Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa

As I was leaving the house Monday morning for a day of errands and appointments, I turned to D and said, “How about I make something new tonight?” He quickly said yes, and I grabbed my trusty Veganomicon cookbook. I was trying to get out the door and knew it would be a busy day, so I went straight to the one-pot meals section and picked the first recipe I could find that sounded good and required the purchase of only a few ingredients I didn’t already have.

We loved this — it takes a little prep work of chopping and dicing, but once that’s done, it comes together quickly and easily. AND this recipe made enough for each of us to eat a ton at dinner, eat lunch today and there is even more squash mixture leftover, but we ran out of the salsa. It’s pretty good on its own though, so I’m sure one of us will eat the rest tomorrow.

Ingredients:

• 1 spaghetti squash (in the 3-lb. range)

Tropical Salsa:
• 1 c. chopped tomato, in 1/2-inch chunks
• 1 c. chopped pineapple, mango or papaya, in 1/2-inch chunks (I went with mango)
• 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 1/4 c. lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
• juice of 1 lime

Bean Mixture:
• 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
• 1 medium yellow onion, cut into  a small dice
• 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped small
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
•  1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 1/2 tsp. chile powder
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 c. red cooking wine (I used actual red cooking wine, but obviously if you’ve got a bottle open that you like to drink, that’s probably better!
• 1 c. fresh or frozen corn (if frozen, allow to thaw at least partially)
• 1 15 0z. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste

Directions:

1. Bake squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half (widthwise is fine, though I did it the difficult way and did it lengthwise). Scoop out the seeds, prick the skin all over with a fork and place cut side down in a baking dish containing 1 inch of water. Bake for about 45 minutes until fork can easily pierce skin.

2. After you get that in the oven, make the salsa. Mix all salsa ingredients prepared as stated above , cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Prepare the bean mixture. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and saute the onions and jalapenos in the 1 Tbsp. of oil for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed coriander seeds (I put the seeds in a bowl and crushed with a small juice glass, since I don’t have a mortar and pestle), and saute two minutes more. Add the remaining spices, salt, and wine, raise the heat and boil for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

Lower the heat and add the corn, black beans and hot sauce. Cook for 5 to 7 more minutes, until the corn is heated through and the wine is full reduced. If the squash isn’t done by now, cover the bean mixture.

When the squash is ready, remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, until you can handle it without burning the crap out of your hands. Cut the squash halves in half, then shred and scoop it out with a spoon or fork. Toss with bean mixture  and use tongs to separate the strings and mix together. If the bean mixture has cooled too much, heat the new mixture up a little, as it should be served hot.

Divide among individual plates and top with the salsa.

This was delicious! I think I held back on the spice a little, since my latest Mexican venture first came out a little spicy, but I could have spiced it up more. I forget how much squash is produced when you scoop it all out, and I think that helps balance any spiciness. Next time I’ll spice it up!

I think this would be a good base for various dishes, and I think the salsa would go nicely with any super spicy dish — especially spicy curries and Indian dishes.

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One response to “Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa

  1. Make again soon please.

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