Monday, September 30, 2013

To replant or not to replant ...


Marlene Terry
It's the last day of September. And fall, at least where I live, is really in the air.
We've now harvested the last of our garden. ... Nothing left growing in it all, after deciding not to replant.
... You know. That's the process when "never say die" gardeners re-cultivate and reseed things like carrots and peas in hopes that there will be enough warm growing time left for them to germinate, grow and develop into ... a second crop, of course.
In fact, when we looked into it, we were told that second crop carrots can be left in the ground, protected from above by just a bale of straw for example, and dug up, fresh and tasty through the entire winter.

When we first investigated that possibility, we were determined to do just that. But after months of watering, weeding and working in the extreme HOT temperatures of this past summer ... we decided to tuck in our garden, so to speak, and let it rest 'til spring. 
... Which is exactly what WE'RE about to do, too ... stretched out in our recliners in front of the fireplace, with a good book in hand.

Hope you'll enjoy an end of the harvest recipe passed on to me by a friend through the social media for a Spaghetti Squash Casserole.
... I tried it a few days ago and it's not only easy, it's also low in calories, high in fiber and  DELICIOUS!

SPAGHETTI SQUASH CASSEROLE

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) 1 percent cottage cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish and a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the squash, cut side down, on the sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. With a fork, scrape the squash strands into a large bowl. Keep the shells for serving.
Meanwhile, warm the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and basil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is dry.
To the bowl with the squash strands, add the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parsley, salt, and the onion mixture. Stir to mix. Fill the squash shells with the mixture and top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Place the filled shells on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and heated through. ... YUM!


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