Shrimp + vegetable saute over spaghetti squash
Regardless of your political leanings, I hope we can take a step back and be grateful for the opportunity to freely express our individual choices without retaliation or threat to life and limb. Our country has seen hard times, not for the first time, nor the last, but we always pull through. And we will again.
But, republican or democratic or libertarian or independent, the one thing we all can gather around with good cheer is the stove. Food connects people in primal, essential ways that few other things can. So, if you can, break bread today with the people important to you — even if they voted for the other guy — and celebrate togetherness and our right to choose and be heard.
And now for the clunkiest of clunky segues: spaghetti squash!
This year, I’ve completely embraced the spaghetti squash. I didn’t grow it at home — not enough room for the big viners, although I might try it next year in one of my tomato beds — but I made sure to purchase a good store of it before the farmers’ markets shuttered for the season.
I was on the “meh” fence about the squash until a friend of mine posted a preparation method for boiling it, instead of time-consuming roasting. It sounded … insufficient … but, hey, I’ll try anything once, and she was so enthusiastic about the results that I couldn’t argue the success.
And yeah, it’s awesome. Easy enough that you can freeze a winter’s worth of squash in an hour (I spoon mine into one quart freezer bags, which can fit the spaghetti strands from about one half of an average squash — if I’m cooking up a quick meal for just myself, I simply crack off what I need from the bag and tuck the rest back in the freezer); speedy enough that you can make a healthy lunch, even if you’re starting the squash from raw (although freezing is so easy, I definitely encourage that).
Like pasta, spaghetti squash has a bland flavor and al dente texture that takes to sauce like a fish to water. It’s also the perfect, sturdy base for a saute, like today’s shrimp and vegetable concoction.
Use your favorite veggies: I still have bell peppers and scallions growing in my garden, so I used those, along with 2012′s leafy darling, kale. For a strictly vegetarian take, this combo works really well with tofu cubes or “chickn” strips.
Oh, and Vote!
Although my schedule today is such that I have to wait until the evening to vote, I’ve already heard many lovely stories of good cheer at the polls: happy people politely exercising their constitutional rights and duties as citizens to choose a leader of this amazing country. Yay!