Spaghetti Squash on the Half Shell

  • Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

8 ounces dried orzo
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped ( 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium tomato, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup cooked lentils*
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 (1 1/2 to 2 pound) spaghetti squash that are 6to 8-inches long, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
2 cups marinara sauce, optional

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add orzo and cook 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Drain, rinse and drain again.
  2. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and spices and cook, stirring occasionally 3 minutes or until onions are light brown and softened. Add orzo, tomatoes and lentils; saute 1 minute or until all ingredients are combined well. Add parsley, lemon juice and salt; remove from heat; set aside.
  3. Place squash halves in a microwave-safe dish cut-side down in 1/2 inch water. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and cook on HIGH (100 percent) 12 to 15 minutes or until nearly tender. Turn squash over, fill cavity with a mound of orzo mixture, lightly cover dish and microwave on HIGH 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Alternatively, squash can be placed cut-side down in a shallow baking dish with 1/2-inch water, covered with tinfoil and baked in a 375F oven 45 to 50 minutes or until nearly tender. Turn squash over, fill cavity with a mound of orzo mixture, cover dish and bake 30 minutes until heated through.
  5. Meanwhile, if using, place marinara sauce in a nonreactive saucepan and cook over medium heat until heated through. Pour about 1/4 cup marinara sauce onto each serving plate. Add a squash half.

*You can use canned lentils that you will find in some health food stores. They should be drained and rinsed. To cook dried lentils, soak 4 ounces of dried lentils overnight in water to cover and cook in plenty of boiling water for about 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse before using in the squash filling.

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