Tag Archives: Spaghetti squash

Lentil meatballs

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When I want to feel super broke, I head on over to goop and check out the things Gwyneth thinks none of us plebs should live without, like $300 nesting dishes and stuff. Girl musta lost. her. mind. if she thinks I’m spending $200 on a t-shirt, but she has a few decent recipes, I must say.

All the snow in Chicago has me in the mood for some comfort food. My girl Stacy gave me this idea: lentil meatballs and spaghetti squash. Gwyneth beat me to it, so I used a variation of her recipe. But beware – these taste nasty if served in regular dish ware. You need these. Obvs.

Lentil Meatballs, adapted from goop, makes about 24 “meatballs”

-1 spaghetti squash
-2 T + 1/4 cup olive oil
-1 onion
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 t dried rosemary
-1/2 t dried thyme
-3-4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
-2 cup cooked lentils (you can buy the refrigerated ones at the grocery store)
-3 T tomato paste
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup fresh ricotta
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan + more for topping
-1 cup panko (I used gluten free because I had it on hand)
-1 cup marinara sauce
-salt & pepper

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Let’s do this:

Preheat oven to 375. Slice spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
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Cook the spaghetti squash cut-side down for about 30-35 minutes, depending on how big it is. Mine took about 30 mins. It’s ready when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork.
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Chop up your onion and garlic.
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Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. I make sure the oil is nice and hot before adding my onion, so it sizzles when I add it. Ruby hates this. Onion sizzles make her tail go between her legs.Ruby1
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Saute until the onion is translucent. Add the herbs and stir for about a minute. Remove from heat.
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Add the lentils to a food processor with the tomato paste and add the remaining olive oil (about 1/4 cup) to get everything moving. You’ll have to stop and scrape the sides a few times. Annoying.
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Crack your two eggs in a big bowl and beat lightly with a whisk.
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Add the ricotta and stir.
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Add the lentil mixture and stir to combine.
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Add the onion/garlic/herbs, parmesan, and panko. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir.
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Form “meatballs”: I used my cookie scoop, which is about 2 tablespoons, to scoop the mixture, then rolled them into balls.
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At this point, my spaghetti squash was done. I removed it and let it cool for a bit, the scraped the flesh out with a fork.
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Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined (or greased) cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.
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Warm up your marinara sauce in a saucepan. Once the 12 minutes is up, turn the oven to broil and cook for about 2-3 mins longer, just to brown the meatballs a bit.

Top your spaghetti squash with the meatballs and marinara and a bit of parmesan.
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Check this out – I crumbled the leftover meatballs and topped a pizza the next night. Winning!
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Enjoy your lentil meatballs curled up under your $900 ivory cashmere throw. Ah, the simple things.
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Ruby2

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Vegetarian three-way: Butternut squash and black bean chili over spaghetti squash

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Readers, get your minds out of the gutter. This isn’t that kind of blog and you know it.

DR-Brother-in-Law introduced me to the Cincinnati 3-Way Chili back in the day. He’s famous for his own version. I’ve never attempted it until now.

When we host dinner for non-vegetarians, chili is my go-to meal. Served with some cornbread, it’s so filling that most people don’t even notice its vegetarian. Plus, it’s one of my favorite dinners; I love curling up with a bowl of chili, a blanket, and a football game. My chili “recipe” is hardly a recipe since I always just throw stuff into a pot and cross my fingers, but my favorite versions always have butternut squash, black beans, and corn. I recreated it for my non-vegetarian guests the other night, served over spaghetti squash and topped with cheddar:

Vegetarian 3-way: Butternut squash and black bean chili over spaghetti squash, makes 6-8 servings

-1 butternut squash, or about 2-3 cups pre-cut butternut squash
-4 T canola oil
-2 peppers (I used green and yellow)
-1/2 onion
-2 cans of beans (I used one can black beans, one can kidney beans)
-2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
-1 can tomato sauce
-2 c frozen corn kernels
-2 chili spice packets (I either use McCormick or Simply Organic)
-1 t sea salt
-1 large spaghetti squash

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for toppings:
-shredded cheddar cheese
-sour cream
-avocado
-green onions

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Let’s do this:

First thing to do is get your butternut squash cooked. This time I bought the pre-cut butternut squash, tossed it in about 2 T canola oil and roasted it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375. (keep the oven hot because you’ll use it again for the spaghetti squash)

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While that is cooking, dice the onion and green peppers. Note that onion is left out of the pictures since it doesn’t agree with one of my guests (that’s putting it politely).

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When the butternut squash is almost done, get 2 T of canola oil heating at medium heat in a large pot and add the onion and green pepper. Stir often until softened, about 5 minutes.

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Once the onion and pepper are soft, add just about everything to the pot: the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn kernels, cooked butternut squash,  chili spice packets, and salt.

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Stir and cover. Cook at medium-low heat while your spaghetti squash is cooking (that’s our next step!).

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Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place skin-side up on a cookie sheet. Add about 2-3 T water to the cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 40-45 minutes. During this time, your chili can continue to heat. If you see it simmering, just lower the heat a touch.

When the spaghetti squash is done, you will able to pierce the skin easily with a sharp knife. Remove it from the oven and use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” flesh. (see this video for help!)

Add a thin layer of spaghetti squash (about a cup) to the bottom of a bowl or plate. Top with about 1-1 1/2 cups of chili. Serve with your toppings: cheese, avocado, green onion, and sour cream!

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