Lemon Thyme Spaghetti Squash

by Katie Lehn

I was recently gifted a basket full of fresh herbs from a friend’s beautiful garden.  Basil & sage & thyme, oh my! It was perfect timing, as I have been going through a creative cooking dry spell.  There’s nothing like a pile of fresh herbs to get you inspired in the kitchen! I don’t cook with thyme very often, so I chose this as my first herb to conquer. Combining it with a sweet onion and tangy lemon seemed to do the trick.  The look on my friend’s face after taking a bite told me my experiment was a success! Even if it hadn’t been well received, the attempt is always worthwhile. What a joy it is to experiment in the kitchen; the more we do, the more we learn to trust out instinct and let food guide us!

As for the remaining herbs? I’m still concocting ways to work them in here and there. Fresh herbs pack a surprising amount of punch! It’s amazing how just a hint of fresh basil can make my last minute salad mixture taste nothing short of gourmet! And the fresh mint in my ice water had me guzzling down H2O like a fish! What a luxury to have fresh herbs at the ready. I think it’s time I started an herb garden of my own. What are some of your favorite ways to use fresh herbs?

Not only are herbs and spices full of flavor, but they also provide our bodies with an amplitude of  phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring, biologically active compounds present in plants and often responsible for its flavor, color and nutritional power! Phytochemicals are classified into 5 different groups: indoles, thioallyl derivatives, antioxidants, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. These compounds play a vital role in supporting our immune system, healing, cancer protection, detoxification, healthy aging & appropriate cell development. Thyme, in particular, is an aromatic herb rich in the flavonoids apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin. These compounds boost the anti-oxidant power of this delicious herb.

If you aren’t so lucky as to have fresh herbs at your finger tips, you can alway substitute dried. Since dried herbs are a little more potent, used about 1/3 less. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil.

Looking for more ideas on how to use your fresh herbs? Check out these suggestions.

Happy cooking!

 

Lemon Thyme Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Cut squash in half, length-wise. To do this, first cut off the stem and end of the squash. Then slice off a piece of the side, allowing the squash to lay horizontally on a flat surface. Turn the squash over on this flat surface. Pierce the squash with a chef's knife and rock the blade downward while placing the palm of your free hand on the back-bone of the knife blade. Turn the knife 180 degrees and repeat this process to cut through the other side of the squash. Continue rotating the knife and cutting down until you have cut entirely through the squash.
  3. Lay the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, or until the flesh flakes away easily with a fork.
  4. While the squash is cooking, dice up your onion.
  5. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium sauté pan. Add onion and sauté until golden brown. We're going for caramelized onions, so the more patience you have here, the better (and tastier).
  6. While the onion is cooking, de-stem your thyme and chop finely. Once the onions are just about done, add the thyme and sauté for a few more minutes.
  7. Remove squash from the oven. Using a fork or large spoon, remove the flesh from the rind and place in a large bowl.
  8. Top with onion-thyme mixture.
  9. Zest and juice your lemon and add to the squash.
  10. Sprinkle with salt and fold to combine.
http://www.nourishingresults.com/lemon-thyme-spaghetti-squash/

For more interesting tidbits about delicious produce, check out Whole Foods Companion by Dianne Onstad.

Leave a Reply