Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slowly easing back into normal life.

Today was my first days in a few weeks where I wasn't cooking for the holidays, entertaining family for the holidays, traveling for the holidays, eating for the holidays or otherwise dealing with the holidays. Despite the fact my Christmas decorations need to be on their way into boxes for storage until next winter and that my house could use a good straightening up and linens and what not washed from house guests; I took today to sit on my butt, on the couch, with my laptop, my TV and my kittens.

It was nice to do nothing.

We had intended to return from visiting my in laws yesterday for some cleaning and do nothing time but the weather detained us in the Las Vegas area a day longer. It was time well spent, otherwise we would have been stuck outside the San Bernadino area, sleeping in our car at a state fairgrounds due to snow and ice.  Monday would have been lost no matter what due to the weather, I am glad it was lost to a night of Italian food, limoncello and Mexican Train dominoes in a warm house with a comfy bed to sleep in later on.

With a day of doing nothing, dinner needed to be an easy feat. Thankfully, we still had some leftover roast, easily reheated and some spaghetti squash, easily cooked up for dinner tonight. I also managed to get the initiative up to start dinner for tomorrow and the next night since I will be working the next two days shifts. So all in all, the day was not a total loss to laziness.

Being winter, squash are in season in full force. I've had some stacking up from my CSA boxes lately. Somewhat on purpose, somewhat from not having had much time to cook squash lately.

It also occurs to me I have been mentioning my CSA, but not really explaining it. CSA stands for Community Sponsored Agriculture and essentially, I am prepaying for a share of a local farm and as such, get a box of produce at regular intervals. Currently we get a box every 2 weeks, but as part of our efforts to keep ourselves healthy and at a better weight, we will be increasing our share to a weekly one. I've loved our boxes so far, and I haven't even had a chance to see what the summer boxes will bring. If you are in the San Diego area I highly recommend Suzie's Farm for produce, even if a CSA isn't what you need. They sell at many of the local farmer's markets as well and the onion sprouts are to die for.

Back to that squash up there. Being a spaghetti squash, you get nice little stands of squash versus a soft puree type of result when it is roasted. A lot of people go ahead and top it off with pasta sauce, but tonight a pasta sauce didn't make much sense with roast beast. A quick Google search brought up an Emeril recipe for herb spaghetti squash and it was perfect. Nice and light but tasty, a nice way to start easing back into our regular, non-holiday, weight watchers eating.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Serves 4 at 3 points a serving (I am still trying to figure out the new points system...)

1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 1/4 pounds
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Heat a skillet. Add the oil, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

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