Foodie In Training

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

20 Minute Meal!

I have a new work schedule. Two nights a week, I work 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. It's been an interesting adjustment. On said days, I try and eat before work..but I'm not hungry for dinner at 4. I usually have just eaten lunch at 1 or 2. If I don't eat, I'm famished when I get home at 9:30 and proceed to snack my way through the girl scout cookies, chips and salsa, pickles, etc. Pretty much anything in site and that's not really a meal. Is it? So anyway, now I'm trying to eat a light meal before work and then have a small snack in the evening.

I was getting ready for work the other day and trying to decide what to eat. The clock said 3:40 and I had about a half hour to make dinner, eat, and head to work. I decided to use a spaghetti squash that had been collecting a little dust in my pantry and throw together a fast, healthy, filling meal that also makes plenty of leftovers for later!

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato and chickpea sauce:

Twenty minutes and 6 easy steps. The clock says 3:45...Ready..Set..Go!Step 1:
Pierce spaghetti squash with knife about 6 times all over the squash. Put in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Rotate about 3 times during the microwave process. I usually just lay the squash on a few paper towels, but we were out, hence the plate.
Step 2:
Chop one red onion and saute with olive oil on medium-high heat until soft. Add chopped garlic after about 3 minutes.

Step 3:
Chop and add any ingredients you want. This is the fun part!! You can get real creative and use common items in your pantry. I always use canned tomatoes (usually two cans) and a can of beans. I've used garbanzo, black, and cannellini beans. Tonight, I had one zucchini and some canned mushrooms so I threw those in! In the past I've also added green pepper and carrots.

Step 4:
Let all the ingredients cook and get to know each other in the pan. I also start adding some seasoning at this point. This is another way to be creative! I LOVE cumin. I can't get enough of it. And it seems to work really well with my base of ingredients. So I always add cumin and some hot paprika. Salt and pepper are always a must. For a little color and some fresh flavor I usually go with parsley. Fresh is always best, but dried will work.Step 5:
When the spaghetti squash is done, remove from the microwave, let it cool for about 5-10 minutes. Because I was on a time crunch, I let it cool just enough so I could handle it and I sliced it in half. I scooped out the seeds and then proceeded to spaghetti the squash. :) The great thing about spaghetti squash is once you slice it in half, all you have to do is comb the fork along the squash half and it comes out in spaghetti-like strands..Hence the name.Step 6:
Plate! See how many leftovers this makes? Ryan had some of the leftovers for dinner later and we finished it off the next night and served it with grilled steaks.
And what time is it!?
I mean, how quick and easy is that? It's healthy and filling too. I even had time to clean up and I made it to work with time to spare!

Move over Rachael Ray! This is a 20 minute meal...beat that! Actually...Rachael..you can just go away. (She bugs the crap out of me)


Greg said...

That looks awesome accept i would pick-out the garbanzo beans! Very creative, i promise I'll come up before the end of the month and you will have to make it for me!

*Kelly* said...

You crack me up!!! I am definitely going try this recipe. We eat veg. meals twice a week so this will be a great new recipe to try! Thanks Erin!

JJ said...

20 Minute meal: Step 1: Put Squash in microwave. Step 2: Set microwave for 20 min. Step 3: Go to McDonald's and get a double cheeseburger extra value meal, no pickles with a coke. Step 4: Take squash out of the microwave and throw it away.

Erin Kelsey said...

JJ- if I made this for you..you would love it! :)