This morning I turned the tv on while getting cozy by my laptop to blog and was presented with a dilemma: what to watch at 7:30 am on a Saturday morning. I went first for the Today show (weekend edition) but it was on commercial. Flipped over to What a Girl Wants – but I’m still not over Amanda Bynes’ retirement from acting (kidding), debated a while between Honey Badgers on national geographic and a burned out 70s teen tv star on Biography channel. Settled on Saved By the Bell on MTV 2 – who knew
anybody MTV 2 still showed this oldie but a goodie?? Anyways, tv dilemma resolved, time to share 2 yummy recipes….
I was inspired to share with you one of my favorite spicy dishes because of a spicy meal experience last night. We went out to dinner at a fabulous Bangladeshi restaurant. If you’re like me and are entirely ignorant about the finer points of Bangladeshi cuisine, this is basically Indian food (someone please feel free to enlighten me as to the differences!). I went with my standard curried vegetables, with a spicy level of 4. The hubs had Teek-ka Moshol-la, which is chicken in a tomato, herb, & cream sauce – spicy level 7. (Not a typo – 7.) Now, we are both spicy food people. But even I stared wide-eyed and eyebrows raised when I heard him consent to this level of spice. Indian food spicy is NOT comparable to American food spicy. They aren’t even on the same scale. I watched him bravely take his first bite. Sip of water. Bite of naan. He makes it to bite number 2 (read: I’m way too involved in seeing him eat his fire on a plate and my food is getting cold.) He pushes on. More water. More naan. More beer (did I mention this place is BYOB?!). The man MAKES IT through the entire meal! What a stud!! Granted, his nose is running, sweat is dripping down his forehead , and he has a full on justin bieber swoop at this point from pushing back his hair to keep the sweat off his face. Nonetheless – he has made it. He is a champion. And he has inspired me to share a spicy dish with you!
This meal is not on the same spicy level as the above-described meal. But it does have a definite kick! What I love about making spaghetti from spaghetti squash is that you kind of trick yourself into eating a big bowl of pure veggies, and feel like you are eating a big bowl of pasta! Yay for mind games!
Spicy Red Pepper Spaghetti (squash) with Spinach
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 2 cups packed spinach
- 1 net wt 24-oz jar store-bought traditional pasta sauce (I use Publix brand – any plain tomato/marinara sauce will do)
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t ground red pepper
- 1 T nutritional yeast
- 1/4 t crushed red pepper + more to sprinkle over spaghetti
- canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. De-core and de-seed red pepper and cut into large, flat slices.
3. Place aluminum foil on baking sheet.
4. Move red pepper slices to baking sheet and pour enough oil over peppers and use your hands to coat them on both sides (about 1-2 T oil). Lay peppers skin side up on baking sheet.
5. Put peppers in oven and bake for 30 min until they begin to brown and skin starts to wrinkle.
6. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds, and spray inside of each half with cooking spray.
7. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on microwave safe dish and microwave for 15 min, until squash is soft.
8. In a large pan on low heat, make your sauce by pouring in pasta sauce, nutritional yeast, ground red pepper, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder.
9. One cup at a time, add spinach to sauce and stir in until it wilts.
10. Once red pepper is done roasting, cut each peace into 1/2 inch strips lengthwise, and then cut each slice in half.
11. Once spaghetti squash has cooled enough for you to handle, use a fork to strip each squash of all its flesh – the squash will come out in strings that are noodle-like.
12. Place squash noodles in large saucepan over low heat.
13. Add red peppers to squash and combine.
14. Pour on sauce and stir to combine.
15. Once you serve spaghetti in your bowl, top with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper.
Red Pepper Recipe # 2:
There was a point in time when a word association with me would’ve gone something like this: Peanut butter? “Cookies.” Chocolate? “More.” Red pepper juice? “Yucko sicko barfo.” Well times have changed, my friend! I am here to tell you that mixed with the right ingredients, red pepper juice is good – nay – great!! On the first sip, you’ll be thinking “If I hadn’t already made up my mind that this was not going to be good, then it might actually be good.” Second sip: “This is surprisingly not bad.” Third sip: No thoughts. Just chugging. The point is, give this juice a try – its yum!
Sweet Red Pepper Juice
- 2 large carrots, stems removed
- 1 granny smith apple, cored
- 1 large red pepper, de-cored and de-seeded
- 1 cucumber
- 1 slice of ginger
- 1 lime, peeled
- 1/2 large tangelo, peeled (or 1/2 orange)
Chop all ingredients so that they will fit in your juicer. Pour into a glass and drink immediately. Enjoy!