Lunching “in” is the new out. Why have both friends pack up and drive to a location where they will both pay steep prices for something one could whip up in the comfort of her own cozy kitchen? It just doesn’t make sense. Unless of course, you just want the splurge of it all. And that can certainly be tempting.
But I’d rather treat my friends. And cooking them a lovely meal is heaps more meaningful than picking up their tab (not to mention: cheaper, easier, and cozier). Plus, I’d rather spend 30 minutes in the kitchen than 30 minutes in the car, battling noon-hour traffic.
Yesterday had one such luncheon. With my wonderful friend Lolo due in two hours, I realized I had scarce in the kitchen, save a lovely array of veggies including a petite spaghetti squash that had been around for about a month. (Good thing squash stays good for ages!) Actually, I was scared of that little puppy. The last time I made spaghetti squash, I added pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and some sausage inherited by our neighbors. What we didn’t know was that the sausage was pickled. And disgusting. Needless to say, the whole dish was ruined.
Without much of a plan, I saddled my courage and threw the thing in the oven, uncut, for an hour. At the hour’s end, I had a plan. I’d add a little butter (or fake, vegan butter like I prefer) and garlic then throw in some sautéed brussels sprouts and kale, topped with crumbled feta and pine nuts.
My vote: killer success. Whether my friend really enjoyed it or just said she did, I’m not sure. That’s the one stipulation about eating in: your guests can’t choose from a menu… and you can’t screw it up.
In the end, trying an untested recipe on a guest isn’t the best practice. Yet Honey Dude and I do it all the time. It’s our chance to try something new, you know? The good thing is: it’s only failed us once (sad little turkey burgers on the grill: so darn wet they fell through the grates!). So we’ll probably keep the trend. It’s not for everyone.
Spaghetti squash with greens, feta, and pine nuts (serves two)
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance “butter,” divided
- 4 leaves fresh kale
- Handful of brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- Pine nuts for topping
- Feta for topping
- 2 cloves garlic (fresh: sauteed with the greens, powdered: added to the squash)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375-degrees. Bake your squash, uncut, for one hour in a casserole dish.
- Take squash out of the oven and cut in half lengthwise. Let cool for ten minutes (perfect time to cook your veggies!) before scooping out the seeds. Using a fork, scrape the stringy flesh back into your dish; use only one half of the squash and put the other half in the fridge for later… unless you’re cooking for four.
- Saute garlic and brussels in 1 tbsp butter for 5 minutes, then add kale and cook for another 5 minutes. As you cook, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the veggies to the squash, top with feta and pine nuts.
So easy, so good. And healthy! I’m putting this one in the recipe box for keeps. Please share your favorite spaghetti squash recipes, too. I love options!