I could eat this meal time and time again. Baked ziti is such a delicious comfort food, but this spin is a healthier version. Made very similar to traditional baked ziti, the spaghetti squash replaces the pasta lowering the calorie and carb count, although it doesn’t replace the flavor!
Spaghetti Squash is filled with lots of vitamins such as Vitamin C, A, B and K. It’s improves your skin, nails, eyes, helps keep hair and bones strong and healthy as well as improve your immune system. A good source of minerals and fiber, it will leave you feeling full longer.
I like to make my own sauce for this dish, but you can buy store bought sauce for a super quick meal. Below is the recipe for my go to sauce as well as The Baked Spaghetti Squash.
Elle’s Homemade Sauce
1 Sm. Chopped Onion
4 Chopped Garlic Cloves
2 Cans San Marzano Diced Tomatoes
1 Can San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tsp. Crushed & Dried Oregano
1 Tsp. Crushed & Dried Basil
2 Dried Bay Leaves
Heat up a big pot on a low to medium heat setting and add in about 1/2 a cup of olive oil. Once heated, add in chopped onions and let them simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chopped garlic and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Once garlic is golden (but not burnt) add in the 3 cans of tomatoes. Stir all together. Add in your spices and bay leaves. Stir again. Turn heat up to higher cover for 5-10 minutes, letting the sauce come to a boil and meld all of the flavors. Uncover, add the Tomatoe paste to thicken, and the brown sugar to cut the acidity from the tomatoes. Stir again and set the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.
This is one of those recipes that just came together. I had a freezer full of pork shoulder and a very ripe pineapple… So this dish is the love child of the two. You could make this in a crock pot, or like I did, in a dutch oven. It’s best to start this dish earlier in the day so the pork can slowly cook.
1 lb Pork Shoulder
1 Green Pepper chopped
1 Yellow Onion sliced
2C. Carrots chopped
1C. Bbq Sauce
1t. Turmeric Powder
1t. Garlic Powder
1C. Red Wine
If you are using a crockpot, put all of your ingredients inside besides the pineapple and bbq sauce. Cook on the low setting until done. If you are using a dutch oven start by warming a little olive oil on medium heat and sautéing the vegetables for about 10 mins. Pat the pork shoulder with the turmeric and garlic powder and place in the dutch oven. Add in the wine and water and lower the heat to the medium-low setting. Cover and cook for about 4 hours stirring occasionally.
Once the meat is cooked, remove it from your slow cooker and shred it with a fork, discarding any fat. Place it in a medium sized bowl and toss in the bbq sauce. Put off to the side. Drain the vegetables keeping about a cup of the liquid. And add it to the bowl. Cut your pineapple down the middle, and keeping it whole, remove the middle scooping out the pineapple and chopping it up. In a pan sauté the pineapple for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the pork and veggies. Toss it all together and plate it in the pineapple. Enjoy!
Gambas Al Ajillo, is one of those dishes that I can eat by itself straight from the pan.. pair it with Zoodles (aka: zucchini noodles) and it’s a game changer. It’s usually served as a Spanish tapa straight from the stovetop in a cazuela. It means Shrimp with Oil. I am a sucker for anything made with garlic and red pepper and this dish has both. Zucchini noodles have been my go to as a low carb way to eat less pasta. You won’t think twice about it. Promise!
o1 lb. Shrimp thawed and deveined
oRed pepper flakes
First prepare your zucchini noodles by using either a spiralizer or just slicing them into thin strips with a peeler. Using a large pan, heat olive oil, once warm add in chopped garlic and the sliced red peppers and start sautéing. In a cazuala or pan sauté 3 cloves of chopped garlic or as much as your heart desires. Then add shrimp. Sauté about 3 mins on each side or until opaque. Add about 1 cup of white wine to the large pan and let simmer down. In the meantime steam the zucchini for about 3 minutes, careful not to overdue it or they will be too mushy. Add into the large pan with the peppers, white wine and garlic and toss together. Top it with a bit of parmesan. Serve the shrimp beside the Zoodles and enjoy!
* Reservations recommended, Mexican/Tapas/Small Plates, Cozy and Intimate
241 S 4th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
b/t Driggs Ave & Roebling St in Williamsburg – South Side
This past weekend, my husband and I went to dinner at Xixa pronounced (Shiksa). We were heading to South Williamsburg to meet a friend at an art gallery opening so I figured why not try a place we haven’t been before. It is a sister restaurant to Traif, also in South Williamsburg which I have been to and absolutely love. They have an emphasis on pork there, whereas Xixa is a spin on Mexican food.
Upon entering the restaurant we were surrounded by candle light and a warm and cozy ambience which was perfect as we had just had a snowy walk over.
The waiter came over, explained the menu and the way that they do some of the cocktails which was really cool. They have you choose your spirit, and then serve it to you over ice cubes in your choice of drink. My husband ordered a Mezcal Manhattan, which was a giant infused ice cube with all of the makings of a Manhattan. The waiter then pours the Mezcal over and it slowly melts the cube. I ordered a Hucklberrry-Lemon Margarita with salt and silver tequila. It came with a few separate ice cubes: margarita mix, lemon, a huckleberry cube, and two tiny salt cubes. Then the tequila was poured over… The rest is history.
We ordered the tasting menu, which was a shared 10 course meal that the chef selects. It was amazing and the perfect way to taste a bunch of different dishes. The menu is really unique, a savory and sweet dish of roasted carrots was one of our favorites and it is something I probably wouldn’t have chosen on its own. They started us off with a hummus guacamole, and slowly bought out the rest of the dishes…shrimp and citrus ceviche, foie gras over roasted pineapple, pork belly, short ribs, fundido of taleggio with chorizo and mushrooms, scallop and risotto, and a crab and polenta flan. Each dish was incredible. Desert topped it all off. We had warm churros with fresh strawberry sherbet, and mango cream and a chocolate flan topped with icy coconut whipped cream. It was heavenly.