Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Red Bell Pepper and Swiss Chard

The awesome thing about spaghetti squash is the magical way it shreds almost effortlessly into thin spaghetti-like shreds. How!? Why?! I love using this squash as a replacement for pasta. The tender squash meat tastes like al dente angel hair and when combined with greens and other vegetables then cooked in it's own shell, a wonderful casserole type dinner appears in no time.

Thin shreds of squash with red bell peppers, swiss chard, garlic and fresh basil cooked with crunchy bread crumbs toasted until golden brown.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out
8 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 head swiss chard, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
8 basil leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 425.
Drizzle both spaghetti squash insides with 3 tbl of olive oil total. Season heavily with salt and pepper.
Roast the halves, cut side up for 20 minutes. While the squash is cooking, make the filling.
Heat 2 tbl of olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onion and red bell pepper until soft and translucent with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and swiss chard and toss to wilt the chard. Once the garlic has toasted and is fragrant (about 3 minutes) remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the panko, 1/2 cup cheese, basil, salt and pepper to taste and 2 tbl of oil. Toss to combine.
Use a fork to shred all of the squash out of the halves. Stir in with the vegetables and divide the vegetable mix back into the halves. Divide the breadcrumb mixture on top and drizzle with 1 tbl of oil on top.
Place back in the oven, reduce heat to 375 and bake for 20-25 minutes until toasted and golden brown.

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