Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Maple, Sage, and Pecans

Spaghetti squash with sage, maple, and pecans
Spaghetti squash with sage, maple, and pecans
Maple and pecans on squash. What’s not to like?

When we picked up a large spaghetti squash at the CSA, we were slightly crestfallen that there wasn’t another squash option. Sometimes we can choose from among several winter squashes, or sometimes there’s a good variety in the sizes. Not this time. It was a large spaghetti squash. We were disappointed primarily because we find it difficult to do something great with spaghetti squash. After some thought, we figured we might be going about using spaghetti squash the wrong way, and that we need to turn everything on its head.

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Zucchetta Gratinate al Forno (Baked Trombincino Gratin)

vegetable gratin
vegetable gratin
Simplest hot appetizer ever!

Now, unless you’re hanging out at Italian farmers’ markets (wouldn’t that be great?), you might not have trombincino squash. No worries. We’ll tell you right up front that you can use practically any vegetable, zucchini, onions, peppers, or eggplant, for this traditional Italian appetizer. And, it’s about the easiest appetizer you’ll ever make, too.

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Watermelon and Arugula Salad with Maple Poppy Seed Dressing

watermelon and arugula salad with maple poppy seed dressing
watermelon and arugula salad with maple poppy seed dressing
The key to salads is variety. Mix up the flavors, the textures, and the colors.

We check the CSA website before we head down to pick up our produce. It gives us a bit of time to think about what we might make that would help finish up what we have in the house along with some really fresh vegetables. This week, we saw arugula on the list. Now, the arugula we get isn’t like what you can get in the store. What Farmer Frank grows seems to be super arugula, meaning it’s peppery. Very peppery. We thought we’d pair the peppery arugula with some cooling left-over watermelon in a salad. It turned out so well we had it two days in a row.

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Maple Breakfast Patties

maple breakfast patties
maple breakfast patties
A bit healthier than sausage.

Remember those Savory Whole-Grain Nuggets that we made a while back? We loved them so much that we wondered if we could do something similar to make a breakfast patty. And, guess what? About a week later, we saw a recipe for making maple breakfast sausage in Egg Shop, by Nick Korbee. We figured, any restaurant that specializes in egg dishes probably knows a thing or two about breakfast sausage, too. We also figured that we could put the Scratchin’ It lab employees on overtime to combine the two ideas, and make our version of Maple Breakfast Patties.

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Lime Creamed Corn with Green Chilies

lime creamed corn with green chilies
lime creamed corn with green chilies
Limey, this is good!

We’re getting better at using the green chilies we get in our CSA share each summer. At first, we’d almost always try to trade them for something else, taking them home only when the trading baskets had nothing of interest. At home, we’d sometimes cobble together something or another that would use the chilies, but often they’d end up in the freezer, with us hoping that we’d have some green chili revelation.

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Wild Rice with Maple Pecans and Balsamic Grapes

wild rice with maple pecans and balsamic grapes
wild rice with maple pecans and balsamic grapes
Nutty! Sweet! Tart! Earthy! This has it all!

We put our CSA share pickup on hold when we’re away on trips, which means that, when we get back, we sometimes have to go almost a week without fresh vegetables. We know we could pick up some at the store, but we generally don’t, as we find it somewhat unexciting and often it’s not super fresh (we do buy fruit, mainly because we don’t get a lot of fruit through the CSA). That means we have to be more creative when it comes to meals, making dishes from staples around the house.

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Spanish Rice with Nopales and Green Chilies

Spanish rice with nopales and green chilies
Spanish rice with nopales and green chilies
Quick, easy, and mostly hands off cooking!

Yesterday, we showed you how to clean nopales and get them ready for use, but we realized that we only have one recipe posted for using nopales. It’s a good one, Nopales Con Papas y Más (cactus pad with potatoes and more), and one of our favorites. In fact, it’s about the only way we cook nopales, but, this time, we were out of potatoes, so we made up this dish, instead.

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