Spaghetti Squash with Southwest Salsa

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Allison CollinsThe first week of October has come and gone which means fall is finally here! If you read my last post, you will know that while “fall” starts on September 21st, I wait until the beginning of October to partake in harvest-themed festivities.

I like to dive head first into the seasons and celebrate them in any way possible, from attending parties, hosting parties, food and decoration preparation, and sometimes even with how I dress.

Unfortunately due to the high temperatures we are still experiencing, I have continued to dress in my summer clothing; but the heat is not stopping me from savoring in the wonderful flavors of fall.

One of the standout vegetables of fall is the squash.  It comes in many varieties, each having different tastes and needing to be highlighted in different ways.  This week I focused on spaghetti squash.

It’s a larger yellow squash that is available all year long, but primarily in the summer and winter.  It gets its name from the fact that when cooked, inside flesh pulls out into long strips like that of spaghetti.

This particular squash is great for cooking for a large group or want a main dish that appeals to many different dietary restrictions whether it be vegetarian or low carb.

Traditionally, people will cook it up and pour spaghetti sauce and/or meatballs on it, but last week I decided to go a different route and try a southwestern topping.

There are two ways to cook the spaghetti squash: oven or crock pot. Either way, pierce the outside of the squash 4-5 times with a sharp knife (be careful not to stab any of your fingers!).  For the oven: cook for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees.  For the crock pot: place in the crock pot with two cups of water and cook on LOW for 6 hours and HIGH for 3-4 hours.  Once done cooking from ether method, cut in half, spoon out and discard the seeds, then scoop out the inside and place in a bowl.

 

allison articleFor the southwestern topping, combine the following ingredients into a large skillet:

 

1 cup frozen corn

1 can black beans

1 jalapeno, diced

1 can diced or stewed tomatoes

1 4 oz. can green chilies

1 red bell pepper; chopped

½ red onion; chopped

1 tsp. garlic salt

1-2 tsp cumin

 

Stir in the skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until corn is thawed and mixture is heated up.

 

To serve:

 

Spoon some of the spaghetti squash into a bowl.  Top with the southwestern mixture.  Garnish with salsa, hot sauce, and/or cilantro and lime juice.

 

Enjoy!