Sunday, November 20, 2011

Artichoke Stuffed Zucchini Boats on a bed of Balsamic Infused Spaghetti Squash

When the pantry is getting low, I come up with creative ways to use the ingredients I have on hand. The trick is to have a varied shopping list and ALWAYS have fresh veggies on hand. This recipe requires some prep time, so give yourself ample time to have it ready for dinner. It is Not quick and easy and my kitchen was a mess after making this one, so plan out cleaning as you go.

Preheat oven to 375

1 whole spaghetti squash
4 large zucchini squash 
1/2 purple onion, diced
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper,chopped
herbs of choice~ basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage or dill are great choices
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sauce for Spaghetti Squash Ingredients:
1.5 cups organic, no sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 brown onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds and place face down on seasoned cookie sheet
Bake for about 45 minutes or until tender and Squash peels off inside and looks like noodles. They will have a crunchy texture
While the squash is baking, prepare the zucchini by slicing lengthwise then in half. Scoop out the insides of the zucchini with a grapefruit spoon, chop up and place in a large bowl. Line Up zucchini on an oiled baking sheet as shown below
Chop up artichoke hearts and place in bowl with zucchini
Saute onions, garlic and peppers until tender
Add the zucchini and artichoke mixture.
Season to taste with Fresh or dried Herbs of choice. There are salt free herb and spice mixtures that work great too.
Fill up Zucchini (Boats) with the mixture, Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender and top is Golden. (I also toasted a piece of whole grain bread and grated some on top for browning)
Scoop out Spaghetti Squash and add a small amount of Olive Oil while preparing sauce
To Prepare Sauce for Spaghetti Squash:
Pour 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth into a well heated pan
Add chopped onion and saute for about 10 minutes. Add herbs of choice, Salt and Pepper. Salt is Always optional.
Cook uncovered to reduce
Add  2T  balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer and reduce to a thicker sauce.
Pour on top of spaghetti squash and toss with tongs with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Place in a large serving dish and keep warm. I kept mine in my iron skillet
Place Stuffed Zucchini on top of Spaghetti Squash and Serve

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