Monday, April 07, 2014

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Sauteed with Vegetables and Feta (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Sauteed with Vegetables and Feta
Roasted spaghetti squash combines perfectly with mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, and Feta!

I think most bloggers would agree that one very fun thing about writing a blog is getting nice e-mails and comments from readers.  And sometimes those very nice readers will send you recipes that you love and plan to make over and over, which makes the nice e-mails even better.  This amazing recipe for Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Sauteed with Vegetables and Feta came from a nice reader named Joyce.  She described the recipe to me and said if it sounded like something I'd like to try she would take a stab at writing up the recipe, and oh boy, did I ever want to try it.  Jake and I made this late in the afternoon on a long cooking day, making only a few minimal changes to Joyce's recipe, and before the night was over I had polished off all my share of the leftovers!  Even if you're not wild about spaghetti squash, if you like the other flavors here I'm willing to bet you'll like it as much as we did.

You really can't go wrong with a dish that includes spaghetti squash, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, balsamic vinegar, and Feta, and this is a Meatless Monday dish that's low-carb, gluten-free, South Beach Diet Phase One, and it can be Paleo if you omit the cheese.  But even with all those good credentials, I'm mostly urging you to try this recipe for a Meatless Monday because it's so amazingly delicious; thanks Joyce!

(You can find more meatless recipes with the label Meatless Monday or by checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  For Meatless Monday ideas, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, or visit my Meatless Monday Pinterest board.) 
  
Microwave squash, then cut into quarters lengthwise, brush \with olive oil, sprinkle with Italian Herb Blend, and bake.  (This takes about 45 minutes if you start it in the microwave.  Cook the squash first and let it be cooling when you start cooking the other ingredients.)

While the squash roasts, drain and cut up the artichoke hearts and cut cherry tomatoes and olives in half.  (I used plain black olives but Kalamata olives would also be good.)   Also cut up the mushrooms, onions, and zucchini, thinly slice the green onions, and crumble the Feta.  (You'll have to use your imagination for a photo of those!)

When the squash is done and cooling, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan with high sides and saute mushrooms about 5 minutes, or until they're browned and all the released liquid has been evaporated.

Remove the mushrooms, add a tiny bit more oil if needed, heat the oil and then saute the onions and zucchini about 5 minutes.  Add the Italian Herb Blend and dried oregano and cook a minute or so longer. 

Mix 1/2 cup chicken stock with 2 tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar.

 Add the stock-vinegar mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat about 2 minutes.

 Add the tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts and cook about 2 minutes more.

While those vegetables are getting warmed, shred the spaghetti squash apart with a fork.

Add the spaghetti squash to the pan and gently toss with the other ingredients, then toss in part of the Feta.  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot, with additional Feta and sliced green onions sprinkled over the top.


Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Sauteed with Vegetables and Feta
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe from a reader named Joyce with very slight adaptations by Kalyn.)

Ingredients for Spaghetti Squash:
1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend

Other Ingredients:
8 oz. brown Crimini mushrooms (also called Baby Bellas), cut into quarters or thick half slices
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise and then thickly sliced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 T Italian Herb Blend
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup black or Kalamata olives, cut in half
1 can (about 15 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half or quarters
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 T balsamic or sherry vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup crumbled Feta
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions for garnish (optional, but good)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.  Poke several holes in the skin of the squash with a sharp knife (so steam can escape), then put the whole spaghetti squash into the microwave and cook on high power for 5 minutes.  (This makes the squash easier to cut and starts the cooking process.  If you don't have a microwave or don't want to do this, just cook the squash slightly longer in the oven.)

Cut squash into four lengthwise pieces, scrape away seeds and discard, brush the surface with olive oil, and sprinkle with Italian Herb Blend.  Put squash on a baking sheet that's been sprayed with non-stick spray and roast 45 minutes (or slightly longer if you didn't microwave.)  Let squash cool until you can handle it.

While squash roasts,  drain and cut up artichoke hearts, cut cherry tomatoes and olives in half, cut up the mushrooms, onions, and zucchini, thinly slice the green onions, and crumble the Feta.  Mix the stock with the vinegar.  You want all these ingredients prepared when you start to saute.

When squash is fully roasted and has started cooling so you can shred it apart, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick frying pan with high sides (big enough to hold all the ingredients.)  Saute mushrooms over medium-high heat until they're browned and all the liquid has evaporated.  Remove mushrooms to a plate.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil and heat, then saute the onions and zucchini about 5 minutes, until they're starting to get lightly brown.  Add the minced garlic and Italian herb blend and cook about 2 minutes more.  Pour in the stock/vinegar mixture, turn heat to medium, and cook about 2 minutes.  Then add the cherry tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts and cook about 2 minutes more (just until all the vegetables are heated though.)  Add mushrooms back into the mixture.

As soon as it's cool enough to handle (probably while the onions and zucchini are cooking) shred the spaghetti squash flesh apart with a fork and discard the skin.  When all vegetables are heated, gently mix in the spaghetti squash, then mix in the 3/4 cup of Feta.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Arrange on a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining Feta and sliced green onions.  Serve hot.  

I ate all mine the same day I cooked it, so I don't know how well this will keep in the fridge, but I'm guessing it would be okay after a day and could be reheated in a microwave or hot frying pan.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Spaghetti squash is a wonderfully low-glycemic ingredient, and this dish would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Meatless Ideas with Spaghetti Squash:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Vegan Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Mexican Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti Squash with Cashew Basil Pesto and White Beans ~ The Perfect Pantry
Greek Salad Spaghetti Squash Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo ~ Food Doodles
Slow Cooker White Bean, Mushroom, and Rosemary Spaghetti Squash Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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13 comments:

  1. Reader feedback is definitely the best, especially when it yields recipes like this! I love all the Mediterranean mixins!

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  2. What a gift to get this great recipe from a reader! I love everything about it. These days, I'd probably cook the squash in my pressure cooker, which makes it very fast.

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  3. Joanne, Lydia, and Hari, so glad to hear you guys see the appeal in this. Jake and I loved it!

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  4. Kalyn, I'm tickled to death that you chose to post my recipe! You provided much more detail than I gave you, which will help your readers achieve success. It's really yummy, and super healthy too. I just want to mention that there is plenty of room for experimentation with this....add any herbs or spices you like, or veggies that yield themselves to sauteing.

    I think this is my 15 minutes of fame!

    Joyce

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  5. Very, very, good flavours. I can't say I followed the directions to a T (i.e. not everything was sauteed separately; lazy cook here)but it was really the first spaghetti squash recipe I would repeat. Thank you!

    Oh, and I used a Greek seasoning blend instead of the Italian; not sure how much difference it made but I had it on hand.

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  6. Joyce, you deserve more than 15 minutes for this fantastic recipe. We absolutely loved it!

    Anna, I think Greek seasoning would be great, so glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. Great idea to throw in mediterranean flavors in with spaghetti squash!

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  8. Thanks Becky, such a great recipe from Joyce!

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  9. This looks amazing, although I might leave the zucchini out. I need a zucchini break, LOL!

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  10. Barbara, I think there are endless ways to vary the veggies in this!

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  11. This was a tasty recipe that made many leftovers for my family. It was a bit time consuming, even though I roasted the squash whole, earlier in the day. I will make it again when I have time :) and I might roast the mushrooms while roasting the squash. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Mamier, glad you liked it, and I love the idea of roasting the mushrooms, and maybe the zucchini as well!

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