Spaghetti Squash, Mexican Style – Two Ways

February 21, 2010  •  Breakfast, One Dish Meals, Side Dishes, Vegetables

I’ve had a spaghetti squash sitting on my counter for a few weeks from the winter harvest of my farm. I’m not really a huge fan of winter squash unless I doctor it up with enough other flavors that it becomes a subtle background. A few searches online gave me a bunch of ideas, so I came up with this dish and decided to cook it in two formats. (That’s what I do when it’s snowing and I’m bored – cook and eat!)You need to cook the spaghetti squash first. It’s easier if you put a few holes in it and microwave it a few minutes before trying to cut it open and scoop out the seeds. Then continue cooking it in the oven, wrapped in foil, until it’s soft, about 30 minutes (if you microwave it first). Or try boiling it, another technique that works well.Use a fork to scoop out and separate the strands of flesh which look like spaghetti.Then add corn, red pepper, green onions (or regular onions)……along with a can of black beans that you rinse and drain and shredded cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper and spices.Pour into a greased or oiled baking dish, top with some crumbled feta cheese, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. This makes a wonderful vegetarian entree (it packs protein from the beans without adding meat) or a nice side dish to a steak or chicken breast.But another way to make this dish is more like an Italian strada or baked egg dish. Mix everything up to this point together (including the feta) and set aside. Beat together eggs and milk, then stir into the vegetable and cheese mixture. Pour into a greased or oiled baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until eggs are fully set, about 60 minutes.I was hoping to unmold this onto a lovely plate and get a stunning photograph of the finished egg dish, but learn from my mistakes: even if you greased the pan well, this will NOT unmold and if you try to do that you’ll have a scrambled egg mess like I did (note, that didn’t slow me down one bit from eating it). Instead, use a knife around the edges to loosen it, then a large spoon to scoop out a serving. I had the side dish for dinner last night and the egg dish for brunch this morning – I loved them both so I’m not picking a favorite!

Spaghetti Squash, Mexican Style – Two Ways
Serves 6

1 spaghetti squash, cooked and scooped from shell
1 large red pepper, diced
1 cup corn
1/2 cup sliced green onions (or diced onion)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 large eggs, optional
1 cup milk, optional

Combine squash, red pepper, corn, onions, black beans, cheeses and spices and stir together gently. Fold into a greased casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, beat eggs and milk together and combine with vegetable mixture. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until eggs are set, about an hour.

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