Sunday, November 9, 2014

Spaghetti Squashing

I went to Chipotle for the first time a couple weeks ago, and all I have to say is yum. After having spent a long time on an Asian kick, Chipotle inspired me with its burrito bowl. I set out to recreate the bowl as a healthy dish.

Enter the spaghetti squash. This was my first time cooking/eating/seeing a spaghetti squash, and man, I've been missing out. Here's what I did to make my bowls:
Slice the squash length-wise, scoop out all the innards, coat the cut edges with olive oil, put face down in a baking dish, and bake for about 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cook times vary based on the size. You really don't want to overcook the squash, as it will turn the beautiful strands of spaghetti into mush. It should feel soft on the outside but not totally collapsing.

Let the squash cool, and then scoop out all of the spaghetti. You now have a canvas, on which to paint your taste buds' dreams.
I started with some of the leftover chicken I normally use in these enchiladas. (It's shredded chicken, cream cheese, and green chiles heated and mixed together.) I also layered on kidney beans (heated on the stove with some mexican spices), fajita style peppers and onions, the scooped out squash, and of course cheese. Lots of cheese. (It was very steamy in my kitchen when I took these pictures.) 
When I filled the bowls, I topped then with even more cheese and then baked for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If you're concerned about cheese brownage, feel free to cover with foil.
And tada! Mix together any leftover ingredients, put in a small baking dish, top with cheese, and you've got another bowl or two. All I have to say is yum.
After making these a couple times, I decided to go Italian with my spaghetti squash. I cooked chicken breasts in the oven (smothered with a mayo, parmesan cheese, pesto mixture). I chopped it up and added quite a bit more pesto. (You could also add some cream cheese here.)

I layered my squash bowl with spaghetti sauce, the pesto chicken, mozzarella cheese, and the scooped out squash. (This one I topped with mozzarella, but parmesan would be a better choice.) I cooked in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. All I have to say is yum.

I also used the leftovers here to make a casserole. Yep, all I have to say is yum.