Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Pizza Bake


   Hey there, everyone!
          How is the summer going for you all? We were super lucky to snag a beach camping spot, just outside of town. It was such a great 2 weeks. Sometimes the least unexpected, unplanned vacations are the best!

   My kids lived like homeless beach bums the entire time, we had great weather and lots of friends out to see us! Can't ask for much more. I hate to admit it, but I was actually missing working out! Even though I was killing myself hauling the kids 398 zillion beach toys, chairs, rafts and umbrella- 12 times a day, I still felt a bit guilty! I had a perma sweat-moustache, so I must of been getting some exercise!! :)

   We came into town a few times to wash towels and clean up. It's amazing how the second a gal is in the door, you start thinking about housework, bills, cooking etc.....I prefer to just ignore that and go back to the beach! Through it all, I managed to maintain my weight within one pound. I am very happy with that, and I'll take it! It's a true testament to what a huge part of a healthy lifestyle eating is. In the winter when I was recovering from surgery, I was off the gym for over 12 weeks. Bed rest for a lot of that. I maintained my weight within a 2 pound range. With little to no movement some days. If you can't get a workout in, don't throw yourself  onto the lawn at Mcdonald's and rock in the fetal position, covered in french fry grease....don't give up!!!!!

   When it was just the kids and I at the campsite, I literally just can't buy the treat foods! If you don't have it, you can't eat it! They don't need it and God knows I don't! And nothing will remind you of that faster, than living in a bathing suit! If there are chips there, I am eating them. And then before I know it, I'm looking like a busted can of biscuits in my bathing suit! No thanks. 
Not to say we didn't have any treats while we were there, I just like to make them count. And now, thanks to my friend Kira, I've been having naughty dreams about the peanut buttercup blizzard at Dairy Queen. It's dirty talking me in my sleep, I think I'll go get one "for the kids" on the next hot day! I'm sure it will be just awful, and I will hate it. Right??

Let's cook!

   I found this recipe on line, and it caught my eye. Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles are 2 fav's in my house. This uses both. Plus, I've forced more than one friend to buy the veggie spiraler, and they want ideas!
I love leftovers like I love myself. It gives me lunch for at least the next day, and it helps to not grab something out of range because I always have a go to. This recipe can easily be adjusted to a huge portion if you have a Jesus sized squash, like I did, and adding more meat and or toppings. I made this 2 nights ago, and we still have enough for tomorrow. It can also easily be done up as a vegetarian meal. Do it! Now!

Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Pizza Bake 
You need:
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds/pulp removed
2 medium-large zucchini
butter for sauteing

1 lb ground meat or chicken breast (I had bison out, so I used that) 
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 can of chunky tomatoes, juice drained (I had a basil olive oil and garlic one that was great)
1 can of your fav homemade or store tomato sauce
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 TBSP dried basil
1 tsp Oregano
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs, whisked (this is optional. I found they don't really do much and aren't noticeable. However, if you are going vegetarian on this, I'd keep them in for the extra protein)

cheddar cheese and/or fresh mozza for broiling on top, to serve (optional)

***note, this one takes a bit of time because you need to bake your squash, cool it then assemble and bake.
Give yourself 2 hours from when you put your squash in to when you want to eat.

Place your seeded squash cut side down on a baking tray with an inch or so of water. Bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes. Until outside is easily pierced with a fork. When they are done flip your big yellow booies up and let them start cooling. This takes a while, those buggers are hot.

In a large frying pan, add a 1-2 tbsp's or so of butter, and add your onions. Cook a few minutes then add the garlic.

Cook until onions are tender. Add in your tomatoes, half the sauce (1-2 cups) and all your spices.

Turn it to low, and simmer.
If you have a spiraler (if you don't, friends off) spiral your zuch's now. If you don't, do you have a mandolin? if not, sheesh, what is happening at your house for god sakes! You can cut the zuch as thin as possible (think noodle strands) and that will work. Or, shred with a cheese grater on the largest hole. Set aside. Turn off your sauce.

Place a colander over a bowl and using a fork, pull the squash strands into the colander. Use an oven mitt if it's still warm.
Once all the strands are scraped out, grab a few paper towels or a clean dish towel, and push down on the squash to release some of the water.

In your large casserole dish (one with high sides, if you have) add your squash, zuch and meat sauce. Stir nicely to combine. If you feel like it is getting a bit dry looking now that it's mixed, add the rest of your sauce from the jar now. Dump it on! :)

If you're using the eggs, beat them in a little bowl and pour them on top now, stirring them in to mix evenly.
Bake this little dish o' loving at 375 for 50 or so minutes, until you can't stand it anymore! Once it was done, I broiled some shredded cheddar on half for my kids, then sliced some fresh mozza for on top. Broil just a few minutes until bubbly.

And there you go! It tastes awesome, my kids ate it (win), and Grey gave it a solid 7 gags out of 10! Haha. For real though, that kid is a gagger. Anyways.....make it and love it!! You're welcome!

original recipe pingback to "platefullofpaleo.com"

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