Posts from the ‘Pasta’ Category

Italian Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti squash is a great option for people who want pasta without gluten or lots of carbohydrates. It readily absorbs flavors from sauce, herbs, and spices, so it blends very well with other ingredients. It is also easy to prepare; please see my Spaghetti Squash post for roasting directions. Spaghetti squash provides a lovely splash of color to any noodle dish, unlike bland beige wheat noodles.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole 1A

This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare spaghetti squash. It is so colorful and flavorful, and it is easy to create various color and flavor combinations with different veggies. Additionally, you can use any protein you prefer, like veggie sausage, ground meat, cubed chicken, soy or hemp tofu, pine nuts, etc. You can also always dress your spaghetti squash with pasta sauces, too.

Keep in mind you are going to need a very large bowl to mix all of the components. It has been a while since, I used this recipe, so I quickly ran out of room as I added ingredients. I spit the recipe into two stages, mixing the squash, sausage, dried herbs, and cheese in one large Corning Ware dish and the fresh herbs and remaining vegetables in another. I used a third smaller bowl to help transfer half of the contents one bowl into the other, so I could incorporate all the ingredients together into each bowl and keep the right proportions. As a side note, even though I added the Daiya cheese to the sausage and squash while they were hot, it did not melt properly. Daiya’s shreds require higher temperatures to melt than dairy cheese, so I suggest reheating the casserole before it is served.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Squash Casserole 2A

Italian Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Yields 14 to 16 servings

Ingredients
1 Med Spaghetti Squash, roasted, skin removed
1 T Dried Ground Sage
1 T Dried Oregano
2-3 T Fresh Thyme
1 Bunch or 3 C Spinach or Kale, torn into bite-size pieces
1 Bunch or 1/2 C Fresh Sweet Basil, chopped
Olive or Grape Seed Oil for cooking
3/4 – 1 lbs Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
3/4 – 1 lbs Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage
1 10-oz pkg Daiya Mozzarella-Style Shreds
1 Medium Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
3 T Fresh or Bottled Minced Garlic
1 lb String Beans, cut into 1″ lengths
3 Med Yellow or Orange Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped
4 oz Pea Spouts with long shoots, separated
Ground Peppercorns, to taste
Sea Salt, to taste

Directions
Be careful not to burn your fingers while handling the squash. In a large bowl, break up the squash into noodles with a fork. Mix the herbs and greens into the squash. Set aside to allow the dried herbs to absorb moisture from the noodles and the greens to wilt a bit.

Oil a large pan. If the sausage came in casings, remove them. Brown the sausage over medium heat. Mix the sausage and cheese-style shreds into the squash.

Saute the onion, garlic, and beans together in a large oiled pan. Add to the squash with the salt, pepper,  tomatoes, and sprouts. Serve and enjoy!

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Marinated Spaghetti Squash and Vegetable Noodles

I had four spaghetti squash I received for volunteering at the National Heirloom Exposition that, as well as and two bunches of enoki mushrooms I bought from Sam Kim of Bohemian Well-Being Farm. They were just waiting for me in my kitchen, but I was having trouble figuring out what dishes to make with them. In the end, I decided to a mild Asian fusion vegan noodle dish that was versatile and could be served as a side or as an entree with a wide variety of mix-ins blended in to compliment the flavors, especially since I knew I would be eating the spaghetti  squash alone. My husband had no interest at all in eating it with me, as he is not a fan of eating squash in any form, except in pumpkin pie.

Marinated Spaghetti Squash & Vegetable Noodles
Adapted from Kelp Noodles with Marinated Carrots & Daikon Radish

Ingredients
3 Medium Carrots, trimmed
3 Stalks Celery, trimmed
1 Daikon Radish, trimmed
1 Medium to Large Spaghetti Squash, flesh of, cooked
5 Scallions, trimmed, sliced perpendicular or parallel
1 Bunch Enoki, trimmed, separated
2 Sweet Yellow Onion, skinned, trimmed, grated
2 T Garlic, peeled, trimmed, minced or finely grated
1 Inch Fresh Ginger, finely minced or finely grated
1 – 2 Lemons, zest and juice of
1/4 – 1/2 C Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, optional
1/4 C Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Directions
Grate the carrots, celery and radish with a vegetable peeler into thin noodle-like strips. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly from bottom to top so the shredded vegetables become fully distributed and do not clump together. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight, mixing half way through. Give the ingredients one final stir. Serve with your protein of choice.

Spaghetti Squash

A bit ago, I volunteered for two days at the second annual National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa (of all places). I had a blast and saw so many fantastically amazing animals, fruits and vegetables. One of the great things about the event, was the decorations, which consisted of mostly hard skinned melons, gourds and squash. Since I worked until closing I got to take a bunch home, including three spaghetti squash! Who doesn’t love free organic heirloom produce? For that matter, who doesn’t like free food? I was in absolute awe of the huge piles and towers of melons and squash at the expo, which I hope to post more about another blog entry soon. Now on to the squash!

