Sunday, August 16, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

KEEPER ALERT! Go ahead and print this out, bookmark or whatever you need to do so that you have it close at hand.  I was lucky to get a couple of spoonfuls of this dish on my plate. My kids and husband just about wiped it out before I served myself.

I saw this in Courtney Luper's Facebook feed and I shared it to my Man, That Stuff is Good wall so I could try it out later and I'm so glad I did. It's already on the menu for this week. Spaghetti squash is one of our regulars in the garden. The plants started out gang busters and I thought I would have a lot to fix. Sadly the insane rain we received early in the planting season gave way to extreme drought and I was lucky to get two squash to fix. We love spaghetti squash no matter how it's fixed. Stuffed or as a pasta substitute, you can't go wrong.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet saute one medium onion in three tablespoons of butter. Season with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. The original recipe called for 1 teaspoon. I backed off and it still had a little bite of heat.
 Cook one medium spaghetti squash (or two small).
 Use a fork to remove the spaghetti squash.
 In a mixing bowl combine spaghetti squash and cooked onions.
 Blend in 3/4 cup of sour cream and one half cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. 
Spread in a small casserole dish and top with additional cheese. 
I sprinkled a little shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup) on top before putting in the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

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Sugar Free Cheesecake Pie Filling in a Low Carb Nutty Crust

So now that I've posted several healthy food recipes in a row, I didn't want you to think I've forgotten my husband's sweet tooth. Since we got his stellar 90-day follow-up results, I'm going to start expanding my not bad for you dessert collection.

You all have heard me going on about my newest recipe book, "Taking Out The Carbage," by DJ Foodie which arrived last week. While flipping through the beautiful glossy pages I saw a recipe for a pie crust that is a low carb substitute for a graham cracker crust. Well you know I had to fix it that night. We always  have a bag of low sodium almonds around for a snack so I was covered there. Since this was a spur of the moment decision, I filled it with the "fuller" version of Sugar Free Cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling recipe. The filling takes a good three hours to set so you can't rush this option. We dug in a little sooner than that, but there were no complaints in the Grisham household.

It was so good Andy has since been trying to convince me to cut the pie into six pieces instead of eight. I have not lost that battle. Yet. This Wednesday I'll be springing a Low Carb Egg Custard Pie on Andy and Momma which will hopefully be an acceptable substitute for the Buttermilk Pies he loves. I'll report back on how it goes.
 Using my Pampered Chef chopper, I finely chopped 1-1/2 cups* roasted almonds. Next time I will use my food processor as it took a lot of chopping. Dump the crushed nuts into a medium bowl.
 Add 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of melted butter and one tablespoon of honey and mix well.
 Mash the mixture on the bottom and sides to line a pie dish.
 Fill with your favorite pie filling.

*There are approximately 7.4 ounces of roasted almonds in this pie crust. 
So plan on using a little over 1/2 of a 14 oz. bag of almonds.

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Mashed Cauliflower Is A Great Potato Substitute

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas...Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans...Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy...Shepherd's pie...the list could go on forever. If there's one thing I love to eat, it's real mashed potatoes. I have tried the fake ones a few times many, many moons ago but no matter how I "doctored" them up, I never was convinced they were a suitable substitute.

Now that we have a different relationship with the food we eat; I'm not saying I'll never fixed mashed potatoes again. I'm saying I'll just fix a normal amount so that we will only consume regular portions as opposed to vats of creamy goodness. In between that rare occasion, I will gladly substitute in its place equally delicious mashed cauliflower.  Is it exact? No. Could you fool your kids? Possibly. Will my Momma eat it? Oh yes! We have fixed this numerous times and absolutely love it.
 Cut up a head of cauliflower into pieces. Boil or steam (my preference) until tender.
 Drain the water from the cauliflower. Be sure to shake and turn to get as much of the water out as possible.
 With your potato masher, smash the cauliflower until it is smooth with minimal chunks. *I have used an electric hand mixer, but I prefer using a masher.
Add a few tablespoons of butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash in and blend well.
Dig in with a fork and taste. Add additional seasoning to suit your taste.