Monday, November 7, 2011

Morrocan Spices for the Lunch Box

In the fall when temperature start to cool down spicy blends give flavor to an entire array of squashes I like to cook. My kids used to truly hate this squash. I have to believe they actually thought the "spaghetti" they were eating was a cruel & unusual trick on a young child's psyche! Both of my girls used to actually make fun of my "squash week" meals. In truth they both now actually eat squash in several varieties. In the world of changing young taste buds of I had a phrase I used to tell my girls: "be polite & take a bite". Over the years that must have had some affect on them as they now enjoy a variety of veggies & foods many of their friends never grew to like. In tribute to my old squash week crowd I thought I'd offer up a Spaghetti Squash recipe I've enjoyed a couple of times in my lunch box.

Spaghetti Squash & Mushrooms with Moroccan Spices
1 2-3 lb spaghetti squash
2 tbsps Olive Oil (1 tbsp for saute & 1 tbsp roasting squash)
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/2tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsps fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Cut Spaghetti Squash in half, remove seeds & small stringy threads, leaving flesh intact. Drizzle inside of squash with olive oil. Bake at *375 for 45 minutes, cut side down. Cool squash for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil a small heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add mushrooms & garlic, cook, stirring, until golden, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat. Let mushrooms cool down. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with spiced oil, mushrooms and cilantro or parsley. I pack this into lunch container for reheating, chill immediately or serve at once.

Roasting Spaghetti Squash in the oven is easiest & has better texture than the microwave method

Once cooled the pulp lifts out of the squash halves with a fork.

If you enjoy the flavor of Moroccan Spices try this mixture with chicken or lamb.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix spices & store in a dry cool place.