Monday, November 19, 2012

Spaghetti Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese Gratin

Happy Thanksgiving week! How does it find you? Happy/healthy, I hope. If not, I hope it finds you hopeful and with love. This year, as we retreat to the mountains for the better part of the week, I wanted to share my Thanksgiving dinner contribution with you all. All of the "kids" are contributing one dish each, and I've chosen one of my top 5 of all time favorites. I wanted to share it, especially, in hopes that perhaps you can find inspiration to add it to your own Thanksgiving menu...this perfect combination of squash, kale and cheese makes for the ultimate healthy, hearty, fall-inspired comfort food.

Spaghetti Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese Gratin

Cut one medium to large spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Put on place, flesh side up, and microwave for 12-14 minutes, or until soft. Remove from microwave and let sit until cool.

In the meantime, chop 1/2 of a large white onion, mince 3 cloves of garlic and chop a small handful of fresh sage. Cook in a medium saucepan over medium heat, with a medium sized pat of butter, until all three are translucent and your kitchen smells awesome! (Roughly 15 minutes).

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

While onion and garlic are cooking away fantastically, scrape the flesh of your squash into a large bowl. It will come out of the squash with the consistency of spaghetti noodles. I would suggest scraping as much squash as possible out of the shell in order to minimize waste and maximize your squashage!

Put bowl of squash aside. 

With onions, garlic and sage still on medium heat, add roughly 2 cups of fresh, chopped kale. Continue to saute until kale is soft and bright green. When this step is complete (roughly 15-20 minutes), add kale and onion mixture to the bowl of squash.

Stir  1 and 1/2 a cup of greek yogurt (I highly recommend Cabots!), and 1/2 a cup of crumbled goat cheese. 

Transfer into a glass baking dish and sprinkle salt, pepper and another 1/2 a cup of crumbled goat cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes with foil on top. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until cheese turns golden brown, your stomach is rumbling and your kitchen smells incredible! Enjoy!

One reason that I believe this dish is perfect for a holiday is that there are several steps involved (which require a bit of time and a bit of patience). I can't tell you enough how much I LOVE THIS DISH! And how I can practically guarantee that you will too. 

What do you find yourself most thankful for this year? Do you use Thanksgiving as a time to personally praise all that you're grateful for in life? I definitely do, as cliche as it may seem.

As this Thanksgiving approaches, I'm thankful for so many things. I'm fortunate for all that I have in my every day life, for the health of my family and the health of my marriage. 
I'm thankful for my almost 3-year old, Cloveleigh Mildred, who constantly surprises me with language that reflects immense levels of caring for others and the particular type of beauty that radiates from deep within. 
I'm thankful for my 8 month old baby, Banner O'Grady, whose utter and untarnished sense of joy reflects an aptitude for an easy-breezy kind of love and happiness (what more do we want for our children?).
I'm thankful for the moments when I am caught off guard, at unexpected times, when I feel an overwhelming type of unstaggering love for the man that I'm lucky enough to call my husband.
I'm thankful for my dear friends and my dear family who build the entire web of support, love, clarity, honesty and insight in my life. Dear friends and dear family, I wouldn't be anything of a person without you. 
I'm thankful for opportunities in my life which have taught me to be tolerant, honest, hopeful, thoughtful and loving as a parent. I'm mostly thankful for the chance that I have to teach two miniature human beings about universal acceptance, equality, desire, tolerance and the meaning of true love. 

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers! I hope you enjoy this week as much as any other and find time to be thankful for the things in your life that make you exactly who you are.

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