Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Boats


We've made it to the last week in March and can only hope that warmer temperatures make their arrival along with the new month.  The snow on the ground this morning isn't exactly what I was hoping for.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Basketball wrapped up recently with a wonderful weekend in the Dells at The Great Wolf Lodge with our basketball families. Now, we are looking forward to soccer and baseball, whenever warmer temperatures arrive.

Despite the cool afternoons, the kids have been outside with friends after school, at least enjoying the longer days of sunlight.  Last night when they came in with their cheeks rosy from the cool temperatures, there was some nice, warm, filling and healthy pizza boats ready for them.

I love this combination of something familiar and something healthy.  The kids weren't sure what they thought of the spaghetti squash itself, but when it was loaded with their beloved pizza toppings, they dove right in!

To serve my family of five, I bought 2 spaghetti squash, which are about 3 lbs each.  Each serving was a quarter of a squash and there was enough for seconds and leftovers.

These yellow squash are solid!  They must be pre-heated for a minute in the microwave, after piercing, in order to cut them in half for baking.  Then, scoop out the seeds and fibers and they are almost ready to go into the oven.


The preparation for baking was pretty simple, just brush with olive oil,  sprinkle with seasoning salt and fresh ground black pepper.  I was pretty liberal with all three of these, because once they are cooked and the spaghetti is shredded, there is plenty go to around.


Contrary to many preparation methods, these were baked cut-side up at 400 F for 40 minutes, then checked for tenderness and ease of shredding.  Since there were a few tough spots, I popped them back in for another 10 minutes to ensure doneness.


The next step was to top with your favorite pizza toppings.  Starting with an 8 oz jar of Classico Pizza sauce, 1/3 cup was spread on top of each half, then a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese (probably another 1/3 cup) and finally, 2 of them were topped with pepperoni, to satisfy the meat lovers in the family.


The kids did really well with this variation of a time-honored favorite.  They were intrigued by the fact that the shredded squash really did look like spaghetti and I'm always pleased when a filling, healthy meal can be served up as a one-dish wonder.




 Recipe

Ingredients
2 Spaghetti Squash
Olive Oil 
Seasoning Salt
Black Pepper
8 oz jar of Classico Pizza Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pepperoni
(any additional pizza toppings of your choice)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F, pierce squash and microwave for 1 minute to soften. Cut in half, brush on olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side up for 40 minutes, or longer if necessary, until squash shreds easily.

Remove from oven, top shredded squash with favorite pizza toppings.  I used 1/3 cup Classico pasta sauce, a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese and some pepperoni.  Return to oven until cheese is melted.

Cut in half and serve!