Caution—this Mexican spaghetti squash with pinto beans and homemade easy enchilada sauce will cause purring noises while eating.
Counting calories, ignoring the forbidden slice of bacon when you are really hungry, keeping your distance from chips at the Super Bowl party—those New Year’s resolutions are no fun.
Skip the diet. Make positive choices like these: Eat an apple a day for the next two weeks. Go meatless every Monday. Prepare one dinner a month featuring spaghetti squash. See the little phrase in my apple green Letty’s Kitchen banner at the top of the page? Change your life—one bite at a time.
When I was a pre-teen, my mother joined Weight Watchers. She attended meetings to weigh in, share recipes, and listen to weekly pep talks. Mom changed her food habits and a healthier way of eating trickled down to my sisters and me. About the time teenage butt was blooming I was lucky to be learning lifestyle tips for weight management.
One week Mom came home from her meeting psyched to make spaghetti squash “pasta”, a recipe she’d picked up from the weight-loss “teacher.” We were suspicious this new vegetable would taste like acorn squash, which we thought was awful, even when Mom “doctored” it up with butter and brown sugar. Thanks Mom for introducing us—we like spaghetti squash.
When you rake the insides of the squash with a fork, it separates into spaghetti-like strands, therefore the name. Spaghetti squash serves as a low calorie, low carb base for tomato sauces, or any sauce that would be good on pasta.
Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Pinto Beans details:
- Make Easy Enchilada Sauce with prepared chili powder that includes spices and salt.
- Use home-cooked beans, or open two (15 ounce) cans pinto beans. (Substitute black beans if you prefer.) Either way, drain off most of the liquid from the beans, reserving the broth for soup if beans are home-cooked.
- You can bake the spaghetti squash a day ahead refrigerate it overnight, before or after the strands are raked.
- When separating the seeds from the cooked spaghetti squash, save the seeds. Rinse, pick out and remove any pieces of squash clinging to the seeds. (You don’t need to get the seeds completely clean: the little rogue strands will practically disappear in the oven.) Toss the seeds with a bit of oil and kosher salt and dump onto a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until the seeds are crunchy and very slightly golden.
Wishing you a fabulous day–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!
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- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 to 3 cups cooked pinto beans
- 2 cups Quick and Easy Enchilada Sauce
- Cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
- Chopped cilantro leaves
- Sliced avocado
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Poke a few holes in the squash with a knife or carving fork and place in a pan. Bake about one hour, until the squash skin is soft. Let cool.
- Meanwhile heat the beans with some of the the enchilada sauce.
- When the squash is cool enough to touch, cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stringy parts. Rake the squash meat with a fork. Divide into large bowls, 1 to 1 1/2 cups per person. Make a nest in the middle for the sauced beans and ladle them into the nest.
- Let everyone garnish as they wish, with more enchilada sauce, cilantro, cheese, and avocado slices.
- This recipe uses cornmeal as a gluten free sauce thickener. If you want a smoother sauce, without the cornmeal crunch, substitute whole wheat flour.
- If you don't have vegetable juice, substitute more vegetable broth for the juice.