Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa Casserole

I love spaghetti squash and I love quinoa. Check, check. I also LOVE casseroles, so seeing this dish on Biz's blog made me really, really happy. Unless seeing it with my own eyes, I would have never combined these ingredients and thought to make something this innovative.

Biz hates onions with a passion, so she omitted them and made changes based on what she had on hand, from Artsy-Foodie's original recipe. Since onions don't bother me and we haven't found a (local) Ricotta cheese that agrees with Johnny (he's fine eating it in dishes my parents cook, though!), I followed a version closer to Artsy-Foodie's original post.

First, I cut my medium-large sized, raw spaghetti squash into quarters and scooped out the seeds and membranes with a spoon. Next, I placed the pieces flesh side down in a glass baking pan with about 1/2 inch of water. I covered the pan with foil and baked in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes, until the flesh was tender and easily slid off of the skin. In Biz's honor, I tried desperately to get a "good" picture of spaghetti squash. You be the judge!

Next, I cooked 2 cups of traditional, white quinoa and also carmalized 1/4 cup of onions and 1/4 cup of green pepper in a drizzle of olive oil. Personally, I think the smell of carmalizing vegetables is one of the top three scents in a kitchen. Absolutely delicious!

Once these three cooking stages were done, it was smooth sailing! Dump the squash, quinoa and carmalized vegetables into a large bowl. Then add 2 cups of lowfat cottage cheese (oddly, the original cottage cheese contained whey, while the reduced fat version did not!), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend), 4 eggs beaten, 1/2 cup egg whites, and spices and herbs to taste.

The next time making this, I think I'd just use 5 whole eggs, as it took 2 eggs to equal 1/2 cup of egg whites for me. I think if you've already added 2 cups of cottage cheese, 1 cup shredded cheese and 4 whole eggs, another egg yolk won't kill you! I also just used a blend of spices and herbs I had on hand, instead of the dill. I just don't cook with it regularly and it's not in my cabinets.

Once this mixture is stirred thorougly, spread it evenly in a greased casserole dish and bake at 375° for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until set in the middle and golden brown.

I forgot to mention in my last post of items received for the kitchen that I bought myself this adorable, little garlic storage container. I found it in a thrift store by my grandparents' house in Florida for only $1.50! It didn't say anything on the bottom, so I held my breath and ran it through the dishwasher. It survived, thankfully, and now my garlic has a nice, cozy home instead of sitting on the base of our banana hook!

Used the old camera for this post - need to get a memory card reader for the new one, first! I didn't know how to sort through the 500+ pictures on the printer to select the ones I needed for the blog!


Nowheymama said...

That looks great!

Anonymous said...

That looks great Christina! I still have to try that one! I told my sister Biz to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Christina! Glad you liked it! Reminds me now that I need to make it again!

Love the garlic container too!

test it comm said...

That casserole looks nice and tasty and healthy.