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Spaghetti Squash-Zucchini Fritters [Paleo + Gluten-Free]

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SPAGHETTI SQUASH-ZUCCHINI FRITTERS [PALEO + GLUTEN-FREE]*

I’ve been buying a lot of spaghetti squash at the farmer’s market as a healthy, gluten-free substitute for pasta in various dishes, like spaghetti Bolognese. One spaghetti squash provides a TON of “spaghetti”, so I decided to turn some of the leftovers into fritters by combining it with some grated zucchini. The fritters came out great (no pun intended…) and created a fun and filling lunch.

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes about 12 two-inch fritters

3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (directions follow)

3 cups grated zucchini

1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste

3 tsp garlic, minced

¼ cup yellow onion, minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

TOPPING (OTPIONAL)

½ cup crème fraiche

Juice of half a lemon

1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

Pinches of salt

Freshly ground pepper

Prepare spaghetti squash (directions below), preferably the day before.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them on the large holes of a box grater. 

In a large bowl, toss spaghetti squash and zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. While the squash and zucchini shreds are resting, sauté garlic and onion in an oiled pan for about 5 minutes or until cooked. Set aside.

Wring out the squash and zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. (This is an important step because it will prevent the fritters from being too soggy!)

Return squash and zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste; add more salt if needed. Stir in cooked garlic and onions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together almond flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet, only a few at a time, so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat process with remaining batter, keeping the pan well-oiled.

For the topping, if using, stir together the crème fraiche, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.

* Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH: Cut squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out seeds and save for another use (I strongly recommend roasting them with some salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme!). Place squash halves cut side up on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily. If the squash seems to be drying out while baking, brush with an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape flesh from squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.

ROASTED GARLIC-TOMATO SOUP [VEGAN]

I absolutely love tomato soup but have always been hesitant to make it for fear that I’ll mess it up… That is until now; there’s no way to botch this simple – and healthy! – recipe. The roasted garlic and tomatoes give the soup an extra creamy texture and flavor without any cream or roux. You’ll definitely need to double (or triple) the recipe so you can enjoy it for days.

PS. I’m proud to say this is my first successful soup recipe. And I did it on the first try!

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes about 2 large meal servings or 4 small appetizer servings

9 medium plum tomatoes, halved and seeded (if desired)

½ garlic bulb, halved

2 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

½ cup carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 tbsp butter

1 cup vegetable stock

5 leaves fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice tomatoes in half, through the middle and opposite from the stem, and remove the seeds. Arrange tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet lined with foil. Chop garlic bulb in half through the middle between the shoot and root (so it holds its halved cloves) and add them to the baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Place in oven to roast for 40 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and shriveled.

When everything is done roasting, quickly remove tomato skins and remove garlic cloves from the head and set aside until ready to use.

While tomatoes and garlic are roasting, coarsely chop onions, carrots and celery.*

Melt butter in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions, carrots and celery and sauté until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the already roasted tomatoes and garlic. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add chopped basil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Let soup sit for a few minutes to cool off. Then transfer contents of soup to a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary, and puree until smooth.

Salt to taste, garnish with fresh basil, and serve with a fresh French baguette!

*If you want to use an immersion blender, I suggest chopping the onion, carrot, and celery using a mini food processor or chopper.

ROASTED RATATOUILLE

With a freshly picked delivery of peppers and eggplant from Bellair Farms courtesy of my friend + farmer, Charlotte, I realized I was already halfway to making a ratatouille. Just a few more ingredients, a raisin mint couscous salad, sage honey toasted baguette, and a glass bottle of cheap red wine, and the romantic supper wheels were in motion. I chose to roast the pepper and eggplant for an added smokey flavor and to expedite the cooking process.

{ Bon Appétiting, Katie }

Serves 2-4

4 peppers (assorted colors, red, green, yellow)

1 medium eggplant (purple is nice but black works too)

olive oil

1 large white onion

4 cloves garlic

fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme (dry is fine too)

1/4 cup red wine

1 large zucchini

1 25oz can whole plum tomatoes

1 TBS tomato paste

salt + pepper

parsley

Set the oven to broil. Begin by halving and deseeding peppers and dicing the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Place both on a baking sheet (but keep them separate) and cover generously with olive oil. Place on the middle rack in the oven and allow to roast for 5-10 minutes, checking frequently that the vegetables are not burning. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and saute onion, garlic, and herbs while the vegetables roast. Add the red wine, eggplant and tomatoes, reserving a half cup of the tomato juice for later, breaking down the tomatoes with a spoon (CAUTION the tomatoes tend to explode). Cover and simmer. Dice up the roasted pepper and zucchini and add to the pot along with the tomato juice and paste. Stir and cover again, simmering until the vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley.