In fact, I’m probably never going to remember to take pictures when something has finished baking, or is plated nicely, or otherwise looks perfect. I’m going to always be hopping up in the middle of dinner shouting mild expletives, jerry-rigging things to look a bit more together. Or using the three bites of leftovers I’ve saved in the fridge and staging it to look like an actual meal, as if I wanted to take a picture of only one bite on a fork pretending to be headed to my mouth. (<–This actually happened, and the pic is coming your way soon.)
Beyond that, I take all the pictures with my iPhone instead of the nice fancy camera my hubby bought me (mostly because I can at least figure out how to get the pictures off of my phone)… So there are just a lot of issues and the pictures – I promise – do not do justice to the food. Moving on.
This spaghetti squash “casserole” is super yummy and is a great meal to make if not everyone has the same dietary needs. (By the way, the quotes for “casserole” are because there aren’t enough ingredients to justify calling it a real casserole, yet it’s still better than just squash and sauce.) As you can see in the picture, mine had three distinct sections. The boys got the side covered with amazing looking, ooey-gooey melted fresh mozzarella, the Little (fairly intolerant of cow’s milk) had the middle section with just Pecorino Romano, which is made from sheep’s milk (the boys got some of that, too), and my Whole Life Challenge portion is on the other side. Although it looks pretty sad next to all that gorgeous cheese, it really was so good that I didn’t miss it a bit.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
*1 large spaghetti squash
*Grass-fed butter (Use ghee or omit if dairy free.)
*1/2 large onion, diced
*1-1/2 pounds ground beef
*2-3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
*1 27-ounce carton diced tomatoes (just about 3-1/2 cups)
*3 jars organic tomato paste
*3/4 cup filtered water
*1 tsp. sea salt
*1 tsp. each oregano, basil, parsley
*1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
*1/2 – 1 tsp. fennel seeds (Optional, but I wanted to give it a bit of a sausage taste.)
*If desired, fresh mozzarella cheese and/ or Pecorino Romano
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pierce the skin of the spaghetti squash a couple of times with a fork, and then throw the whole thing in the oven. Cook for about an hour. (Find more ways to cook the spaghetti squash here. This can even be done ahead of time.)
Meanwhile, add some butter or other favorite cooking fat to a your largest skillet. When nice and hot, add in onion and ground beef. Saute, breaking the ground beef apart, and after a few minutes add in the garlic, being careful not to let it burn. Cook until the onion is soft and the beef is browned.
Add in the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste and the filtered water. Mix well, and then add in the spices. (Feel free to adjust to your tastes. Once again, I’m guesstimating with those measurements because I just threw in a pinch of this and a sprinkling of that.) Let simmer for about a while (but at least 10 minutes).
When the squash is tender (easy to pierce), use oven mitts to remove it from the oven, then cut it around the middle (not length-wise). You might want to keep one of those mitts on to do this as it will be super hot. Carefully use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp, and then use a fork to rake the strands into a rectangular baking dish. Toss the “spaghetti” with butter or ghee, if desired. (This would be easier in a large bowl, but why dirty an extra dish?)
Flatten your “spaghetti” in the baking pan into a nice even layer, and then top with a thick layer of meat sauce. (You will probably have some extra sauce. Save this to add when reheating the leftovers later in the week.)
Top with cheeses as desired.
Return to oven for 10 minutes, or enough time to set the squash and sauce, and melt the cheese.
Supes yummy. And the leftovers are even more delish.
PS – If you think the picture above is bad, here’s the first one I took:
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