Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Bake

Well we’re finishing up a pretty solid weekend with a new recipe to share!  This weekend was just what we needed – a good mix of friends and “us time,” some relaxing, nice weather, and finishing it off with some cooking!  My friend and I babysat on Friday night for our other friends.  Which means we drank wine, painted our nails, and watched Anne of Green Gables.  Man I forgot how great that movie is!  Saturday Matt, James, and I ran the 4.01k, a free race sponsored by Prudential to raise awareness about how 2/3 (!) of Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement – get it, a 4.01K?  I signed up because it was free, a short distance, and clever.

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Post-race water bottles, how do you not find that clever?!

Today we went to church, hung around and caught up with some friends, and then had the afternoon to ourselves.  We relaxed a bit, took a (long) walk to gravelly point to watch the planes take off, and then came home and made this new recipe.

This recipe was perfect for a Sunday.  We had to roast the pepper and the spaghetti squash, which took some time, so we did that while relaxing before our walk.  Then everything was ready to go this evening and came together very quickly for dinner.  We’ve been trying to eat better and I’ve always wondered what the big deal with spaghetti squash was so I bought one from Trader Joe’s earlier this week, and searched for a recipe from my trusted recipe bloggers (Annie’s Eats and Gimme Some Oven).  This recipe is a keeper – a great mix of healthy and delicious!  We modified it a little from the original, added chicken for some extra protein (highly recommended).

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Bake

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small poblano peppers
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ½ lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 2 oz. shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Sliced avocado, for serving
  • Fresh diced tomato, for serving

Directions:

  1. To roast the peppers, preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Place the peppers in a medium baking dish.  Bake, turning every 6-8 minutes or so, until the skin is blistered over most of the surface about 15-20 minutes total.  Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with a plate and let sit 15 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and discard.  Remove the stem, seeds and ribs.  Coarsely chop the peppers and set aside.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Place the spaghetti squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash, cut side down, for about 40 minutes or until it shreds easily with a fork. Remove from the oven, let cool briefly, then shred the squash out of the peel. Spread on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel) and let drain about 10 minutes. Maintain the oven temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped poblanos, shredded squash, black beans, compound butter, greek yogurt, shredded chicken, and half of each of the cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold together until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm topped with sliced avocado and fresh diced tomatoes.

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