For this week's TWD, we were allowed to pick any already-completed recipe. A few weeks ago when my baking club baked the amazing apple shortbread cake, we also cooked dinner so that we wouldn't feel guilty about eating cake for dinner. This is now my obsession -- the best new thing I've cooked in a long time. We combined my recipe for pumpkin turkey chili with Vicky's recipe for spaghetti squash bowls. Oh, and we had Dorie's savory corn and pepper muffins on the side. I'll start with those.
These muffins are really, really good. I upped the amount of corn and used cayenne pepper instead of adding diced jalapenos. They were dense, chewy and just a little spicy. Yum.
Okay enough with the muffins... I really want to talk about this:
OMG. The spaghetti squash acts as an edible bowl for whatever you want to fill it with. So far, I've tried pumpkin turkey chili and meaty marinara sauce and both were amazing. With your fork, you scrape away at the sides of the squash and get chunks of spaghetti in every bite. But do you want to know the best part? It's like eating out of a never-ending bowl. You can eat and eat and eat... and the bowl just keeps getting bigger!
Pumpkin Turkey Chili in Spaghetti Squash Bowls (serves 4)
To Make the Bowls
2 small-to-medium sized spaghetti squash
Preheat oven to 400 degress. With the biggest, heaviest knife you can find, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy gunk you find inside. Don't worry, this is not the spaghetti -- the spaghetti is the solid wall inside the squash. It only turns into spaghetti once it's cooked. Once it's cleaned out, place squash halfs bowl side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Liberally apply olive oil to inside of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Don't be stingy. Bake for approximately 45 min to an hour -- check for doneness by picking at spaghetti walls with a fork. If it easily tears away, it's done.
To Make the Pumpkin Turkey Chili (adapted from Serious Eats)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 lb ground turkey (93% fat-free)
1 lb extra lean ground turkey (99% fat-free)
1 tiny can of diced green chilis (or 1/2 cup of salsa)
2 fifteen oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 fifteen oz cans of kidney beans
1 fifteen oz can of pumpkin puree
Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add chopped onions and peppers. Cook these until soft, about 5-7 min. With a wooden spoon, push onions and peppers to the edges of the dutch oven and add the turkey. Break into smaller pieces. Cook until turkey is completely cooked through, occasionally stirring. (note: you might get quite a bit of excess liquid. I like to get rid of it with tongs and a couple paper towels. Grab the towels with the tongs and soak it up.)
Next, add the green chilis, tomatoes and beans. Stir and cook until hot. Add the cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. I know I don't have measurements for the spices -- I just eyeball it and keep tasting until it's right. I know you need quite a bit of cumin -- probably 3 tablespoons. Start with 1 tablespoon of cayenne and add more if you like it spicier. Salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, stir in the pumpkin and cook until warmed through. At this point it's ready to eat (yeah, it only took 45 minutes.. pretty awesome, right?), but if you would like to wait, turn the heat to low and cover.
** Fill the squash bowls with chili and EAT!**