Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I was looking for some new spaghetti squash recipes recently, and came across this one and thought it looked good. It is basically a cross between lasagna and spaghetti, but with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. It’s really easy to make and is a great low-carb alternative to these traditional dishes!

Here’s how I made it (recipe adapted from weight watchers):

Ingredients:

  • one medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 29 oz can of diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce from a jar)
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • fat-free ricotta cheese (don’t recall how much I used…maybe 8 or 10 ounces?)
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • parmesan cheese to taste (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 and then cook your spaghetti squash in the oven. Meanwhile, brown the turkey in a skillet with olive oil and drain away the excess fat. Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, Italian seasonings, and salt and pepper. Once the onions have softened, add the canned tomatoes or add tomato sauce from a jar. In the end, I thought that tomato sauce from a jar would have been better since it would have created an actual sauce, rather than just tomatoes, but I’m sure either way is fine.

Continue simmering for a few minutes. You should now have something like this.

Cook your spinach in another skillet. Then, in a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, parmesan, and drained spinach.

Hopefully, by this point your spaghetti squash will be done or almost done cooking. Once you remove it from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 375.

In the meantime, prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish for the casserole by spraying it with cooking spray. Once the spaghetti squash is done cooking and has had a chance to cool a little, scoop the spaghetti squash into the baking pan to form the bottom layer of the casserole, like this:

Next, spread the spinach and ricotta layer on top of the spaghetti squash.

Then spread the turkey and tomato sauce layer on top and sprinkle it with the shredded cheese.

Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is heated all the way through. Eat and enjoy!

I thought that this casserole was really good and would definitely make it again! It’s a nice alternative to a lot of the other spaghetti squash recipes that I’ve come across. My casserole came out kind of watery and I’m not sure why…if you have better luck, let me know what you did to help with that problem!

A little quiz

One thing that I have enjoyed about food blogging so far is that I am learning to spell a lot of new words. I consider myself to be a good speller, so I have been surprised by the number of words that have posed a spelling challenge. Putting aside obvious difficult words that I’ve used on this blog, like Htipiti and Almendrados, do you know how to spell the following words?  I am throwing in a few easier ones because I think that will make the quiz a little bit trickier overall.

Which of the following is correct for each question?  Whatever you do, do not look up the answers before you guess!

1.  A. balsamic  B. balsalmic  C. basalmic

2.  A. rasberry  B.  razberry  C. raspberry

3.  A. mascarpone  B. marscapone  C. marscarpone

4.  A. worcheshire B. worcesteshire C. worcestershire

5.  A. carmelizing  B. caramelizing  C. caremalizing

6.  A. parmesan  B. parmesean C. parmeasan

Raspberry Chipotle Chicken and Apple Salad

This is one of my favorite salads to make. It’s simple, but full of flavor and really delicious. To make the salad, I use this amazing raspberry chipotle sauce that I found in the grocery store. The combination is sweet and smoky…it tastes somewhat like barbecue sauce, but has a distinct raspberry flavor to it as well. It gives the chicken a really great flavor!

To begin, marinate sliced chicken in the raspberry chipotle sauce and then cook the chicken in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil.  To make your salad, toss together spinach, feta or blue cheese, chopped apple, dried cranberries, chopped celery, salt and pepper, and the cooked chicken. Drizzle it with balsamic vinegar or the salad dressing of your choice.

Eat and enjoy!

Bailey’s cheesecake

Happy New Year! Today, I’ll share a delicious dessert that could break the strongest of New Year’s resolutions. After all, what’s not to love about Bailey’s, chocolate, and cheesecake, especially when combined into one delicious dessert? Bailey’s is one of my all-time favorite desserts drinks, so when I found this recipe, I knew I absolutely had to make it! It definitely lived up to my expectations. I guess that means I’m setting a high bar since this is the first cheesecake I’ve ever made!

(Notice the not-so-subtle product placement. I do not get paid by Bailey’s, but if you happen to work for Bailey’s, feel free to send a free bottle my way…)

Here’s the recipe that I used (from gimmesomeoven). I won’t repeat it here, since I only made one significant modification.

First, I made the crust, using chocolate graham crackers, and pressed it into the cheesecake pan.

Then, I made the filling, poured it into the pan, and baked it. I also made a water bath, as the recipe suggested, by filling a 9×13 pan half-way with water and placing it in the oven below the cheesecake like this:

You can tell that I’m at my parents’ house since the oven is so clean. Sadly, as you can see below, my cheesecake still cracked, despite the water bath. Oh well!

Then I covered the cheesecake with a delicious ganache, after which the cracks didn’t matter so much. When I removed the sides of the cheesecake pan, I tasted a little of the cheesecake that was crusted onto the pan and didn’t think it had a strong enough Bailey’s flavor, so I decided to modify the ganache somewhat…

Since Bailey’s is “Irish cream” and the ganache recipe called for “heavy cream,” I substituted Bailey’s for the heavy cream. I thought that the result was delicious and that it greatly enhanced the cheesecake, but the Bailey’s flavor in the ganache was quite strong (perhaps why I liked it so much…). If you aren’t sure how much Bailey’s flavor you can take, you might try using half Bailey’s and half heavy cream for the ganache.

Here’s the finished product:

I wasn’t quite sure whether I wanted the ganache to drip down the sides or stay on top, so I kind of ended up somewhere in the middle. Probably not the best decision, but it tasted great! Looking forward to making this one again sometime!