saw the photo--that's when I finally decided what I was going to make with it. It's a simple recipe, doesn't have a lot of ingredients--and resist the temptation to add butter or parmesan cheese--it doesn't need it. Really!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

adapted from Jody Engstrom at mylivingnutrition.com

Serves 4-6

1 spaghetti squash, seeded and halved
4-6 slices bacon (Jody uses pastured bacon)
1/2 diced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds using a spoon, scraping out most of the fine strings.
Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and put into a 400ºF oven for about 35-45 minutes or until the squash is tender.
While the squash is baking, cook the bacon until crispy. I like to chop the bacon first, then fry it. Drain and set aside, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease to cook the onions and garlic.
This is fresh sage. Remove the leaves and mince enough to measure 1 tablespoon.
I've got sage growing on a mound of dirt in my front yard under my pine tree. Looking at this photo reminds me I need to get out there and clean up my herb garden. I've got paperwhite narcissus growing there amongst the herbs and I've been trying to weed them out--but they keep coming back.

When the squash is tender and it has cooled a bit, scoop the meat of the squash into a large bowl. I first used a fork to separate the strings of the squash to turn them into 'spaghetti'.
This is why they call it spaghetti squash!
This is the coconut milk I bought. I like to have some in the pantry--it comes in handy. I think it's best to find one without a lot of extra added ingredients. This one just listed coconut and water.
Pour the coconut milk into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well. I added a little more coconut milk to moisten the mixture because I thought it was a little dry, but I think it would be just fine to add a little water since the coconut milk is so rich. No sense in opening another can/box like I did--this time.
Mix well and pour into a baking dish (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) and bake at 400 for 50 min-1 hour, or until browned on top.
I saved a little bit of the bacon to sprinkle on top and so my bacon lovers can add a little bit more to their serving.
I have to say--this dish was delicious! I too, have just had spaghetti squash with marinara--not something I get excited about--but I really liked it in this casserole. Take a look at the other recipes on mylivingnutrition.com. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the breakfast frittata in a jar that I've been wanting to try is from the same website. I'm excited to try something else--there's so much that looks delicious as well as being healthy!
Itadakimasu!

***

When I was making this dish, I thought of my friend Jen, thinking--she's really going to like this! She likes to eat healthy and clean. She has a spaghetti squash recipe she cooks in the crock pot.

Jen's also an athlete. She recently ran a half-marathon!

Remember Jen & Bobby? You saw them in my Takikomi Brown Rice post--they're part of my friend Sue's family.

Last year, at about this time, they were visiting from North Carolina for Rick & Jessica's wedding. Bobby was coaching football at a college there, and now their family is back here living in Southern California. We're all happy to have them back! 

Look how much Payton & Avery have grown!

Now Bobby is coaching football and basketball at Victor Valley College. It doesn't seem so long ago that Bobby was playing basketball with my son Rick.
Take a lot of pictures--they grow up fast!

***

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

adapted from Jody Engstrom at mylivingnutrition.com

Serves 4-6

1 spaghetti squash, seeded and halved
4-6 slices bacon (Jody uses pastured bacon)
1/2 diced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste

1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds using a spoon. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and put into a 400ºF oven for about 35-45 minutes or until the squash is tender.
2. While the squash is baking, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain and set aside, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease to cook the onions and garlic. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent.
3. Chop bacon and set aside. (Omit if you chopped your bacon before cooking.)
4. When squash has cooled, using a fork, string the spaghetti squash and put into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
5. Bake at 400ºF for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until browned on top.

4 comments:

  1. Does the coconut milk make it slightly sweet? (I've never cooked with it.) if it is at all sweet, could you sub regular/skim or another kind of milk?

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    1. Thank you for your question. The coconut milk doesn't make it sweet. It's rich, so if you want to substitute dairy, I'd use cream or half and half. I think regular or skim milk will be too thin. Hope that helps. :)

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  2. Does spaghetti squash taste more like spaghetti or more like squash? I guess a better question would be, will I like it, or not? :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Carie! Is squash one of the vegetables you like??? I think you'll like it, but you'll have to try it and see! :)

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