Spaghetti Squash is an oblong pale to bright yellow skinned variety of winter squash with bright yellow flesh inside that separates into noodle-like fibers. It is a wonderful alternative to wheat-based pasta. A one-cup serving has only 43 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates and a lot of nutritional value. It has over two grams of fiber, lots of water, three percent of your daily value of calcium and iron, five percent vitamin A, eight percent vitamin B6 and nine percent vitamin C. Check out this site to find out more information.

Small & Large Spaghetti Squash

Here are some ways to prepare spaghetti squash. I prefer to steam it in the oven; see the instructions below. There are lots of recipes on the internet for spaghetti squash that look awfully yummy, especially since you can use it to replace grain-based pasta noodles. How about making an herbed or spiced pasta, like this one over at Smitten Kitchen or the roasted squash recipe from Martha Stewart Living? Just like with regular spaghetti noodles, you can also dress the squash with sauce of many varieties, like this recipe that uses tomato sauce. You can always check out my post on pesto recipes, where I listed a bunch to choose from. This website has even more recipes.

Oven-Steamed Spaghetti Squash

Start with a spaghetti squash of any size. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Be careful when cutting the squash, since it is round. Don’t let the knife slip and cut you. Trim off the ends, occasionally turning the squash order to slice all the way through.

Now cut the squash in half. Use a mallet to get the knife all of the way through if you must to get cut through tough skin. If you do have to use a mallet, firstly, only use a metal knife. Secondly, protect your cutlery by placing a padded layer between the mallet and the knife to prevent denting and warping. I used a silicone gripper for opening tight jars, but you can also use a really thick towel or potholder.

Scoop out the squash strings that run parallel to the long cut edges along with the seeds. You can save the seeds for roasting later; they roast up just like pumpkin seeds.

Put the two halves side by side in a large glass 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. If your squash is really big, you can use two baking dishes, a basting pan or a broiling pan without the grill. Fill the pan of your choice with half an inch of filtered water.

Cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake the squash for 50 minutes to an hour. Remove the pan from the oven and uncover the squash. Let it cool on a trivet on the counter for 30 minutes or until it is not to hot to handle comfortably.

With a large spoon, separate the skin from the flesh. You may have to peel and break it off a bit at a time with your fingers. Transfer the flesh to a large mixing bowl. Separate the fibers with your hands until they look like noodles. At this time, you can mix in other vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat or vegan sausage and sauce.

Chicken and Kelp Noodle Stir-Fry


I love stir-fry dishes and using my wok! I have a electric wok and wish I had a cast iron one. I also have at least two stir-fry cookbooks and actually got rid of several others during my spring pre-moving purge. These dishes are pretty much one-pot meals, which is marvelous, since this means there are fewer dishes to wash. Stir-fries are also usually less complicated, too. Woks aren’t just for cooking Chinese and Japanese dishes; you can cook all sorts of sautes in them from any style of cuisine.  Here’s a tasty looking stir-fry from Sea Tangle Noodle Company that uses kelp noodles.

Kelp Noodle Chicken Stir-Fry
Serves 6

Ingredients
2 – 4 T Chopped or Minced Garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray
12 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, diced
1/2 Yellow Onion, peeled, sliced
1/2 C Broccoli or Broccolini, trimmed, chopped
1 C Spinach Leaves, stemmed, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
1 pkg Plain or Green Tea Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut into desired length
Nama Shoyu, Tamari or Liquid Aminos, to taste
Filtered Water, to taste
Vegetable or Chicken Stock, to taste
1/2 C Whole Raw Almonds or Cashews, soaked & dehydrated
Sea Salt, to taste
Mixed Peppercorns, fresh ground, to taste

Directions
Saute the garlic in a lightly oiled pan. Add in the chicken and vegetables. Saute them for about , occasionally stirring with a wooden or plastic spatula. Add the noodles and a few dashes of soy sauce, water and stock. Stir with a wooden or plastic spatula or spoon until the noodles and vegetables soften. Season the stir-fry with salt and pepper as you prefer. Remove the stir-fry from the heat. Fold in the nuts. Transfer it to a large serving bowl. Serve.

Tamari Wasabi Noodles


Usually I avoid green play-dough of death, my nickname for wasabi, like the plague. Wasabi is a rather spicy but flavorful Japanese radish, but I tried it out again yesterday and may have found a new liking for it in small doses. If you haven’t tried wasabi dressing, you should; I would use liquid amino and maybe a seasoned rice wine vinegar to make it.  Since kelp noodles really absorb any flavor you mix them with, they are a perfect ingredient to mix with wasabi dressing and vegetables. You can also add in some free-range chicken, fish or nuts if you’d like to add more protein or are looking for more variety.

