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Cheesy Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, and Zucchini Bake (Vegetarian, Gluten Free)

December 8, 2015

One of my favorite veggies in the fall is spaghetti squash.  It is the perfect low carb veggie to replace pasta with and couldn’t be easier to prepare.  Once you have prepped everything, this dish cooks in about 30 minutes.  I even baked a few in advance and froze them to have another night.  It’s cheesy, filling, warm and comforting.  My husband and I went out for our 18th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago and we went down to Santa Monica to shop and have dinner (no kid, so freedom!).  We went to one of my favorite restaurants called True Food Kitchen.  Their focus is on quality, feel good food that makes your mouth happy.  What could be bad about that?  I ordered their version of a Spaghetti Squash Bake and it blew my mind. How could something so simple be so delicious?  Of course I came home and had to recreate my own version.  So here it is.  I actually (dare I say) think mine is better since it has quinoa for some extra protein and spiralized zucchini for extra veggie goodness.  Also, adding the quinoa makes it a complete meal so no need for extra sides or veggies!  Win, win!

Serves 4-5 medium size ramekins or one large baking dish

1 medium spaghetti squash roasted (split in half, scoop out seeds, drizzle with olive oil, and roast flesh down for 40-50 minutes in a 400 F oven)

1 cup cooked quinoa (you can even buy pre cooked frozen quinoa to make the process easier, just thaw slightly and add to spaghetti squash mixture)

1 small onion chopped

2 garlic gloves chopped

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup marinara sauce (your favorite brand)

1 spiralized or grated zucchini

1 t red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup chopped basil (optional)

3 T grated parmesan

First pre-cook the spaghetti squash as directed above.  Then using a fork, pull and shred the flesh of the spaghetti squash to make spaghetti like strands.  Add flesh to a large bowl.

Cook onions and garlic in a pan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.  Add to bowl.

Cook quinoa according to package directions, unless you are using frozen. Note 1 cup uncooked quinoa makes 3 cups cooked quinoa.   Add a cup of quinoa to the bowl.

Heat oven to 375 F.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the parmesan) to the bowl with the spaghetti squash and quinoa.  Stir to combine everything.

Divide about a half a cup of the mixture amongst 4-5 ramekins or just use one large baking dish.  Sprinkle the parmesan amongst the ramekins or on top of the mixture in the baking dish.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until everything is hot and bubbly.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, and Zucchini Bake (Vegetarian, Gluten Free)