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What's For Dinner? Take advantage of summer squash in the fall

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- What's for Dinner by Beverly Glaze returns today after a summer hiatus. The twice-a-month column provides recipes for meals that are healthy and economic.

Fall is here and with it comes an abundance of summer squash. One of my personal favorites is Spaghetti Squash because it is so versatile and the possibilities for cooking many healthy dishes are endless. This week I have included three "meatless" meals using a spaghetti squash. These dishes are economical to make.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Source twopeasinapod.com

Makes 4 servings

1     medium spaghetti squash

2       tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:

2     red bell peppers

1      tablespoon olive oil

1     small onion, chopped

1     15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2       teaspoon dried oregano

Dash red pepper flakes

1/2   cup packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4   cup plain Greek yogurt

HEAT oven to 400 degrees. Brush cut sides of squash with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

MAKE the creamy red pepper sauce while the squash is baking.

ROAST peppers under a broiler, or on a grill, for about 10 minutes, or until peppers are completely black. Place peppers in a paper bag to sweat. Peel charred skins from the peppers and remove the seeds. Chop the peppers and set aside.

HEAT in a large saucepan the olive oil over medium heat.

ADD onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the red peppers and diced tomatoes. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer on stove for 10 minutes.

STIR in Greek yogurt. Puree the sauce in the pan using a blender. Puree until smooth with some texture remaining.

COOL the squash for a few minutes when it is finished baking. When it can be handled, scrape the squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands. Place in a large bowl or on individual plates. Top spaghetti squash with the creamy red pepper sauce and serve warm.

SERVE with a green salad and warm French bread.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 230, total fat 13 g, saturated fat 3 g, cholesterol 5 mg, sodium 730 mg, total carbohydrate 27 g, dietary fiber 6 g.

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash

Source foodologie.com

Makes 4 servings

1       spaghetti squash

3-4   green onions

1-2   pounds chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

1-2      teaspoons olive oil

1      teaspoon garlic powder

1      tablespoon onion powder

1     cup shredded carrots

1     cup shredded cabbage

1     cup Buffalo sauce

POKE spaghetti squash a few times with a fork or knife. Microwave 10-15 minutes or until tender.

CUT up chicken and toss with onion and garlic powder. Slice the white part of the green onions, reserving the green tips for garnish.

HEAT olive oil in a skillet or pot. Add chicken and green onions, cook until chicken is cooked through about 5-6 minutes.

REMOVE spaghetti squash from the microwave. Once it is cool enough to handle, slice in half, remove seeds and discard. Fluff the squash with a fork to get the strands loose. Add squash to skillet and mix. Add Buffalo sauce, cabbage and carrots. Toss to combine. Serve with chopped green onion on top if desired.

This is great served with cornbread and fresh fruit for dessert

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 590, total fat 22 g, saturated fat 6 g, cholesterol 90 mg, total carbohydrates 63 g, dietary fiber 8 g.

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

Source allrecipes.com

Makes 6 servings.

1       spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

2       tablespoons vegetable oil

1     onion, chopped

1     clove garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups chopped tomato

3/4   cup crumbled feta cheese

3      tablespoons sliced black olives

2      tablespoons chopped fresh basil

HEAT oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

PLACE spaghetti squash with cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with little resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.

HEAT oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion until tender. Add garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until heated through.

USE a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl. Toss with vegetables, feta cheese, olives and basil. Serve warm.

This can be served as a main dish or as a side dish for chicken, pork or beef.

Nutritional Information per serving: Calories 147, total fat 10g, cholesterol 17 mg, total carbohydrates 13 g, dietary fiber 1 g.

Sensational Six-Layer Dinner

University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension Service

2      potatoes (medium, sliced)

2     cups carrots, shredded

1/4       teaspoon black pepper

1/2   cup onion, sliced

1     pound lean ground beef, (browned and drained)

1 1/2 cup green beans

1     can tomato soup

LIGHTLY SPRAY a baking dish with cooking spray.

LAYER ingredients in order given above.

COVER. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender and thoroughly heated. Uncover and bake 15 or more minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories 260, total fat 6 g, saturated fat 2.5 g, cholesterol 65 mg, sodium 480 mg, total carbohydrates 26 g, dietary fiber 3 g.

Crunchy Chicken Salad

Source:Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program

Makes 5 servings.

2     cups cooked chicken (chunked)

1/2   cup celery

1/4   cup chopped green pepper

1/4   cup onion

1/2   cup cucumber

1/2   cup grapes

1     apple (small, diced, leave the peel on)

1/4   cup plain yogurt

USE leftover cooked chicken, or cook enough chicken to make 2 cups of chicken pieces.

CHOP celery into small pieces. Chop the green pepper into small pieces. Peel and chop 1/4 of an onion and half cucumber. Chop the apple into pieces, cut grapes in half.

PUT all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together.

This is a great salad for dinner or lunch and is also a great way to use fall apples from West Virginia.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 140, total fat 4.5 g, saturated fat 1 g, cholesterol 50 mg, total carbohydrate 6 g, dietary fiber 1 g

Beverly Glaze is a licensed nutrition specialist with the Family Nutrition Program at WVU Extension Service. Reach her at Beverly.Glaze@mail.wvu.edu or 304-634-8449.

Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin and marital or family status. This material was funded in part by the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with limited income. To find out more, contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.


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