Spaghetti Squash with Marinera

Friday, April 25, 2008

This recipe won grand prize in a "Taste of Home" for bountiful harvest ideas. In my house we serve it with a breaded chicken breast as Chicken Parmesan. If you wanted to make this a vegetarian meal you could serve it with Lightlife's Chick'n-style smart patties and get the same results. It does need a little something hearty to make it a full meal. My favorite part of this recipe is the squash, it is so much fun and I had no idea that a vegetable could pass as spaghetti. So without further ado...

Serves: 6
Start to Finish: 20 min
Recipe By: Kathryn Pehl


1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 lbs)
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped (or you can substitute for 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes)
1 cup green peppers, diced
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp pepper (don't overdo pepper)
1 TBSP olive oil
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard the seeds.
2. Place the squash, cut side down, on a microwave-safe plate (if your microwave is not wide enough, you can stack one upside-down on top of the other).
3. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 14-16 minutes or until tender.
4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the tomatoes, green pepper, carrot, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper in oil for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
5. Add tomato sauce; heat through.
6. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate strands (this is done by gently running the fork over the inside of the squash. You will begin to see the strands appearing, like magic).
7. Place squash on a serving platter; top with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Chicken Enchiladas

Monday, April 21, 2008

Everyone in my family knows about these enchiladas. My mom makes two kinds: red enchiladas with beef and red sauce and green enchiladas with chicken and green sauce. I have been asked for this recipe numerous times so I am posting it. Mike and I have come up with some short-cuts to makes it go faster because we really don't have a lot of time between work and kids. The shortcuts knock about 20 minutes off the recipe but there is something to be said for the flavor in a recipe made from scratch. I have only included the short-cut version because most people in my family have the longer version.

Serves: 2
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
Recipe By: Original recipe Jani Jones, Adjustment Recipe by Amber Brunson


1 (12-oz) can cooked shredded chicken (it looks like a tuna can on steroids and can be found in the same place as the tuna in a supermarket)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 (4-oz) can diced green chilies
1/2 tsp garlic salt
vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
1 (8-oz) Monterrey Jack cheese, grated (use Monterrey Jack with jalapenos if you like it really hot)
1 (16-oz) can mild green enchilada sauce


1. Heat oven to 350*
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan (you will know it is ready when you can splash a drop of water in it and it sizzles)
3. Fry the tortillas in oil until crispy
4. Place the tortillas on paper towels to cool and bloat off oil
5. In a bowl, mix together chicken, onion, green chilies, garlic salt, and a handful of cheese (If desired, you can briefly heat the chicken, onion, and green chilies in your fry pan to meld the flavors)
6. Scoop a spoonful of the chicken mixture into the fried tortillas and roll the tortillas up (if you made the tortillas really crispy they will be hard to roll but it doesn't matter if they crack, you will never notice after they are baked)
7. Place the rolled-up tortillas into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
8. Pour the green enchilada sauce over them
9. Sprinkle the top with cheese
10. Bake in the oven at 350* for 15 minutes (if you like them crispier just cook them longer)

Bean Salad

I use this salad as a side dish when I serve green enchiladas. It has a Mexican flare and makes an addicting salsa with tortilla chips.

Serves: 6
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Recipe from: Terri Thomas - Short Hills Ward


1/2 ( 15 oz) can black beans
1 (7 oz) can Green Giant's nibblets (this is corn)
1 TBSP cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, chopped into bit-size pieces
3 TBSP Pace salsa
Lime juice


1. Chop up the cilantro and the avocado
2. Combine black beans, corn nibblets, cilantro, and avocado.
3. Use the salsa to hold the ingredients together
4. Cover with lime juice (lemon juice is an OK substitute, just not as good)
As with most things in cooking (NOT baking) the amounts can be adjusted to your tastes and preferences. Take this salad for example: My husband likes corn, a lot, so I put extra in. If you like a lot of avocado (like Jena) add more. It can't hurt it. Just be sure to taste the food as you are going along so you don't overdo it.

Scunchy Sweet and Sour Chicken

This twist on Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork is delicious! Mike hesitated to try the recipe at first because he could not imagine something being "scrunchy" and delicious but now this is one of his favorite meals. This recipe can seem a bit time consuming but if you have everything in place before you start and you think it through, you can get dinner on the table in 45 minutes. I apologize, but I do not remember where I found this recipe. I would love to give credit to the chef so if you know where this came from please email me so I can update the blog.
Serves: 4
Start to Finish: 45 minutes
Recipe By: Unknown


2 egg yolks
1 TBSP water
2 TBSP cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
vegetable oil (you are going to need a fair amount so make sure you have enough)

1 onion, sliced
1 small red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small orange pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can pineapple cubes in natural juice
( you can add any fresh or frozen veggies you like. If you add frozen veggies you just need to cook them a little longer)

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP ketchup
2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar will also work)
1/2 cup water


1. Mix together egg yolks, water, cornstarch, salt, and pepper to form a batter
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 inches of oil in a wok or deep frying pan
3. Toss the chicken cubes in the batter and deep fry in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown (If you do not fry the chicken in batches and add it all at once the temperature of the oil will drop too quickly and you will not get the crispiness you want)
4. Drain chicken cubes on paper towels
5. Empty the oil from the wok leaving just a thin coating to cover the bottom of the pan
* If you want to serve this meal with steamed white rice you are going to want to start it now
6. Stir fry the onions and peppers over high heat for 3 minutes
7. Drain the pineapple cubes (reserving the juices, you will need them later)
8. Add the pineapple cubes to the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes
9. Mix together the pineapple juice, cornstarch, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, and water.
10. Pour mixture into pan and bring to boil, simmer until sauce thickens (the thicker, the better so don't worry about overcooking it here)
11. Add chicken and cook another 2 minutes until heated through
12. Serve over steamed white rice