Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Food: Nourishment for the Body!

I have come to realize how much I LOVE food as of late. Not just any food mind you... but quality, flavorful, creative, healthy food! I used to be so picky, and anything that was not in the cheese or bread family was pushing the borders of what I liked to consume. Thankfully, living in both Madison, WI and Denver, CO, traveling to different parts of the country with my husband's family as well as meeting so many different people from all walks of life has taught me to stretch myself and my palate. It is only in the last two years that I learned that not only do I enjoy a wide variety of spices, that I actually like Indian, Japanese, Thai, African, and a whole host of other foods I had always been too afraid to try! I have been on a journey of learning to cook things I have never even had, and to use vegetables I never even knew existed. Thankfully, my husband will eat virtually anything, so experimenting has been a lot of fun. I have also really been drawn to the social side of meals. Food is not just about our bodies need for nutrients to perform basic functions; food is tied so intricately to the social fabric of most societies. When we get together it is to commune over a meal, or to socialize over some food and wine. It seems that where there is found virtually any gathering of people, some form of food is there.

My love of food goes even further though, I find that I also like the whole kitchen. Dishes do not seem a chore to me (granted I do have a dishwasher that is my right hand man), rather I feel that having a clean, uncluttered kitchen makes me feel that I have indeed accomplished something for the day (namely feeding and caring for my family, and then cleaning it up!).

So as my love of food and experimentation has grown, I have decided that I am making it a goal to try one new recipe and share it each week. It can even be as simple as the side dish I prepared for dinner tonight. We were introduced to this side dish when we had a lovely evening with some fellow FOCUS staff and their families, and this was a great addition to any grilled meat.  I hope you enjoy!

Greek Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp onion (I used spring onions)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small can of sliced black olives
1 Roma tomato - cut into small pieces
3 heaping Tbsp of feta cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
Fresh basil

To begin, split squash down the middle and clean out the seeds and pulp. Place halves cut side down on a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until it is tender.

The olive oil really melds the taste of the squash.

Allow the squash to cool. Meanwhile, add some garlic and onion to the olive oil in a pan and heat until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and heat through. Use a fork to "pull" the "spaghetti strings" of the squash so that  they are almost like noodles. Add squash to the pan for a minute, stir until coated and then pour the whole mixture into a dish. Add the feta cheese, olives and finish with a touch of lemon juice and fresh basil. Toss and serve warm!

The finished product! Such a tasty and filling way to add some more vegetables to a meal! (Note: I was out of basil and had to skip it... but will make sure I have it next time)

*Warning: my food rarely looks pretty.... I care much more about the taste ;)

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