Spiced Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Vegetables

Spiced Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Veggies

The farmers’ market is bursting with winter squashes; every table at every turn is offering colorful squashes in all shapes and sizes… or a surprisingly mutant, warty gourd. My roommate and I made a quick dash to the market this morning before a rainstorm hit… once it did, there’d be no leaving our apartment.

The farmers market has become our Saturday morning tradition. It’s what gets us out of bed and moving and what inspires our meals all week. The produce is indescribably better than anything at the food shop on our block, and it surpasses Whole Foods by a mile in taste and price. Today’s special: 3 squashes for $2! I also appreciate the enormous variety of produce; each week I try to pick at least one ingredient I’ve never cooked with before. This week I came home with four! Beets, acorn squash, delicata squash, and of course, spaghetti squash. It’s going to be an adventurous few days…

Spiced Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Veggies

Spiced Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Veggies

While most schools started mid-August, Northwestern decided to begin classes the very last week of September, meaning schoolwork ramped up just as the fall weather did. Leaves changing, farmers market stands slowly transforming to winter vegetables, and 900 pages of The Brothers Karamazov to read for Russian Lit.

Clearly a quick, hearty and healthy recipe was in order that made use of the best squashes this season has to offer. Two great things about this recipe are how affordable and versatile it is. I had a tomato from the farmers market left over, so I roasted that along with the broccoli. But peppers, cauliflower, carrots, celery and/or onion could be thrown in the oven just as easily. As Ivan from The Brothers K famously states, “Everything is permitted.” Okay, that is totally out of context, but in the end the spaghetti squash, chickpeas and spices bring it all together in harmony.

I hope you’re all enjoying the fall weather, rain or shine, and the delicious flavors the season brings along with it!

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Gluten-Free Banana Lime Muffins (Sort of)

This summer I took up wheel pottery. I needed a creative and social outlet where I could take my mind off everything else in the day and force myself to focus on the medium infront of me. Clay demands an extreme amount of attention, but practice and patience reward the artist with a beautiful piece.

Even if your pot doesn’t turn out how you intended, you can often salvage it into something else. A flopped vase or bowl evolves into what my teacher calls more “organic” than a perfectly circular pot. Experimentation with cooking is akin to pottery: you start with an idea, but it can take on a life of its own. Oh, and experimentation with baking is like playing with fire! Maybe your recipe will be delicious. Maybe it will blow up in the kiln (or oven). Have I taken this metaphor far enough?

My good intentions (making Dad “legal” desserts that don’t have flour or cane sugar) led me to adapt a recipe I made last weekend from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. Last weekend’s treat was a delicious, dense, moist banana lime bread so good that I carried a big chunk of it outside in the morning with my coffee, only to return 2 minutes later for another big chunk. I couldn’t get enough, but Dad couldn’t have any. Clearly it was time to start  substituting critical baking ingredients with absolutely no experience! HEY, at least the result was edible. Not just that, but good.

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Miso Ginger Chicken

The kitchen is on lockdown. When there’s two consecutive BBQs at your house over the weekend and your house has just been cleaned, your mom does not appreciate a bag of flour exploding on the countertop and some sticky fruit thing messing up the new tablecloth. So I cannot cook until Monday, meaning it will be over a week before I can get a new recipe up here.

I’m excited to do some experimentation with alternative flours this coming week. Last weekend I made an incredible banana coconut lime bread, and I have been challenged to make a paleo version of the baked good. That means almond flour instead of traditional flour and agave nectar instead of sugar, plus a few other modifications. I’m hopeful I can make it work!

Miso-Ginger Chicken

Until then, I will be spending the weekend at a jazz festival. I’ve been dreaming of the gumbo I had there two years ago when I was a volunteer. I’d never had gumbo or jambalaya before, but after watching nonstop customers line up and wait 45+ minutes over two days of the festival, I knew I had to have whatever they were serving. And it did not disappoint. Have you ever had a moment where you assumed everyone else just knew something you didn’t, so you followed the masses? It doesn’t always disappoint.

So until next week’s flour adventure, I’ll leave you with a recipe I did a couple months ago for school. It’s simple, but packs a punch of flavor. Just make sure to leave time for the marinade.

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Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

Adventures with my Dad’s old copy of The Moosewood Cookbook. This isn’t the NewMoosewood Cookbook either. No, sir — this one came from 1977 when my dad was a student at Cornell in Ithaca, NY (where the Moosewood restaurant can be found). “It was a great restaurant, but not an all-the-time restaurant” for poor college student Dad. Fortunately, the majority of the recipes are interesting, tasty takes on affordable ingredients.

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

I was planning to cook on Wednesday night, but remembered halfway through the day that I had made dinner plans with a friend that night! I had to make the heartbreaking phone call to my mom to tell her that, no, I would not be cooking dinner for her that night. But the seafood risotto I had that evening was a good replacement for home cooking.

Okay — fast forward to Thursday. Time to tackle three recipes from Moosewood. Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style (the one I will be sharing), along with Spicy Tomato Soup and Carrot Loaf for dessert. They were all delicious and incredibly straightforward recipes. Just how I like it!

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

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