Thursday, November 17, 2011

If you would have told me 6 years ago...

So after my Wendy's & cereal lunch and dinner on Tuesday, loading up on veggies was the order of the day yesterday!  Which is the main reason I chased my salad & apple lunch with a nearly ALL veggie dinner.  This had to help fulfill my veggie quota, huh?

Into the mix goes:  Veggie #1:  Spaghetti Squash.... If you've never made spaghetti squash, you're definitely missing out! It's not only packed with vitamins and super versatile, but it's fun too!

First, you need to cut it lengthwise and scoop out the inner seeds.  Then you place it face down on a baking sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Once the squash is soft and cooled a bit, take a fork and run it through the squash and it will automatically break up into spaghetti-like strands.  Cool, right? 

While the squash was baking, I worked on Veggie #2: Swiss chard:

For really tough greens, like chard & kale, I like to boil them down to tenderize them a bit.  So for the chard, I sliced it up into thin strips and let it boil in salted water for 5 minutes.  Drain & set aside. 

And from the above photo, you can guess that veggie #3 was Tomatoes...and since I had the oven on for the squash anyways, I figured I'd REALLY bring out the flavor of the tomatoes while roasting em in a little olive oil, salt & pepper (shaking the pan half way through cooking)...
You can cook up all of these veggies before hand and store em in the fridge till you're ready to throw em all together.  It makes everything THAT much more quick & easy!

For the proper mixin, I heated up 2 pans with a little olive oil and a scoop of crushed garlic (you could make it all in one pot, but I really wanted to 'garlic-ize' as much as I couldJ) 

Into one pan, I added the spaghetti squash to saute.  After warming through, I added about a half a cup of grated cheese & a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Stir around and set aside... 

In the other pan, I sauteed the swiss chard, roasted tomatoes and tossed in a can of chickpeas for good measureJ

Once everything was warm, I combined it all together and plated up all those glorious veggies... 
I love dishes like this that feel so satisfying, but are PACKED with healthy ingredients and felt completely nourishing as a full meal.  The key to making this dish POP is to make sure to season EACH layer (with garlic, salt & pepper and the grated cheese).  If you had told Scott or I that we would INHALE a dish like this 6 years ago, I probably would have said you were crazy.  Yet we were...and Scott even went for secondsJ  hehehehhehee

SOOOOOO ONE WEEK TILL THANKSGIVING, FOLKS!  Can you believe it??  I already can't wait...even though I'm going to have a bit of a preview for it with my lunch this afternoonJ  I'll share with you tomorrowJ  Until then, have a great Thursday!

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