Hey hey, it’s Day 3 of ROYGBIV Week! Today’s food is in recognition of the yellow chakra, which governs happiness. Yay!
Today’s chakra: Manipura – Jewel City (Solar Plexus)
Color: Yellow: happy & radiant
Location: Along the spine behind the region four fingers above the navel
Associated body organs: Stomach, liver, pancreas, gall bladder
Controlled emotions: Self-definition and ego identity
[For an explanation of the chakras, see Sunday's post.]
Do you know about spaghetti squash? Because you should. And by the end of reading this post, you will! Yay!
This is a really interesting veggie. You can treat it like pasta, which makes it a good substitute if you’re eating gluten-free or low-carb.
Check out my new favorite produce label:
First, you puncture the skin a few times around with a fork. Then slice it lengthwise, spoon out the seeds, and place it cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until you can poke in a knife with little resistance.
Let the squash cool enough to touch, but not completely. In the meantime, saute a chopped onion and a couple cloves of garlic. Normally I’d use a white or yellow onion, but I had a small white and half red in the fridge, so today’s dish is a rainbow in itself. Next, saute a chopped tomato and about 6 asparagus spears, just until warm. Remove from heat.
Now back to the squash. Using the tines of a fork, scrape the flesh into noodle-like strips.
You can pull almost to the outer skin of the squash, so don’t be shy. Really get in there.
Note: Sometimes you might see dark and gooey flesh on the top layer if you didn’t scrape deeply enough during seeding. I throw this part out. I’m sure it’s edible, but you’ll notice it’s very different from the light, stringy squash farther in.
Toss the veggies, feta and herbs with the squash and serve warm.
Verdict: I’m used to tossing spaghetti squash with pesto and found this recipe surprisingly blah. I think more feta and herbs might have helped. Because the squash is wet and I slightly overcooked my veggies, it was also too mushy. Baking the squash once it is all removed from the skin might help crisp and dry it up some. Must experiment…
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chopped tomatoes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 asparagus spears
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried herbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the
prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance.
Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese and herbs. Serve warm.
For dessert, I decided to make lemon snaps. These would make a great tea cookie. I found the recipe on allrecipes.com and changed it according to reader suggestions. One thing I found funny that no one mentioned – rather than making the 24 cookies I expected, the recipe made 72! Mmmm! More to share! Or not…
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Then make a well and add in oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. (I have never known what the purpose of the well is. Can someone tell me?) Mix it all together to form a dough.
When it got to this crumbly part, I had to use my hands.
Next, grease a baking sheet and spread dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes for soft cookies, 12 minutes (edges slightly browned) for crispier ones.
The lemon in these cookies was so perfect. So, so perfect. Love the zest. It made my tongue feel a wee tingly. I think next time I make this, I’ll add a pinch of cinnamon to the mix.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and fill it with the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir everything together until it forms a dough. Once the dough becomes crumbly, use your hands to thoroughly press everything together.
Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown. Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 72 cookies.