Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sunny Days & Spaghetti Squash

 I just Googled myself. My blog. I was there!

 It made me happy.  I'm  Googleable. That's pretty cool.

 It's a gorgeous day out today. I have the windows open as well as the back door so my cats can roam freely in and out. I do love this weather for that. I like watching Emma who is always so tense rolling around on the pavement (That Izzy has drawn on with sidewalk chalk and leaves Emma's normally white chest, pink). In the time she is outside, she is carefree. Ruby, who needs the door open at all times, so there's always an "out", or "in" as it should be. She makes me laugh when we're outside. Finally Lucy, the youngest. Who only last year we couldn't really let outside without her hiding under the deck for the day. Having to coach her out with treats, now has a calm about her. A calm that turns sporadically neurotic, but a little bit of calmness in Lucy is a lot for her.

 Isn't it so cool how we know our animals? I have talked to a few friends who speak for their animals using a voice they're sure their pet would sound like, with a personality to match.  We do this with our three cats. It's almost like a household inside joke. No one would ever be as amused as us with it. There's something nice about that too.

 I have been somewhat absent in the blogosphere the last couple months and I think it has to do with some changing going on. Small, but change nonetheless.

 I found myself wanting information on healthy eating for the first time in my life. I feel I am, and have been capable to make what are for the most part balanced meals up until now but started really wanting to know more about vegetarian living, even vegan living. I don't think I want to necessarily be vegetarian but I feel as though vegetarian living, cooking and recipes is the way to go if you really want the dirt on the best of the best, bang for your buck in the way of healthy meals.

 So I went to Chapters and hunkered down with some books and I came out with, Alicia Silverstone's 'The Kind Diet - A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet', Kim Barnouin's 'Skinny Bitch - Ultimate Everyday Cookbook', and Green Guide's 'Grow Your Own Vegetables'.

 The first two books are half information and half recipes. I have to say, I loved the info. Have you ever heard of 'Night shade vegetables', Seitan, Tempeh or Shoyu? I hadn't! I love learning new things about food.

 Last Friday, I found myself in a salon with my friends Erika and Nancy gabbing about all of the above. I actually went home that night and thought what a great day that was. Just sitting with the girls laughing and learning. I left with new bangs and a new knowledge of food. I actually went home that night after having some amazing tea from Taloola Cafe with Erika, where her husband Dave runs the kitchen, going to the new Mexican Grille in our city, also with Erika, her husband and my friend, Dave; and thought..... "What a great day. I have the coolest friends."

 Within a day I had an email from Nancy with facts on tofu, marinades for tofu, and a recipe for sunflower seed pate (so good, it tastes like Thanksgiving) and tofu egg salad.

 I went out that day and bought Veganaise, Earth Balance butter flavoured spread and some smokey bacon flavoured tempeh just to give it all a whirl. The Veganaise and Earth Balance are really good. You can barely tell a difference, really. The tempeh was okay but something I would need getting used to.

 It was all so exciting to me. There's something to be said about getting recipes from vegan and vegetarian friends, books and sites. I could decide to eat healthy and eat a salad every night, or cut my portions, or eat only fruits or a smoothie every morning. But really, that's not the way to go in the way of proper health and in just plain excitement in your diet. I could be making 'Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes', 'Moroccan Couscous with Saffron', or "Beet & Cheese Napoleon Salad with Candied Pecans and Shallot- Balsamic Vinaigrette' for god sake! These are the things that are going to keep me interested, excited and wanting more. What about you?

 On today's menu is 'Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes'. I am baking the squash as I type. The smell of the squash alone is pretty yummy.

 I am going to enjoy the rest of this gorgeous day with my daughter and our cats in the backyard. Maybe I'll plant some of the seeds from the spaghetti squash in the garden and see what happens.

I threw in some pictures of beautiful days I have taken to get the mood flowin' in here. The last one is to hopefully make you laugh. :)

 Take care & Have fun.


 Here's the link for the recipe:

- 1 spaghetti squash, (2 ½ lb/1.25 kg)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 cups grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1 can (540 mL) white kidney beans or navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1. Halve and seed squash. Bake, cut-side down, on greased baking sheet in 400F (200C) oven until flesh is tender when pierced, about 1 hour. Using fork, scrape strands into bowl; stir in half each of the salt and pepper. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in 13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish, toss together tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, hot pepper flakes and remaining salt and pepper. Roast in 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes.
3. Stir in beans and parsley; roast until beans are heated through and tomatoes are shrivelled, about 10 minutes. Mound squash on platter; spoon tomato mixture over top.
Extra tip: For an extra nutty, cheesy flavour, stir ¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese into the cooked and shredded squash.
Serves 6


  1. Delicious recipe...awesome combo of flavors! :))Funny, fantastic, and adorable photos..thank you for sharing!!!

  2. All of my animals have a voice! Another great post!

  3. Thanks so much Sandra!

    Any feedback means the world to me. :)

  4. Thanks Joel!

    Glad to hear we're not the only house! :)