Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce

What can I say? I’m nervous. Tomorrow I am heading to Vancouver and getting laser eye surgery  - PRK to be precise. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but could never afford. Now in my thirties I still can’t really afford it, but I’m getting it for 50% off, so who can say no to that? I’m excited to never need glasses again. I’ve been wearing them since grade 5. I remember that first day when the teacher asked me to read something on the chalkboard and I said I couldn’t. I was shipped off to the optometrist PDQ after that. I had to get my Mom to help me pick out my frames because I couldn’t see them clearly enough when trying them on. So as a result, I went through a number of ridiculously horrible frame choices for many years … until I got contacts. I didn’t get my first pair of contacts until I was in grade 12.   My current set of frames was picked out by a very fashion forward friend of mine and has stuck with me since.  But now it is time to say goodbye to these lovely frames and hello to brand new eyes!

Something else new in my life is this attempt to go grain free. I’m good at sticking to this new diet at home, but when I travel I just stick to trying to stay gluten free and not get contamination. Going grain free while traveling to locations without kitchenettes, microwaves, etc is a little harder. But for the most part I’ve been doing well and as a bonus I’m losing weight! I’ve lost 10 lbs so far, which I’m super happy about.

One of things I found most difficult going grain free is replacing pasta in my life. First I had to switch from wheat pasta to rice pasta and then to no pasta at all? What’s a girl to do? Well, I’ve found a few options and they are surprisingly yummy. In fact, my boyfriend was actually raving about this next one to his friends while we were camping on May Long weekend. I was surprised to hear him boast about how I use spaghetti squash as spaghetti and how it tastes so good, but you know, he’s right. It is darn tasty. I think the squash gives the ‘noodles’ a kind of sweet buttery flavour that just adds all sorts of goodness to a meal. With this recipe, I don’t miss pasta at all!

Spaghetti Squash Pasta and Meat Sauce
Serves 2

2 Spaghetti Squash
500g of Ground Beef
14-0z can of Tomato Paste
1 Onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 Orange Pepper, diced
1 Tomato, diced

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut each spaghetti squash in half. Take a spoon and remove the seeds only. Place each half upside down (so skin facing out) onto an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes.  

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan add some olive oil, chopped onions and garlic. Fry until onions start getting soft. Then add ground beef. Cook until all the pink is gone. Next add in tomato paste and one can of water and stir. Then you can add Italian herbs, pepper and tomato. Cook until peppers are soft. Feel free to add more water or tomato paste to get it to the consistency that you like.  Set aside.

Once the squash is ready, take a fork to the flesh and scoop it out onto a plate. It’s at that point that it will look like spaghetti. Top with meat sauce, Parmesan cheese and serve. 

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