Friday, February 3, 2012

Squash Explosion Imminent

I was told that spaghetti squash was the perfect low calorie substitute for spaghetti.  Mild enough in taste that it could pass for noodles – particularly once drenched in pasta sauce – with a texture that would faithfully mimic that of spaghetti.

I was lied to.

I’m sorry, but if you’re eating spaghetti squash covered in tomato sauce and you think it tastes like the real deal, you clearly have not met real spaghetti.

It doesn’t taste like spaghetti.  It tastes like squash.  Very stringy squash.

Fortunately, I happen to like squash, so no taste buds were harmed in the making of this meal.

Some squash-cooking research led me to decide that the best method was to bake it whole… but not before violently attacking it with a knife to prevent a squash explosion.  Miracle I made it out of this step with all my fingers, really. 

Then, since everything in this building enjoys f***ing with us, the baking idea was foiled by an oven that decided to give me the finger and take a nap.

(For context: our apartment is full of clunkers when it comes to appliances – heaters that make the electricity short out, stovetop burners that fill the kitchen with gas but never turn on, overhead lights that spontaneously combust… yes, that has happened… and, of course, an incredibly finicky oven.)

In any case, I decided to microwave the little sucker.  For about 15 minutes.  At which point it cracked open (not supposed to happen), so I figured it was about done.  I scooped all the stringiness out – about 2 cups’ worth – and topped half of it with sauce and chicken. 

Not spaghetti.

So, fine.  It wasn’t spaghetti, but it was damn tasty anyway.  A new favorite f’sho.

Looks like a bowl of mush.  But a yummy one.

Another new favorite of mine (and I think I’m a little late in the game on this one) is quinoa.

Quinoa.  Pronounced exactly as it’s spelled.  I promise. 

Yet again, slightly blurry.  This camera freakin blows.
Seriously.  Go into Whole Foods and ask where they keep their quinn-oh-ah and you’ll get almost as fun a reaction as when my mom tries to order something containing the word “chipotle” at a restaurant.

I use it in the place of rice, obviously, but ALSO discovered a recipe for “Breakfast Quinoa” – boiled in milk instead of water and topped off with some brown sugar, cinnamon, and blueberries.  I used WAY less sugar than Martha Stewart suggested and it was still a little too sweet for me, but other than that I was a fan.

And last but not least in this week’s kitchen crusades waasss… pancakes.  Heck yeah.

But not just any pancakes.  Whole wheat pancakes – high in protein, fiber, and deliciousness.  

Disaster looms...

Of course they’re not going to come out looking like the big, fluffy buttermilk pancakes I crave so regularly – I have flipping issues, so many times I wind up with double-deckers after having flipped one on top of the other, or they’ll have that gentle slope that comes from being tossed into the side of the pan – nor will they taste quite like restaurant pancakes.  But they were, I’ll admit, a really solid (and healthy) Option B.  

Crisis averted!
And, bonus points, if you make the whole batch, you can freeze the leftovers and they’ll actually microwave to pancake perfection at a later date.

And pure maple syrup.  Yyyyyes.
Nothing particularly groundbreaking, it’s true, but this is coming from the girl who has, in the past, been too lazy to microwave canned soup.  Any meal that contains more than two ingredients and / or touches a stove...?  I count that as a win.

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