Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Spaghetti Squash Made Easy

What is a spaghetti squash?

I had no idea what spaghetti squash is or how to make it. Hans’ mom gave us one a few days ago and tonight I learned why it is called spaghetti squash AND I learned one to prepare it.

The preparation was actually quite simple…ONCE you master getting through the rather tough outer shell. Make sure to use a sharp knife. Cut away from your body and watch your fingers. Or if you are like me, have someone else cut it…and meanwhile walk around the house nervously hoping nobody gets injured.

Once the fruit is cut open, the fun begins.

How to prepare spaghetti squash:
1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, length-wise. Be careful to not cut yourself.

2. Scoop out all of the seeds and “guts” surrounding the seeds. If you are as obsessed with pumpkin seeds like me, you want to save those seeds and roast them later.

3. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Place both halves on a baking sheet with raised edges. Place the spaghetti squash on its cut side. Add a bit of water to the baking sheet to prevent the squash from drying out. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the “meat” is soft.

4. Remove from oven and eat with fork straight out of the shell. (Littlest clean-up that way). Hans suggested to sprinkle a bit of Himalayan Pink Salt on it and he was right it is REALLY DELICIOUS. Enjoy =)

Half was plenty for me. Hans ate the other half.

Half was plenty for me. Hans ate the other half.

Healthful benefits:
* Low in calories, but rich in fiber and various vitamins (including A, C, B2, B3, B6, and K). It is also rich in manganese, folate, and omega-3 fats.
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/spaghetti-squash-calories-nutrients-1883.html

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Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Soup

It’s been far too long…sadly we have been cooking/baking things…but have had no time to blog about any of the recipes. Despite having 5000 other things, that I should be doing right now…I decided to blog at least one new recipe.

The month (November) has become tomatillo-inspired recipes. We had 5 tomatillo plants that produced enough tomatillos to feed a village. It is kind of comical that about 6 month ago, I didn’t know what tomatillos were and now I have already made 3 recipes with tomatillos.

This one was inspired by a recipe that a friend of mine posted on my facebook wall, after I had inquired about tomatillo recipes. Believe me, we still have plenty of tomatillos and if you know of other vegetarian tomatillo recipes, please DO NOT hesitate to share them.

This soup is likely one of my cold season favorite soups. It turned out spicy, tangy, and thick…perfect to dip homemade bread into. So here it goes, enjoy!

Ingredients:
10-12 tomatillos, husked, washed, and halved (I used about 24 garden-grown tomatillos, they tend to be a bit smaller than store-bought tomatillos)
8 large garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
6 large cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable broth (4 cups water and 2 veggie bullion cubes)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups water (depending on how thick you want the soup)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper

Preparation (4 servings)
1. In a large roasting pan, combine the tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast in oven at 350 F for about 25 minutes.
2. While the tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes are roasting, boil the sweet potatoes in the vegetable broth for about 45 minutes.
3. Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil, for about 5 minutes until the onion looks golden.
4. Once the tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes are done roasting, blend the mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the tomatillo mixture and the sautéed onion to the sweet potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, then blend in blender for smooth consistency (alternatively for a chunkier consistency, you can just mash-up the potatoes with a potato masher or use an immersion blender).
5. Serve with home-baked bread and decorate with parsley leave. Enjoy!

 

Note: I have frozen a batch of this yummy soup. I will keep you updated on the taste and consistency, when I pull it out of the freezer.

Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Soup

Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Soup

Recipe inspired by: