Thursday, February 2, 2012

Easy Weeknight Dinners

The good life continues, with lots of great vegetarian meals at our house. We tried pierogis (the kids had never had them before) on Monday, along with a spinach salad; we all enjoyed Five-Treasure Fried Rice, sans Canadian bacon and with a side of broccoli on Tuesday; and last night the ladies dined on Spaghetti Squash with Marinara and leftover broccoli.

I have tried various methods for cooking spaghetti squash, and last night's was the easiest. I poked the squash with a paring knife all over, to help steam escape, microwaved it (whole) for 5 minutes, and then baked it (whole) in a glass dish at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. (If you aren't in a hurry, you can bake it an hour or so and skip the microwave.)

By then, the sides were beginning to cave in and a fork inserted into the squash indicated it was tender. I cut it in half and scooped out the seeds and strings from the middle (trash or compost them), and then scraped the remaining strands back into the glass baking dish - fewer dishes to wash. **Warning: I seem to have burn-proof hands, so handling the hot squash was no big deal. Mere mortals might want to wait 10 minutes or so, or handle the squash with pot holders. Don't say I didn't warn you.**

I drizzled a little bit of Wegmans Basting Oil on the squash strands and sprinkled with some sea salt. Since it was a weeknight, and as mentioned above, I was in a hurry, I used the Silver Palate San Marzano Marinara, a new discovery I made after clipping a coupon and finding it on sale at the store. It was very tasty and has no added sugar, nor any big pieces of tomato, meaning my kids will eat it.

My newest source of inspiration is Veganomicon, a really great vegan cookbook. I'm trying out a few recipes over the next week or so - they won't be as easy as this week's, but I think will be worth the effort. Look for reviews (and pictures) soon!

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