Monday, October 18, 2010

A Gluten-Free Dinner

Right now we have a house guest which usually has us bursting with great ideas for local meals to share. We love to show off to our out-of-town family how delicious our local food offerings are. However, this time we have been faced with one of our biggest local eating challenges yet. Our guest has a large number of food allergies. One of these allergies necessitates eating gluten-free. After much fretting, I realized that our seasonal bounty was all the inspiration I needed. Last night we ate Spaghetti Squash with Basil Pesto. Here's how we made it:
Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash is super-easy to prepare and works with so many different meal ideas. Just treat it like pasta and have fun!
Prepare squash by cutting in half lengthwise and removing seeds. Pierce skin several times with a fork and choose either microwave or oven methods. (I prefer the oven--it tastes the best!)
Oven: place squash cut-side down in a large baking pan. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.
Microwave: place squash cut-side down in a microwaveable baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water and cover with plastic wrap. Fold a corner of the plastic wrap back to allow steam to escape. Cook on high 7-10 minutes.
Let squash cool enough to handle. Using a fork, remove spaghetti-like strands of pulp. Discard shell.
Save the seeds and cook them up like pumpkin seeds!

Basil Pesto
Pesto is so easy and versatile. It can be made with other leafy greens such as arugula, and almost any kind of nut works. Our basil came from our garden. The parmesan comes from Gold Creek Farms. We bartered for the walnuts since we heard about someone with walnut trees. Melted butter can be used in place of oil, and we bought the garlic from the farmers market.
Follow the link above to find a recipe for making the pesto.
Note, if you don't have a food processor, just finely chop the ingredients.

Spaghetti squash is always good with extra cheese, so grate a little extra!

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