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Spaghetti Squash “Relleno” with Avocado Salad

Active Time: 40 minutes / Cook Time: 60 minutes / Total Time: 60 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Spagetti Squash Rellano w Avocado Dressing.JPG

Ingredients:

  • ½ small yellow onion, unpeeled
  • 4 Poblano peppers
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar organic chunky tomato salsa, divided
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs.
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black, kidney, OR pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • For the Avocado Salad:
    • 2 avocadoes, halved, pitted, and scooped onto cutting board
    • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    • juice of a lemon
    • pinch fine sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and another with parchment paper. Halve the spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds, and place cut-sides down on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Halve the poblanos and bell pepper and place cut-sides down on the foil-lined baking sheet. Add the onion (also cut-side down) and garlic.
  3. Broil vegetables until the skins are blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes (watch carefully!). Remove from the oven and set aside, and switch the oven to 400°F.
  4. Place the squash in the oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender but not mushy (you’re going to bake it again for about 10-15 minutes, so you do not want it to be too soft).
  5. Use a fork to scrape the squash into spaghetti-like strands into a large bowl. Reserve the skins on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Transfer 1/2 of the salsa and 1 of the garlic cloves (squeezed from its skin) to a high-speed blender or food processor. Wrap the vegetables remaining on the baking sheet in the foil and let steam while you finish the salsa. Blend salsa until smooth but with some texture.
  7. Heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer and give off wisps of smoke. Add the salsa (stand back, as it will bubble violently) bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced slightly, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
  8. While the salsa reduces, peel the skins off of the onion, poblanos, and bell pepper, roughly chop the peppers, and add them to the bowl with the spaghetti squash.
  9. Squeeze the remaining garlic clove out of its skin, mince, and add to the squash along with the remaining unblended portion of the salsa, the beans, cumin, coriander, and ½ cup cheese.
  10. Divide the squash mixture evenly between the two empty halves of the squash skin. Top each with half of the reduced salsa, and evenly sprinkle each with the remaining cheese.
  11. Bake the squash halves for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the squash mixture is warmed through.
  12. While the squash bakes, chop the avocadoes and place in a medium bowl; toss gently with the rest of the ingredients to combine.
  13. Carefully cut each squash half into halves and sprinkle evenly with cilantro. Serve one quarter of the squash and avocado salad per person for dinner tonight. Package the remaining squash and salad in airtight containers for lunch tomorrow, and refrigerate until needed.