Monday, October 26, 2009

Squash Lasagna

Okay before you turn up your nose... it's spaghetti squash in place of noodles. Sort of. I just baked this off in the oven and it's so dagg-on tasty that I had to blog about it straight away (while I try not to eat it all right here and now)! So here goes..

Here's another light, cheap, healthy meal. This one tastes like those heavy italian casseroles that we all love but it's not heavy or hard on the waistline. And I mentioned cheap, right?!

And as per usual, it freezes beautifully.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna - Serves 8

Ingredients (by layer):

Squash layer:

  • Spaghetti squash, roasted and scooped out
  • 1 tbsp each, fresh basil, oregano and thyme and/or 2 tbsp pesto sauce (use whatever combo you want)
  • salt and pepper

Sauce layer:

  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Cheese layer:

  • 1 500ml tub of 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 cups finely shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan


  • 1 cup finely shredded part skim mozza
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan


  1. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle the inside with olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet coated in olive oil.
  2. Roast the squash in a 375/190 degree oven for about 45 minutes until you can easily poke the skin with a fork. Let cool and then scoop out the strands.
  3. Mix each layer in it's own bowl
  4. Spray your casserole with cooking spray.
  5. Start with a thin layer of squash, followed by a thin layer of sauce and all of the cheese layer mix. Top with the rest of the squash and then the rest of the sauce. Top with the topping layer.
  6. Bake for 25 - 35 minutes and pull out of the oven if you want to freeze it. Otherwise, finish cooking until golden, about 45 minutes total.

Remember, if you want to make a couple of homemade frozen meals out of this recipe, use smaller serving size casseroles. They cool down quicker, freeze quicker, defrost quicker and reheat quicker! Pull them out of the oven before they brown but just as they start to bubble. Cool down completely and freeze.

Both tomato paste and pesto are now readily available in most grocery stores. It's a much easier way to use both. How many times have you had a recipe call for a tbsp or so of tomato paste and only had the small can on hand. What do you do with the rest?! The tubes are so convenient.

Bon appetit!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Curry Squash Soup

Here is a quick, cheap, filling soup to make. Perfect this time of year as the farmers' markets are full of squash. I used acorn and buttercup (not butternut) squash in this soup. Acorn squash has an amazing flavour. Butternut squash has been the darling as of late but try some of the other varieties, you'll be impressed. Oh, and they are cheap!!! If you have a really hard time cutting them in half then it is time for a new knife or a trip to the sharpener. A properly sharp knife will make including squash in your menu less of a fight with the beast of the garden and a heck of a lot safer.

Curry Squash Soup - Serves 4 -6
  • 1 buttercup squash, medium
  • 1 acorn squash, medium
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp each curry powder, cumin and coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place them cut side down in a 375 degree oven on a cookie sheet rubbed with olive oil.
  3. Roast until soft, about 35 - 40 minutes. You should be able to poke them easily through the skin with a fork
  4. While letting the squash cool a bit, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Saute the onions until they are soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the ginger and cook until you can smell the ginger, about 30 seconds or so.
  6. Scoop out the squash and add to the saucepan with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Stir until blended and heat through.
  8. If you want, blend the soup to make it smooth but you'll find it's pretty much a puree already.
Tasty! And this freezes beautifully. I had it as a main meal with a salad and multigrain role. It also makes a filling lunch or an excellent first course in place of a salad for a bigger meal.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Thanksgiving Cocktail

Happy Long Weekend!!

Nothing says "long weekend" more than a cocktail. This is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and for the first time in .... wow, I can't even remember.... I'm on my own for the weekend. And I'm really looking forward to it. I have a list of choirs, a possible trip to the look off in the Annapolis Valley with 3 dogs (we'll see how adventurous I get), a full schedule of football - both college and NFL, and for the first time in years I get to do the meal my way! My mother's husband doesn't like it when I mash the turnip and carrots together, my mom doesn't like brussels sprouts and always buys a huge bird and my ex always wanted cornbread stuffing. This year I'm mashing the turnip and carrot together, making regular stuffing and I'm only cooking a turkey breast on the bone!

But first, to kick off the long weekend, a cocktail! This is a Spiced Cran-Apple Martini. And if it doesn't put you in the mood for the holiday then nothing will. It will even make your relatives more tolerable if you drink enough of them. But I don't encourage that! If you can't tolerate your relatives find somewhere else to spend the holiday. Really. It's okay.

Spiced Cran-Apple Martini:
1 oz spiced rum
2 oz cranberry cocktail
1 oz apple juice
diced candied ginger

Add rum, cranberry and apple juice in a martini shaker and mix. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with the diced candied ginger. Enjoy!