With all the snow we’ve been getting here in Central Pennsylvania it seems like winter is never going to end. With what feels like arctic temperatures and snow up to our knees there’s really nothing to do but hunker down and heat things up in the kitchen. My favorite thing to do!
I’ve been on a huge soup and stew kick the last few week – beef stew, lentil soup, spicy chicken curry…..if it was hot and soup-like I made it! Not only do these dishes warm you up, they are also perfect for stocking the freezer with. I always stash away 2-3 jars of fresh soup our stew in our chest freezer. If I know things will be busy in the coming week I’ll pull one or two out and let them defrost in the fridge. Dinner is only minutes away!
But, now I feel like we’ve been on stew overload and the one thing that has been lacking in our diets are some fresh veggies. Sure, my stews usually have veggies in them but they often get pretty cooked down and their flavor becomes overpowered by the stew. In warmer weather I make a big salad with dinner every night but in the winter months a traditional salad feels totally out of place. I’ve also reached my meat threshold for a while and am absolutely craving delicious, crunchy, nourishing vegetables. Thank goodness Mr. Wes is also an avid veggie eater – he’s been known to lick the salad bowl 🙂
However, if the meat is missing from his plate he will ask “sooooooo, where’s the meat?”
The other night I decided we needed to take a break from all the meat and load up on the veggies anyway I could. After a full day of working and plowing loads of snow Mr. Wes is grateful for a hot, satisfying meal. This little creation of veggies and beans did the trick! The garlic and crushed chili peppers added heat and spice while the broccoli gave the dish some crunch. He didn’t blink an eye when I put this in front of him….and he didn’t ask for the meat. Maybe he was too exhausted to ask? Possible. But, I’m still going to add this to my list of regular appearances.
Garlicky Spaghetti Squash with Beans and Broccoli
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
3 cloves garlic (more or less depending on your love of garlic), minced
pinch of crushed chili flakes (optional)
1-2 cups white beans, cooked (or 1 can, rinsed and drained, Eden Organic brand recommended)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrape the seeds from your spaghetti squash with a large spoon. Place both halves, face down, on a baking sheet and bake for about 45-60 minutes. Check your squash around 30 minutes. If the top starts to get brown, lower the rack in your oven. Your squash is ready when the skin is soft to the touch and you can easily scrape the flesh of the squash into spaghetti-like strands. The best way to do this is with a fork. Be sure to scrape out everything!
- When your squash has about 20 minutes left (You can wait until the squash is done, scrape out the spaghetti and keep warm in your oven while you do this next step), heat up the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your broccoli florets and a pinch of salt. Toss the broccoli so it is well coated in the oil and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes before stirring again. You want the broccoli to start to become lightly browned in a few spots. Cook the broccoli for a total of about 5-6 minutes. It should be tender but still have a little crunch and be bright green.
- Add the minced garlic and crushed pepper flakes and stir until everything is well combined. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the garlic become fragrant. If it starts to stick you can add a splash of water to loosen the stuck bits.
- Add the beans and toss with the broccoli mix until well combined. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes until the beans are heated through. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve by placing the spaghetti squash onto each dish and top it with the broccoli bean mixture. If you prefer to serve everything together you can mix the squash and broccoli together and then put it all in a large serving bowl. You can add a pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil. Grated parmesan is also a lovely addition. Enjoy!