Tamari Wasabi Noodles
I adapted this recipe from one that was printed on the back of the kelp noodle package so that we have actual quantities and not just a list of ingredients.
Serves 6

Ingredients
Marinade Sauce
1/4 C Tamari Soy Sauce or Liquid Aminos, to taste
1 – 2 T Chopped or Minced Garlic
1 – 2 T Turbinado Sugar, Sucanat or Blue Agave Nectar, to taste
1 tsp Wasabi Powder
Filtered Water
3 T Rice Vinegar, or to taste

Vegetables
1 pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut to desired length (about 4 C)
2 – 4 C Assorted Vegetables of Your Choice, prepared, thinly sliced
3 Scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced into ribbons

Garnish
Black Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
White Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
Hemp Seeds, optional garnish

Directions
Dilute the wasabi powder to your preference with water by mixing it into a paste. Set the wasabi paste aside for five minutes.

Mix the tamari, garlic, sugar, wasabi and vinegar into a dressing. Add this sauce to the noodles and vegetables. Toss together. Marinate the noodles and vegetables in the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish the noodles on top, or mix the seeds into the noodles. Serve and enjoy.

Peanut Miso Noodles


Here is another kelp noodles recipe that I want to try out from Sea Tangle Noodle Company. I have a few more that I will post later. Sea Tangle makes two different kinds of organic kelp noodles, such as plain and green tea, and as a organic food company that specializes in seaweed, they also package mixed sea vegetables (kombu, wakame, hiziki, seaweed stems and montagne), which you can serve with kelp noodles or in other dishes. These sea vegetables are rich in fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iodine.

Peanut Miso Noodles
Ingredients
1 pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut into desired length
2 – 4 C Assorted Vegetables of Your Choice, prepared, thinly sliced
Sauce
1 Part White, Red or Mixed Miso Paste
3 Parts Ground Peanuts or Peanut Butter
Filtered Water, to desired consistency
1 T Turbinado Sugar or Sucanat
Dash Toasted Sesame Oil
Dash Apple Cider or Other Vinegar
Garnishes
Black Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
White Sesame Seeds, optional garnish
Hemp Seeds, optional garnish
Fresh Cilantro Leaves, stemmed, optional garnish
Fresh Curly or Italian Parsley Leaves, stemmed, optional garnish

Directions
Combine the sauce ingredients into a dressing. In a large bowl, add the sauce to the noodles and vegetables, and mix them well with a wooden or plastic spoon. If you want soft noodles, let them sit in the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes, and then fold in the vegetables. Garnish the noodles if you like. Serve and enjoy.

Kelp Noodles


Kelp noodles are great! These may look strange, maybe like they made out of plastic, but these sure are edible and healthy. They are like rice-based glass or cellophane noodles but are made out of sea vegetables (kelp and sodium alginate from brown seaweed) and water and can be used just like any other type of pasta noodle. Kelp noodles are a raw, vegan and gluten-free alternative to pastas made out of rice, buckwheat, wheat, and other grains. Think of these noodles like other raw vegetable “noodles” made with “spiralized” zucchinis or cucumbers (this is the slicer I use, and here are some delicious looking recipes) or like cooked spaghetti squash. Since kelp noodles are made out of seaweed, they are rather nutritious, containing your daily value of 15 percent calcium, 4 percent iron and 4 percent fiber, only 6 calories, and no carbohydrates. That’s pretty amazing for a food is that is clear!


Kelp noodles have an extremely mild seaweed flavor and are very easy to season with herbs, spices and dressings. It’s usually a good idea to use some sort of acid in your sauce to marinate the noodles and soften them, unless you like your noodles a bit crunchy. Although the noodles are healthier for you raw, you can cook them with stir-frying or boiling. Kelp noodles are good in soup, salad and pasta dishes. Your possibilities are really endless, since these noodles are so versatile. Sea Tangle Noodle Company makes plain and green tea flavored kelp noodles, and Gold Mine Natural Foods also makes plain flavored kelp noodles, too. There are all sorts of recipes I want to try making with kelp noodles. I’m going to post some more recipes that I want to try out and got a few from the back of the Sea Tangle Noodle Company kelp noodle package.


Kelp Noodle Salad
I adapted this recipe from one that was printed on the back of the kelp noodle package so that we have actual quantities and not just a list of ingredients.
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 pkg Kelp Noodles, rinsed, cut into desired length
3 – 6 T Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
3 Cucumbers, trimmed, seeded, thinly sliced or spiral cut to desired length
6 Carrots, trimmed, sliced thinly
Salt, to taste

Directions
Combine the ingredients in a large glass mixing bowl with a wooden or plastic spoon. Set the sauced noodles aside for 20 to 30 minutes to soften them. Stir in salt to your preference. Serve.