Friday, February 14, 2014

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas

Well, it's Valentine's Day. I'm steeling myself against the sappy climate of the internet in general today, and trying to sink back into my (disjointed) art work groove.

The past few weeks have involved a lot of heavy foods (pizza and cookies on my worst days). I guess that's normal when you're strapped for time or going through big emotional changes, but I don't feel very good about it. So I've been wanting to prepare something lighter. I'm snowed in for the time being, but I thought ahead and got a spaghetti squash to experiment with a couple days before the storm.

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas

  • 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup (dry) chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 tsp)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • lemon wedge (garnish)
  • dash of oregano (garnish)

Preparation Part One:
I prepared my spaghetti squash in advance, and divided it into two 2-cup portions for later. You can make it using a microwave, but I did mine in the oven, since I was actually trying to kill time, and I wanted to simultaneously roast the seeds. To bake your squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, then place each half face down on a parchment-coated baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your squash. It's ready to be shredded into spaghetti-like strands when a knife can easily penetrate the outer skin. Here's the video I originally watched to learn how to roast my own.

I also cooked my chickpeas in advance. To cook from dried, soak the chickpeas for at least an hour (preferably overnight). Replace the soaking water with fresh water, and boil the chickpeas for about 45 minutes or until tender, and drain.

Preparation Part Two:
To your (reheated) spaghetti squash, add 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To your cooked and drained chickpeas, squeeze in about 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice, then stir in cumin and minced garlic. Top the spaghetti squash with your chickpeas and garnish with dried oregano and a lemon wedge.

It's a little bit like a chickpea salad with some familiar flavors borrowed from traditional hummus. The recipe listed above uses one whole squash, and makes about four servings. If you're preparing it for two on a date night, you can store the other half of the squash in the fridge for another night.

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