Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Week Anniversary Dinner

Happy Wednesday!

My house smells like chocolate and pumpkin pie.

I am so deep in my happy place right now.

Dinner was delicious. I decided to celebrate having gone one week without counting calories by treating myself to a dish I don't make all that often. Spaghetti squash is ridiculously easy to make and its mild, buttery flavor makes it adaptable to almost any combination of flavors. Basically all you do is cut a squash in half, drizzle with oil and herbs, and bake cut-side down for thirty minutes at 350 degrees. When it is done cooking, just pull it out of the oven and use a fork to shed the meat onto a plate.

But just in case you get caught up, here's a detailed set of instructions I found online that is really helpful.

Spaghetti Squash with Porcini Mushrooms and Roasted Vegetables

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 T oil
salt and pepper

1 cup of porcini mushrooms
1 zucchini
2 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 head of broccoli
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
red pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the squash in half and drizzle with oil, herbs, and salt and pepper. Place face down on a tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Place on a tray with pumpkin seeds and drizzled with oil, salt, and red pepper. Roast in the oven alongside the squash for 15 minutes.

Remove squash from oven, shred, and top with vegetables.

Yield: 2 servings

And then there’s the granola…

There are simply no words.

Chocolate Pumpkin Granola

(adapted from King Arthur Flour)

4 cups rolled oats
½ cup wheat germ
2/3 cup chocolate pieces plus 1/3 cup to add after baking
¼ cup dark cocoa powder
½ cup coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup flax seed
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp clove
1 tsp nutmeg

¼ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla

2-3 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients excluding the fruit in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Poor over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spread out onto two prepared baking sheets and bake for an hour and a half, stirring and rotating pans every 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pans. Add raisins and the rest of the chocolate chips.

Store in an air-tight container or a plastic baggie.

Yield: approximately 18 half-cup servings

Note: This granola is not overly sweet. If you like your granola to have a sugary flavor, add another ¼ cup of syrup or puree or a ¼ cup of brown sugar.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. 

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