Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Toss

Prepared
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When my wife and I first got married, over 20 years ago, we both were working full time.  At that time, we agreed that Monday-Saturday my wife would cook dinner, and I would cook dinner on Sunday evenings.  There were two reasons for this arrangement.  First, she worked closer to home and would always get home before I did, so it made sense for her to cook dinner during the work week.  The second reason is that she is a better cook than I am.

First, a confession.  I used to really enjoy cooking.  There are several cookbooks in my library from when I belonged to a cookbook book club.  When I was a single man, I used to enjoy cooking dinner for my dates.  I remember one time a friend and I had a double date with two sisters.  I was going to cook some Chinese food in my wok.  Their mother told them they should check my trash can for empty carry out containers to be sure that I actually cooked the meal.  I had.

I am not sure where or when I lost interest in cooking.  Part of it could be that for most of the last 18 years while raising our son, I have worked two jobs.  I think maybe I am just tired.  In addition to being tired, my cooking creativity has been severely lagging.  Most of the time, I usually resort to cooking something from a kit or something simple and basic that does not take a lot of time, either with cooking or with prepping.

Cover of "The Inflammation Syndrome: The ...
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Now, my wife does not work, and our son is away at school the majority of the time.  Our living situation is not the same as it was when we first got married.  I maintain that I work six days a week and that Sunday is my only day off from all of my jobs, though I do spend a great deal of the day running errands and working on my blogs and other social media.  Still, she insists that I still abide by the arrangement we made when we first married.

With my recent diagnosis of having arthritis in my neck and in my back, I recently started reading The Inflammation Syndrome by Jack Challem.  I picked it up at the Natural Products Expo in An
aheim when I was attending the show for my job.  A supplement company had Challem there as a guest autographing and giving away free copies of the book.  Recently, I prepared one of the recipes that I found in the book.  It was a dish that featured spaghetti squash which I have never had before.  I wish I had taken a photo of the dish for this blog post.  I am going to include the recipe below as it turned out very well.

Spaghetti Squash Toss


Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size spaghetti squash
  • boneless skinless chicken breast or 10 to 20 shrimp and scallops (I used shrimp and scallops)
  • olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2-3 ounces of baby spinach leaves (I left this out as my wife does not like spinach)
  • juice of 1 to 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Directions:

Bake the spaghetti squash for an hour or so at 350-375 degrees until the skin is soft to touch.  When the squash is done, cut in half length wise and remove the seeds.  Run a fork along the fruit to create spaghetti like strands.  While the squash is baking, stir fry the chicken or shrimp and scallops in olive oil with the garlic, basil and oregano over medium heat.  Add the spinach and continue to stir fry.  When the stir fry is nearly cooked, add the lemon, lime, and orange juices.  Serve the stir fry over the spaghetti squash.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  The stir fry takes about 10 minutes, so you can time that to be done when the squash finishes baking.

It was a nice change of pace from our usual fare.  It did take me quite a bit more prep time than I am used to when I normally cook.  First I had to peel and devein the shrimp which is something I have never done before.  Usually, when I cook shrimp I boil them with the shell on.  Then I had to chop and mince the garlic, and juice the fruit.  It probably took me about 15 minutes to do all that before starting the stir fry.  I will have to find some other uses for spaghetti squash as it was nice to discover a new food to add to our diet. 

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