Friday, November 8, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Tacos and a Dinner Victory

Should or shouldn't I make these tacos, was the question I kept asking myself the other day.  Not because I knew I wouldn't like squash tacos, but because the people that I live with seem to be more of the non-squash eating type.  I wasn't sure I was in the mood to hear the moans and groans at the dinner table that might accompany tortillas filled with spaghetti squash.  Eventually my want for the tacos won out over the possibility of any dinner table complaints.

Todd and Noah weren't quite home when I sat down to eat with Preston and Stella.  I made a taco for myself and both Preston and Stella and then I sat back and watched and listened for the reaction.  It didn't take long for Stella to tell me that she didn't like them, which wasn't surprising being that the only food I don't have to remind her to keep taking bites of is chocolate cake with ice cream.  Preston on the other hand said nothing until he finished and then asked for another one (sweet victory).  As Preston and I were finishing up, Todd and Noah walked in and sat down at the table.  I made Noah a taco and Todd made one for himself.  Besides, Stella, Noah would have been a sure bet to take one bite, set it down, eat the entire bowl of sliced pears sitting in the middle of the table (all in hopes of never having to touch or taste the squash taco again).  But, to my pleasant surprise, Noah ate the entire taco without one complaint and Todd ate two.  I was thrilled!  I will happily take four out of five and deem the spaghetti squash tacos a dinner victory! 

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

3 pound spaghetti squash
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (you can also use regular chili powder)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Sixteen 6-inch corn tortillas
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
Crumbled queso fresco, feta, or Cotija cheese
Finely diced red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Hot sauce
Lime wedges

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and roast the halves facedown on a oiled baking sheet for about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

When the squash has finished cooking and has cooled slightly, working over a bowl, scrape the squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating the strands as you remove it from the skin.  Discard the skin.  In a small bowl, whisk lime juice with chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt.  Pour over the spaghetti squash strands, and gently toss together.  Taste the squash, and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Heat a dry, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Warm and slightly blister each tortilla.  Sprinkle each warm tortilla with black beans, squash mixture, cheese, diced red onion, cilantro and a couple of shakes of hot sauce.  Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Rocket Sandwich

I found the recipe for this sandwich on This Homemade Life.  I was happy that I had some baby arugula sitting in my fridge and decided that this sandwich was going to be my lunch.  The arugula spread on this rocket sandwich is out of this world (I couldn't help myself)!  I know I really love something when I'm eating alone and yet I find myself talking out loud, telling someone who isn't really there, how amazing my sandwich tastes.  It really was that good!

The Rocket Sandwich

Arugula Spread

2 cups packed arugula
1 clove garlic, peeled
Lemon juice, squeeze from half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup good quality parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Eggs, cooked over easy
Tomato, sliced
Wheat Ciabatta buns, cut in half and lightly toasted

Blend arugula, a good squeeze of lemon juice and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.  Stream in olive oil until well blended.  Transfer arugula mixture to a bowl and stir in parmesan cheese and mayonnaise.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Spread arugula spread on cut surfaces of the ciabatta bun.  Place a cooked egg on bottom half of bun followed by sliced tomatoes, a sprinkle of good salt and some baby arugula.  Place top half of bun on top of sandwich and bite into some serious goodness!

Recipe from This Homemade Life

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Peach Basil Flatbread

This recipe for flatbread is super fast and super easy.  My little family has been eating flatbread "pizzas" once a week since I came across this recipe on Food Loves Writing.  The dough comes together in just a few minutes and in no time at all, a delicious dinner can be on the table.  I love a meal that comes together quickly, that everyone loves and taste amazing!  Like pizza, the combinations seem endless and awesome.  With peaches being in season, I decided to use some of the same toppings from one of my favorite pizzas that is topped with mozzarella and when pulled from the oven, topped with fresh sliced peaches, basil and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.  This meal is seriously so fast to make and seriously so good to eat!


2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil

Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven.  If you don't have one, just put in a baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and fresh basil.  Make a well in the center of the flour and add the water and olive oil.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.  Remove dough from the bowl and knead a few times to form a smooth round of dough.  Divide into two pieces.  Roll out each piece of dough on a piece of parchment paper until thin.  Brush dough with olive oil, top with fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle of good salt.  Bake flatbread until the edges are just golden in color, about 10 minutes.

Remove from flatbread from oven and top with fresh sliced peaches, basil and reduced balsamic vinegar (see recipe here).  Serve immediately.

*Last night I tried a fig jam, white cheddar, bacon and arugula combination that was amazing!  I also tried using all whole wheat flour and it totally worked with the addition of a little extra liquid, but next time I think I will use half whole wheat and half white. (I left the basil out of the dough for this combination.)

Recipe from Food Loves Writing