Shrimp and vegetables over spaghetti squash is stir fry meal that’s quick to the table, healthy, and so delish!
Happy Election Day, Everyone!
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, 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 vegetables over spaghetti squash.
A super-simple, light and healthy seasoning of oil, miso, red curry paste, and soy sauce gives a sweet-spicy kick to the shrimp.
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!
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 heaping cups prepared spaghetti squash threads , fresh or frozen (about 1/2 of a squash) (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon miso
- 1/2 teaspoon red Thai curry paste
- 1 teaspoon soy or Shoyu sauce
- 1/2 red bell pepper , diced
- 1 scallion , sliced
- 3 large kale leaves , stems removed, torn into 1/2" bits
- 1/2 pound shrimp , cooked or raw, deveined, tails removed (mostly thawed, if using frozen)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Saute the spaghetti squash: heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the spaghetti squash threads and saute until of the liquid has evaporated (this will take a few minutes if thawed). Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl; set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the large skillet and allow to warm until shimmering. Add the miso, curry paste and soy sauce, mixing well with the oil until the miso is blended in.
Add the peppers and scallions to the skillet and stir to coat with the miso-oil seasoning. When the peppers turn soft, add the kale leaves and shrimp, stirring frequently. Saute until the shrimp is cooked through, opaque, pink on the edges, and plump. Season with salt and pepper to suit.
To serve, divide the spaghetti squash evenly between two plates and top with the shrimp and veggie mixture.