Hey guys! It’s been a while. While I haven’t been posting, I have still been cooking a lot and trying new recipes, just not photographing or writing about them. Truth is I have been busy working on my 1260 hour internship to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), writing for other blogs (Food and Nutrition and Natural Athlete Clinic), giving monthly nutrition talks at a local gym, sticking to my 3-4x a week running program, doing yoga, walking the dog, reading, pinning, pro-graming, spending time with my husband and friends, etc.
I have been thinking a lot about the next step for me personally and professionally as I finish up the requirements for the RD and take the RD exam. When I think about Newest Obsession, unfortunately I do not see it moving forward. I started this blog on a completely different premise than it is now. At the time, I was eating a restricted gluten-free diet to pinpoint food sensitivities. When I thought I found the trigger (gluten) I eliminated (or reduced) it effort to alleviate my IBS symptoms. After a few years passed, I was busy with school and we moved, the combo of which made my world a little stressful, and my IBS symptoms returned—sans gluten. I decided to introduce gluten back to my diet and get tested for celiac, which came back negative. My diet took a 360 at that point. Now, I bake bread weekly, I drink beer, I eat pizza, and I don’t worry about anything other than ordering what sounds good at restaurants. And, as a random aside, much to my surprise, my weight hasn’t changed. This blog never quite got to what I wanted it to be, and I decided it wasn’t worth the effort or extra expense to keep it going. As I let this go, I am working on other exciting things in the background that I hope to eventually share with you. Until then, I am going to see what I can do to keep Newest Obsession up at minimal expense to serve as a reference for recipes. I may pop in here and there with a recipe that I just have to share with you, but until then I leave you with this delicious Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bake!
I tried something new with the spaghetti squash following from this method. Instead of cutting the squash in half lengthwise, I cut it into ~1” rings (which was tough), removed the seeds, and roasted it that way in effort to produce longer, more spaghetti like strands.
While it may of produced slightly longer strands, after baking it into a casserole, I don’t think it really mattered, but it was fun to experiment!
This casserole takes on something similar to a lasagna, but with less pasta and more vegetables.
I topped it with bread crumbs, but if you left them out or used chopped walnuts instead it could be grain-free and gluten-free.
It took a little while to make, but it was definitely worth it, especially since we have leftovers. You could also prep it through step 5 the night before, refrigerate it, and bake it the next day. Just be sure to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking to come closer to room temperature.
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bake
Serves 6-8 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | Print here!
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 1 hr 30 min | Total time: 1 hr 45 min
1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
5 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp dry sherry
1-28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (to taste)
Pinch of ground allspice
1/2 c (2-oz) grated Parmesan cheese
2 c (8-oz) part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 c bread crumbs or chopped walnuts for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the squash cut side down in a 9×13 rectangular baking dish. Pour just enough water in the dish to cover the bottom. Bake until al dente or until a fork goes through to the peel when piercing the flesh; about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent; about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant; 30-60 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook until most of their moisture is released; about 5 minutes. Add spinach and sherry and cook until spinach is wilted and most of the sherry has evaporated; 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and ground allspice. Stir until heated through, about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Using a fork (or two), pull the strands from the spaghetti squash by scraping down the sides perpendicular to the length of the squash all the way down to the skin. Stir spaghetti squash strands and Parmesan cheese in with sauce mixture.
- Clean and dry the rectangular baking dish used to cook the squash. Grease with spray oil then pour the half of the spaghetti squash and sauce mixture in the dish, spreading evenly. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Spread the remaining half of spaghetti squash and sauce mixture on top of that then top with the second half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with bread crumbs or chopped walnuts (if using), and press lightly into cheese.
- Bake until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and browned slightly; about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Enjoy! Maybe “see” you soon?