So I'm going to talk about something completely random and unrelated to stuffed squash. I'm going to chat about Halloween and socials. I guess if I had to state a connection between my recipe and my blog topic of choice, it would be autumn. Squash is a fall vegetable and Halloween is a fall Holiday. So, what did everyone do for Halloween? I love dressing up, I think it is always so much fun. My only Halloween event this year was a Halloween social that occurred this past weekend. Every year a friend of mine who has been personally affected by Leukaemia organizes a social fundraiser where all the proceeds go to the Lymphoma and Leukaemia Society of Canada. It is always a fun time!
Oh wait, let me elaborate a little bit on socials since I believe they are only a Manitoban thing. People here host socials as fundraisers for numerous reasons. A typical social event involves a ton of prizes that are put together for a silent auction. Those who attend these socials will buy tickets to try and win prizes all while supporting the cause for the fundraiser. My husband is notorious for winning social prizes. He even won a snow blower at this past weekend's social! Never before have I seen so many people excited for the chance to win a snow blower...only in "Winterpeg." There are also tickets that can be purchased for drinks where you can get hard liquor, beer, and sometimes wine for cheaper than you would anywhere else. Many fundraisers will also do a 50l50 draw. There is always late night food served as well. It's basically a big community party where you go and support the cause, whatever it may be.
Wedding socials have become very common in the past few years. Others throw fundraisers to raise money for certain charities close to their hearts or certain individuals who need financial aid due to illnesses or other tragic circumstances. I find that Winnipeggers are always happy to support a great cause.
So, now that everyone knows how we Manitobans roll, I will get back to my weekend story. I am usually such a nerd when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. It allows creativity, expression, and can be so amusing. One year, I dressed up as Lady Gaga and I killed it! We did a side to side comparison and it was pretty bang on. The funny part is I didn't even leave the house that night! I had no solid plans and ended up just spending the evening with two other friends who dressed up as Nicki Minaj and Lil' Kim. Last year, a girlfriend and I went as sashimi and nigiri sushi. I'm way past that "Sexy (insert any word like cat, cop, flower, ladybug, or rock)" type of costumes. It's so frustrating trying to research women costume ideas because it's all sexy this and sexy that. Barf. Therefore, I now Google baby and children's costumes and get some very cute, creative, and clever ideas. This year however I had no time to think of anything extravagant and I had no time to make anything detailed. I have seen the "cereal killer" idea floating around on the internet for the past couple of years and I'm a sucker for clever costumes so that was my inspiration this year. It also cost me under $10 and I was able to grab all the items I needed from the dollar store across the street. The best part is I was able to make it within 10 minutes on my busiest work day while on lunch. I figured being a "cereal killer" was also quite fitting for Nutty4Nutrition ;).
So what did you and/or your children dress up as? I love hearing about costume ideas!
Veggie Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
*Yields 2 servings
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 or 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cubed (omit and double the beans for a completely vegan recipe)
- Squirt of fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/3 of a small red onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 cup of cauliflower, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, julienned or cut matchstick style
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup of cooked beans of choice (I used a 6 blend mix. Omit for a paleo recipe)
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Place the squash cut side down (some people prefer cut side up) in a deep dish baking sheet and fill the pan with about 1 inch of water.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes (depends on the size of the squash) and remove from the oven. It is ready once you can pierce a fork through the top of the squash skin and it slides right through to the inside.
- Let cool with the cut side sides facing up.
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chicken cubes (if using) and cook until there is no longer any pink showing. If omitting the chicken, proceed to the next step.
- Add the lime juice, chili powder, garlic, red onion, celery, and cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrot, green onion, and beans and mix all together, cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Scrape the cooled spaghetti squash out of its shell with a fork and mix with the veggie mix in the skillet.
- Once everything is thoroughly mixed through, scoop the squash and veggie mixture back into the squash bowls and serve.
- Enjoy your fantastic, nourishing meal!