Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Leeks in a Garlic Wine Sauce

I am a huge fan of spaghetti squash to begin with, always looking for new ways to incorporate it into meals. We are moving towards more vegetarian meals in our house. This recipe wasn't exactly the one I intended to make last night since I ended up changing a lot as I cooked, but it came out delicious. The best part?

All the kids ate it...and they didn't just eat it, they liked it!

This recipe could easily be converted to a vegan one, if you swap the butter for olive oil and omit the cheese.

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Leeks in a Garlic Wine Sauce
Do not be intimidated by the title of this recipe. Honest. It seems like a lot, or like it's going to be complicated. I promise it isn't. I got the whole thing done, start to finish in about 30 minutes. (not including the time the squash was roasting...because the oven did that, not me).

Also, I am going to tell you what I made, with the quantity of ingredients I used. If you want to cut the recipe in half, it could be done fairly easily. As it stands, this served 6 hearty portions with enough leftovers for 2 lunches.

  • 2 medium spaghetti squashes, roasted and separated into strings
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, sliced
  • 1 good handful of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 pound of cremini mushrooms (or sub out whatever mushrooms you prefer), rough chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage, chopped and rubbed
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parmesan or romano cheese

First, roast the squash. Set your oven to 400 degrees, and cut the squash in half. Place them cut side down on a cookie sheet with some water. Put them in the oven for about 45 minutes. They are done when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork. 

When they have about 15 minutes left to cook, start chopping the other ingredients. 

Happy little leeks

Mushrooms, sage and spinach

Saute the leeks in olive oil and butter on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until softened. Around now, the squash should be done. Take it out of the oven, flip the cut side up and let them cool.

Add the spinach, mushrooms, sage and garlic. Stir and saute all ingredients together on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, then add in the wine. Turn up until boiling, then lower to medium again. Cook until the liquid reduces, about 5 minutes.

Around this time, the squash should be cool enough to handle. Scoop out the seeds, then separate the squash into strings with a fork. Add squash into the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste, then add in some cheese. Stir and heat through for about 5 minutes.

Serve with additional cheese on top. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Homemade Tomato Soup

Soup season. Yes.

I made this a few nights ago, then realized that I had not shared it here yet.

It's quick and easy and delicious. Once you start making it yourself, I promise you won't go back to the canned stuff.  Makes six hearty servings. We eat it with grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course.

When tomatoes are in season, or if you're lucky enough to be in an area where fresh ones are available year round, use them instead of the canned tomatoes here in the recipe. If you're ambitious enough to make your own puree too, do it. You won't be disappointed.

Homemade Tomato Soup
- 1 large can of tomato puree
- 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 3-4 cups of chicken stock
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk
- cornstarch
- basil, fresh or dried
- 1 tsp sugar
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste

Saute the garlic in butter in a large stockpot until it becomes fragrant. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Add in sugar, one bay leaf and a handful of fresh chopped basil or a heaping tablespoon of dried basil. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Measure out a cup of milk and mix into it 1-2 tbsp of cornstarch. Stir it until completely dissolved, then slowly add it to soup mixture while whisking so that no chunks form. Allow soup to thicken slightly, then remove bay leaf and serve. Add salt and pepper as desired for taste (amount of salt will depend on the stock you use).

I do toss Sriracha in my bowl as well, because Sriracha.

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