Friday, June 13, 2014

Greek Salad Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Today’s meal was, hands down, my favorite of the week and it was really easy to make. Handling and cooking the spaghetti squash was the most time consuming part. The recipe (from Kalyn’s Kitchen) is pretty perfect as is.  The only changes I made were:

Instead of Greek seasoning, I used a mixture of garlic powder, oregano and coarse sea salt.
I added a teaspoon of agave to the dressing.

Pretty insignificant right? I recommend you try this recipe ASAP. Here’s the recipe with my minor tweaks. The original is here.

Greek Salad Spaghetti Squash Bowl
1 large spaghetti squash
2 tsp. olive oil (for drizzling on squash)
1 tsp. garlic powder (for seasoning squash)
1 tsp. dried oregano (for seasoning squash)
½ tsp. course sea salt (for seasoning squash)
1 large European cucumber (or 2 smaller cucumbers)
1/4 cup chopped red onion (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
(if you have some fresh Greek oregano, that would be great chopped and added to this.)

Dressing Ingredients: 
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried Greek Oregano (often just labeled "oregano", but do not use Mexican oregano)
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
Salt to taste (remember squash was salted before roasting)

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F/200C.  Cut both ends off the squash. stand it up on the cutting board, and cut into fourths lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds and stringy parts around the seeds.  Mix garlic powder, oregano and salt together in a bowl. Stir together with your fingers. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and arrange spaghetti squash cut side up.  Drizzle a little olive oil onto the cut surface of each piece of squash, rub the oil around with your fingers, and sprinkle each one with the seasoning mix.  Roast the squash for 50 minutes, or until it strings apart easily with a fork.

While the squash cooks, peel the cucumber in stripes, cut into fourths lengthwise, then cut the strips into pieces about 3/4 inch wide, and put in a bowl.  Chop the red onion and green bell pepper into pieces a little smaller than the cucumber and add to the bowl.  Cut Kalamata olives and cherry or grape tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.  (If you're using fresh oregano, chop up about a tablespoon of that as well.)  Crumble the Feta cheese and set aside. 

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried Greek Oregano, and desired amount of fresh-ground black pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil and set dressing aside.

When the squash is done, let it cool enough to handle; then use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash strands away from the skin.  Discard the skin and divide the spaghetti squash between four serving bowls.  (Or refrigerate some if you're not eating it all right away.)  

Stir the Greek salad ingredients to combine.  Then add the dressing (and fresh Greek oregano if using) and stir until all the ingredients are coated with dressing.  (It may seem like too much dressing, but you want enough that it will drip down on the squash.)  Gently stir in the crumbled Feta.

Spoon a generous amount of the Greek salad mixture over each bowl of spaghetti squash, making sure you get some of the dressing in each serving.  Eat right away.

The spaghetti squash will last a few days in the fridge.  I would reheat in the microwave just enough to remove the chill.  I don't usually like to refrigerate tomatoes, but the Greek salad mixture could be prepared in advance and tomatoes added when you eat the leftovers.

TIP: Make sure your working with a good, sharp knife when cutting the squash. It is quite hard on the outside. If you don’t have one, microwave the squash for 2-3 minutes before cutting it open for roasting. 

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