As mentioned last week, Chanukkah is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, one which celebrates a miracle with oil. So it is traditional among the Ashkenazim (Jews of Eastern European heritage) to eat fried foods, especially latkes.
But just because you're cooking with oil, eating oil and worshipping the beauty of the oil doesn't mean that you have to destroy your arteries in the process. It is possible to eat nutritious food that's utilizes oil, too!
And here is one of the ways to do so: bake some spaghetti squash on an oiled sheet, saute some spinach and tomato in oil, and then serve some good bread alongside the vegetables and provide a lovely spiced dipping oil for it, as well.
This is a ridiculously easy meal, one packed with nutrition, and certainly a warm and colorful dinner to enjoy at the end of a long day of work or holiday shopping or errand running or snow shovelling, or whatever your life might bring to you ....
Spaghetti Squash with Spinach
1 large spaghetti squash
3 tablespoons oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 cup chopped fresh spinach
parmesan, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and place it on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it's very tender and golden at the edges.
Near the end of the cooking time, heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the red pepper flakes over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and almonds; cook for 1 minute or so, until the almonds become fragrant.
Add the tomato and the spinach; cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
Scrape the flesh from the squash and place it onto a serving dish.
Top with the spinach mixture, then serve with parmesan.
Serves 2-4, depending on size of serving.
Dipping Oil for Bread
1/3 cup olive oil, the greener the better
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Tarragon Shallot Citrus seasoning mix
1/8 teaspoon Mrs. Dash original seasoning mix
Mix all of the ingredients together and place into a serving bowl. Let flavors blend for at least 30 minutes before serving with good, crusty bread.