I love traveling.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
– J.R.R. Tolkien
I can catch a little of Bilbo Baggins’ sudden desire for adventure in these familiar words. Random Lord of the Rings and Hobbit quotes came back to mind as hubs and I trotted around New Zealand (and we managed to go to Hobbiton! Yay!). Poor hubs was a little lost, given that he’d never read the books or watched the LOTR movies…but he gamely followed along and allowed me to take a whole host of hobbit hole pictures!
This time hubs remembered to book accommodation with cooking facilities…I had a whale of a time whipping up meals from fresh meat and produce. I guess the wonderful thing about NZ is the really lovely beef and lamb; but what surprised me was that vegetables were not as cheap as in Singapore, given that we have to import all our food from other countries.
I was also pretty pleased to find some low carb favorites in the Countdown supermarkets. I do miss Zilch ice cream – there are truly NO low carb ice creams now that Cold Storage has stopped importing Zilch. We were really excited to find Zilch there and we finished the tub in just 2 nights. There is nothing better than the creaminess and guiltlessness of low carb Chocolate Zilch Ice Cream…and it was completely dreamy with the local blueberries.
The other happy find was spaghetti squash! Spaghetti squash is a wonderful squash that, after baking, literally throws out spaghetti like strings of squash that can be eaten with spaghetti sauce or other meat sauces. I greedily chose the biggest one I could find and tenderly wrapped it in all my dirty laundry and packed it in my suitcase. The reason why I would go to such lengths is that spaghetti squash is twice the price in Singapore and is seldom available (except in Oh Deli in the East Coast). I should have bought two…if not for hubs messing up his flight booking and choosing a no-luggage option for himself and therefore all of our luggage had to be checked in under my name. We were super lucky that the guy at the check in counter winked at us and shrugged away the extra 6 kg of luggage weight.
Back home in Singapore it was fun figuring out what to do with it – in the end I decided to bake it as usual, but to make a dish within a dish – baked chorizo, chicken and spaghetti squash shreds in a half squash. It ended up being a half squash because it was really large and already filled my largest baking casserole.
So here’s the recipe – really fun, off the top of the head recipe for baked spaghetti squash. The kids that cake for dinner loved it (what’s not to like about baked cheese, even if it is on top of vegetables! Too good (dreamy sigh).
Baked Spaghetti Squash
- 1/2 spaghetti squash
- 2 chorizo sausages
- 1/2 cup cooked and shredded chicken breast meat
- 1 celery rib, finely sliced
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tbsp Romesco sauce
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Keep half the squash for other use.
- Using a basting brush, coat the cut surface of the spaghetti squash with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the surface.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place the half squash cut surface down on the paper. Place baking tray in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- When done, remove from the oven and place cut side up in a large casserole. Use a fork to shred the squash. This should come away in strands. Shred the squash but leave about 1 cm all around the squash so that it can be used as a bowl later. Remove the inner parts of the squash by shredding, and set aside in a bowl.
- In a skillet, add the rest of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, red onions and celery and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes till softened. Add the chorizo sausage and sauté for another minute.
- Add the shredded spaghetti squash and the shredded chicken meat and sauté further. Add the Romesco sauce (Bon Appetit recipe here) and gently mix through for about a minute.
- Take off the heat and scoop the spaghetti and meat mixture into the spaghetti squash shell.
- Top the mixture with the shredded cheddar cheese and put the casserole back in the oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve hot with some parsley scattered on top.