Friday night's menu was Baked Spaghetti Squash (with marinara and croutons), and Bread Sticks, and Bean Salad. Serve the spaghetti squash in it's shell--it looks cool and it saves dirty dishes. If you buy them small enough, you could serve individual squashes to each person. I could only find big ones this week, so one squash made enough for the whole family plus a lunch of leftovers.
Saturday night's menu was Portabella Mushroom and Pepper Fajitas, Refried Black Beans, and Fresh Fruit. Then we had Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.
A special thank you goes out to Eli for eating Strawberry Shortcake for breakfast this morning. I forgot to click a picture last night, so had to assemble one this morning. So nice of him to take one for the team!
BAKED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Cut squash in half and spoon out seeds. Place the spaghetti squash halves, cut side up, onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons, olive oil, then salt and pepper. Turn the squash over so they're cut side down and roast until the flesh is tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Once cooked, use a fork to pull the squash away from the rind, and to loosen the squash strands up. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season again with salt and ground black pepper. Reserve squash in the shells.
Roasted tomato sauce:
(I cheat at this. I just use a jar of sauce and then add the roasted tomatoes to it.) Take 2 large tomatoes, wash them and then rub them with olive oil. Char them over the flame of the grill, the stove top (gas stoves), or under the broiler. Turn frequently to blacken all sides. Let cool enough to peel, then chop coarsely and add to your favorite marinara sauce.
½ loaf sourdough (or whatever bread you have leftover) cut into ½” cubes
4 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large saute pan, cook garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add bread cubes, and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet. Season with sea salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings to taste. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Check frequently to prevent burning. Cool. (Note: some breads will take longer to cook while others will burn at 15 minutes. You have to just watch these.)
Stir a little bit of croutons and sauce into each squash. Then top the squash with the sauce and cover with croutons. If all ingredients are hot, just place it under the broiler for a couple minutes to give it an extra crunch. If squash is cold (I prep mine ahead of time) then cover with foil and cook 20 minutes. Uncover and brown up the top for another 5-10 minutes. Serve right out of the shells!
COLORFUL BEAN SALAD
Mix all in bowl:
4 cans beans (mix of red kidney, wax beans, green beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, navy beans, etc.)
1/4 cup white onion, chopped very small
1/4 cup carrot, chopped very small
1/4 cup celery, chopped very small
salt and pepper
Drizzle dressing on top:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar (white, cider, or red wine)
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
salt and pepper
Chill salad for 2 hours before serving.
2 portabella caps, cleaned and fibers scooped out, cut into 1/2" slices
1 red pepper, cut into slices
1 yellow pepper, cut into slices
1 green pepper, cut into slices
1 white onion, halved and cut into slices
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. oregano
salt and pepper
Saute onions in pan on low heat for about 10 minutes. Add peppers, season and continue to cook until crisp tender. Remove from pan. Cook portabellas in a small amount of oil over medium high heat for about 2 minutes each side. Add onions and peppers back to pan and season again to taste.
Warm whole-wheat tortillas according to package directions. Fill with mushroom and pepper mixture, and top with any or all of the following:
And always squeeze on fresh lime juice at the end! Served with refried black beans (canned) and fresh fruit.
VEGAN STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
About 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into halves
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup and 2 T. white sugar
2 ½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
6 T. dairy-free margarine, cut into pieces (I used Smart Balance)
½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk, soymilk, or coconut milk
2 T. white sugar for sprinkling
Mix strawberries and ¼ cup sugar together and chill in refrigerator while you do the rest.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in margarine. Stir in milk just until combined. Drop onto greased baking sheet (make them about biscuit size). Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
To assemble, cut each shortbread in half and scoop on strawberries. Top with shortbread. (I put whipped cream on top for my family, but just skipped it for me.)