At some point I realized that Alamo Drafthouse, the awesomest of movie theaters, included a dish on their menu called “spaghetti squash and pomodoro sauce”. Since the dish was both vegetarian and featured a new to me squash I had to try it. I think I’ve now eaten it on 3 out of my last 4 Alamo trips because it is delicious. It’s basically squash topped with mushrooms, sauce and parmesan.
Well this week I decided I wanted to make my own spaghetti squash dish, so I did. I got a giant squash at the grocery store that fed two of us for two nights. I sliced it open and cleaned it out, kind of like a pumpkin. It then had to go into two separate baking dishes - I baked it for about 50 minutes, sliced side down, with a bit of water in the bottom of the pan.
While the squash baked, I assembled my ingredients, sauce, mushrooms, onion, and a red pepper. If you’ve never tried Newman’s Own “Sockarooni” sauce, I highly recommend it. It has a slight fresh garden and spicy flavor and is just plain good. Newman’s Own also donates their profits to charity so that makes me happy.
I sautéed each vegetable separately in a touch of olive oil, being careful not to over cook them.
After all of that, the squash was about done. I could tell because when I scraped the inside with a fork, the squash easily pulled apart into spaghetti looking strands.
I served a quarter of the squash topped with the mushrooms, onion, red pepper, sauce and cheese. It was quite delicious. I really like the slightly crunch texture of the squash strands.
Well, only in Austin do we call the high 80s / low 90s “fall-like” temperatures. After months of well over 100 degree temperatures, this coolness is odd. Baking in the hot hot summer months is rather impractical, but now that my AC doesn’t have to strain as hard, I decided it was time for some zucchini bread.
I’m not sure what makes zucchini bread quite so delicious as the only flavors are cinnamon, vanilla, and zucchini. Some how these combine with the ordinary ingredients to create pure deliciousness.
As I like to pretend that my baking is healthy, I used this recipe from Cooking Light. However, I didn’t have any applesauce so I used plain yogurt instead (as I do in banana bread as well). I also used 2 real eggs instead of egg substitute and added extra cinnamon.
Beside the step where you shred the zucchini, this recipe is extremely easy to make. You don’t even have to break out the mixer, you can mix the ingredients by hand.
Shredded zucchini draining on paper towels:
Zucchini, egg, yogurt, and vanilla combined:
The instructions say to hollow out the center of the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients to combine, so that’s what I did:
And then mixed it all up:
The end result:
This turned out so well that when I told my husband to eat as much as he wanted, he ate almost half of a loaf!
Here in Austin, the grocery stores get excited each year at this time for hatch green chiles to arrive from Hatch, New Mexico. I have no idea if this is a thing in other parts of the country or not. The grocery stores offer both fresh and roasted hatch chiles and a variety of other hatch flavored foods. Chuy’s even makes a special menu that we always go check out.
For dinner this week, I decided I wanted to make something with hatch chiles for the first time in my 9 years in Austin. I decided on a play off of chicken salad that uses tofu instead. I combined extra firm tofu, patted dry, with diced red onion, roasted hatch chiles, sunflower seeds, and mayo. We ate the tofu salad as an open faced sandwich on a slice of sourdough bread topped with a slice of heirloom tomato. Man, did they turn out spicy! I used 6 roasted chiles, 3 of them mild and 3 hot. On the side, I made roasted cauliflower tossed with olive oil and rosemary from our garden. It’s really the only thing left alive.
I decided that while the 110 degree air outside probably could roast the cauliflower and chiles, it most likely would take too long. Instead, I fired up the grill and roasted them myself.
Cauliflower and chiles, ready to roast:
I then had to remove the skins from the chiles because they are quite crisp. Luckily my husband mentioned that because I was ready to leave them on.
Tofu, onion (at the bottom) and the chiles ready to go:
Mixed with mayo and sunflower seeds:
Served open-faced with a slice of heirloom tomato:
All in all, a quite tasty sandwich. Sometimes I feel that food made with hatch green chiles isn’t all that exciting. However, I definitely enjoyed this sandwich, especially after my mouth stopped burning.
What’s a Smores pie you say? Well, it’s down right delicious of course! The second I saw it in my Vegetarian Times magazine, I knew I had to make it. Memorial Day seemed like the perfect occasion!
Vegetarian times taught me that marshmallow fluff is vegetarian! No gelatin like normal marshmallows (this is good for my vegetarian friends).
My husband consented to allow me to use his Malley’s dark chocolate that was still left from Valentine’s Day. Malley’s is a delicious chocolate company in the Cleveland area.
I had to break it up and put it in a bowl:
Heat soy cream to a simmer:
And then pour the soy cream over the chocolate and whisk in one egg, some vanilla and a pinch of salt:
The chocolate mixture was then poured into a prepared graham cracker crust and baked for 25 minutes. The edges of the pie crust were covered with foil to keep them from getting too brown.
After cooling for an hour it was time to “spread” on the marshmallow fluff. Well, marshmallow fluff is not the kind of stuff you spread. It’s more like a plop:
Somehow I spread it out enough and then put it under the broiler until it was brown on top:
The finished product was very rich and delicious. Definitely more flavor than a campfire smores!
Sometimes we like to make little personal pizzas on top of flatbread for dinner. Instead of pizza sauce, we tend to use olive oil or hummus.
Our garden is somewhat sad this year due to the crazy drought we’ve been having but at least the herbs are doing well. I picked some thyme, oregano, garlic chives and rosemary from the garden to start with:
I then stripped the thyme, oregano, and rosemary leaves from their stems and sliced up the chives and put them in my mortar:
I proceeded to use the pestle to crush up the herbs:
and then mixed in olive oil:
We spread this concoction on our flatbread pizzas and we could definitely taste the herbs after the pizzas finished cooking. Yum!
I guess it’s not officially summer yet, but in Texas it feels like it’s been summer for months. You may remember the vodka infusions I made recently.
I finally got to try the watermelon rosemary infusion and I must say, it was delicious. I used the Rosebud recipe from Kitchen Konfidence. It was fun to muddle the watermelon with the crushed ice:
I used rosemary sprigs from the gigantic rosemary bush in the backyard. Rosemary grows like crazy in Texas:
Yum! I recommend seedless watermelons if you can. I still had to strain out the little seeds from the glasses.