Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rob's favorite dinner

On Thursday afternoon I got an email from Leda. In her graceful way, she sent me greetings from Ometepe. It always makes the world seem like a more hospitable place, to be sitting here in the cold working on my dissertation and then suddenly get a message from Leda in Nicaragua.

This week I made Rob’s favorite dinner again: spaghetti squash with chick peas on the side. At this point, I should note, it is not actually Rob’s favorite dinner. In fact, I think he hates it. But I feel like its healthy and pretty easy to prepare, so I have made it a couple of times. You take a spaghetti squash and microwave it for a couple minutes, until it is soft enough to cut. Then you slice it long-ways, scoop out the seeds, and place it cut-side down in a baking dish with a little bit of water. Bake for 45 minutes and its done. The sauce is where I’ve been getting creative. My secret ingredient: cumin seeds. Heat a little bit of olive oil and toast some whole cumin seeds. Then add whatever vegetables you have on hand. For me, this is usually quite a selection. The first time I made this, I used leeks, kale, and green peppers. Last time, I used onion, broccoli, red pepper, kale, and mustard greens. Then I put in some organic crushed tomatoes (Full Circle Organics makes some very nice ones that are low in sodium) and some spices: Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and a little bit of cayenne. You can just scoop the flesh out of the spaghetti squash (it comes out in nice long strands, just like spaghetti!) and put sauce on the top. Then sprinkle on some parmesan or romano cheese. I also make a side dish of chick peas. Again, not Rob’s favorite, but I love it. You take chick peas (either straight out of a can or dried beans that you have soaked and cooked), toss them with olive oil, Italian herbs, cayenne pepper, more cumin seeds (the secret ingredient!) and a little bit of sea salt (but skip this if they were canned). Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 5 or 10 minutes. They come out tasting wonderful, if you ask me. The beauty of this whole thing is that with spaghetti squash, a little goes a long way. One cup has something like 45 calories (and is chock full of vitamins), and it is surprisingly filling. A whole spaghetti squash makes several nights worth of dinners and leftovers that I can take to work for lunch.

The first time I made this a couple weeks ago, I was very excited to be trying something new. I love butternut squash, but in all my years I don’t think I’d ever had spaghetti squash. Rob generally eschews any type of squash, but I thought maybe he would find this concoction more palatable. “Rob, its just like spaghetti, only its squash!” I said excitedly as I dished up the dinner. He eyed it cautiously and said, “Is there any reason we can’t just have spaghetti?” Since then, I have referred to this as “Rob’s favorite dinner.” He eats it like a good sport, but I am not sure he is really all that huge of a fan. I think he will eventually come around though. I’ve heard that you have to taste something 10 times in order to start liking it. We’ve had it twice already, so just 8 more spaghetti squash to go. Thanks for reading.

6 comments:

Ragfield said...

"Hate" is such a smelly word.

Anonymous said...

HA, just saw ROB's comment!!!! it sounds really yum. and after 8 more times, it will either be Rob's VERRRRRRRRRRRY fav... or he will be SOOOOOO tired of it, he'll order OUT, on any future meals.......... but you hang in there, it sounds healthy, and good for you....... did I just notice, on TWITTER, you were off to go RUNNIN????????????? OMG... you are WAAAAAAAAY CRAZY..... besides, the BRUTAL COLD, you will BLOW FAR FAR AWAY, in the winds!!! I must go lay down, for awhile, to get my breath following your RUN!!! take care.. luv you,

Anonymous said...

attach foxy mama to last comment!!!-:)

Logan's Mama said...

I believe that they say babies may taste something up to 20-25 times before finally accepting or liking it. That's about right with Logan. So, by that standard, Rob is so ahead of the curve...

amypfan said...

I tried this with Bryn a while back--well, just with the squash, not all the fixin's, and while she ate like a champ the first time around, she couldn't be bothered to ever try it again. Maybe just 8 more times.... ??

Melissa said...

Amy--
"The more ways you engage in a material......."