I swear this isn’t morphing into a food blog, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that cooking is one of the big things bringing joy and relaxation as of late. The weather here in Chicago is turning iffy at best and rather than many hours spent outdoors frolicking in the sun out and about in the city and parks, we’re finding ourselves staying cozy and warm in the apartment. Thank god for the yoga studio in our building and winter running gear, because if I didn’t have the ability to make use of these legs, I might go stir crazy. I’ll take all the cold jaunts along the lake I can get, thank you very much.
And like most anyone in a four seasons climate, each fall and winter as the temperatures cool, my pull towards warmer and often heartier dishes increases. Thus far this fall I’ve shared two soups – Roasted Butternut Squash and a Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho – but today’s dish is a baked casserole that spices up spaghetti squash, providing an option outside of topping with marinara sauce. Since we received four of these this fall in our CSA, it was clear that I needed a way to mix it up! Plus, this dish totally satisfies that “NEED TACOS NOW” craving that I get all too often.
Instead of following any hard and fast recipe, I sort of made this up as I went, throwing in what we had in the kitchen and spicing it up with chili powder and cayenne pepper. Below is what I came up with, but this dish can easily be tweaked based on what you have a taste for. After baking, I chose to top my serving with salsa, Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of lime juice. Basically, anything that you put on or in a burrito or tacos will work with this dish. Have at it!
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup diced green peppers
- 1 cup diced red or orange pepper
- 4.5 oz can diced green chilies (small can)
- 14 oz diced tomatoes (or use fresh)
- 14 oz low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 Tbsp jalapenos, diced
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp oregeno
- 1 tsp extra virigin olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2-1 cup shredded Mexican-Style Cheese
- Greek yogurt (I use Fage 0% Non-Fat)
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh sliced lime
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 oven safe casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds & goop!
- Place squash slices face down in a microwave safe dish
- Add 1/3 cup water and cover dish tightly with cling wrap
- Cook in microwave for 12-14 minutes.
- Remove carefully and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing plastic wrap (watch the steam!).
- Using a fork, scoop out the cooked spaghetti squash from the shell. Careful! It will be hot.
- Spread cooked spaghetti squash "noodles" at the bottom of the casserole dish from Step 1.
- While the spaghetti squash is cooking, heat 1 tsp olive olive over medium heat in a large saucepan.
- Add ground turkey and cook 10 minutes until thoroughly browned
- Add onions, garlic, green and red peppers along with cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook 1-2 minute, stirring.
- In a mixing bowl combine and mix corn, chilies, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Add in sauteed ground turkey, peppers, and onion mixture.
- With the spaghetti squash as the bottom layer, add the turkey and vegetable mixture to the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top (optional)
- Bake at 375 F uncovered for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve topped with cilantro, salsa, and Greek yogurt (optional)