Happy First Day of Autumn!
I absolutely love this time of year. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are beginning to change colors, pumpkins are everywhere and delicious fall foods are overflowing farms. What’s not to like about fall? Especially if you’re on the East Coast like me and can experience the simple pleasures of the new season.
I had the pleasure of joining a local farm this past Sunday, and we cooked up a yummy Spaghetti Squash meal. It was so delicious and healthy. We chose so many ingredients from the farm and joined the collection of flavors to create a magnificent dish that anyone can make.
The farm that I visited is called Hometown Harvest, located in Frederick, Maryland. What started off as a family dairy business, has now turned into a delivery service that’s similar to bringing the farmers market right to your doorstep. I was fascinated to hear how they got started and how much they have grown.
Hometown Harvest and it’s owners have a huge passion for supporting the community and local agriculture. They help educate the community about the difference between the American diet and the importance of locally grown, healthy foods. When the foods are not in season and available locally, they outsource and are very particular about their sources and practices used. I am very particular about sustainable farming and knowing where my food comes from, so I was thrilled to learn how they select their sources for partnership.
What started off as a partnership with a small hand full of growers and 250-300 deliveries has grown into working with 150 trusted farms and 1,000 deliveries (and counting). In addition, they now deliver to workplaces as well. Currently they are serving the Maryland, DC and Virginia region.
Customer support has allowed more opportunities and ways to help the community and their farm. They’ve been able to partner with many others farms and help out young farmers who are just starting out. They are also working with local farmers, helping them to invest in “season-extending, sustainable methods.” This will allow year-round healthy and local food, while providing reliable income for the farmers. They’ve also expanded their line and provide breads, rolls and pastries (baked daily), pickles, granola, condiments and other goodies from local sources. They have gluten free products as well. They have come a long way since 2001, and I am excited to watch their growth.
It was an incredible experience meeting them at their warehouse a month ago and then visiting their farm this past weekend. I cannot say enough wonderful things about their character, what they believe in, how they give back to others and they provide a phenomenal service that has so much heart and genuine care in it. You know you’re getting a wonderful, healthy product that’s been grown, raised or made with a lot of care and heart. For more information about Hometown Harvest, I encourage you to check out their website and delivery areas at: Hometown Harvest.
We planned to do a Facebook Live Food Demo this past Sunday, and I was thrilled when they gave me the opportunity to put the menu together. I went to their website and started checking out the ingredients that were fresh that week. I saw spaghetti squash, broccoli and many other goodies. I love spaghetti squash and thought it would be fun to do spaghetti squash boats. Fall is the perfect season for loading up on Spaghetti Squash and other fall goodies. Hometown Harvest has a wonderful meat and cheese selection, so I gathered up some ideas for a meal and got started combining flavors. Check out the recipes below and let me know what you think. Check out the LIVE Demo on our pages: Kim Wilson and Hometown Harvest.
spaghetti squash boats
ground turkey boats (serves 4)
(2) Spaghetti Squash
1 LB of Ground Turkey (or your protein of choice)
Oil (I prefer avacado or grapeseed oil to cook)
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 onion, diced
3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper (If preferred and to taste)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (or make your own)
1 cup Raw Cheese (Optional)
Note: I used their Sun Dried Tomato Basil Cheddar for this recipe
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Unless you are able to carefully slice your spaghetti squash in half (long ways), I recommend you warm it in the oven until you’re able to carefully insert your knife. Cutting is the hardest part of the recipe. Make sure you use pot holders to remove the warmed squash.
- Carefully cut off the ends and sit your squash upright on the counter. Once sliced down through the middle (long ways), scoop out the seeds and drizzle the flesh side with oil.
- On a foil lined baking sheet, place your boats flesh side up on the pan.
- Cook about 45-60 minutes (depending on your oven) until you can insert a fork straight into the flesh. The flesh will eventually show a gorgeous browning top. You want this but not too cooked.
- While your boats are cooking in the over, start to prepare your filling.
- In a dry pan (stove top), cook your red pepper flakes for just a few minutes while moving it around the pan. Make sure you do not allow the flakes to stay in one place for a while and burn. Let them sit to the side and cool.
- In your warmed skillet, add some oil and allow a little increase in the temperature (about medium heat). Add in your garlic for a minute or two (while moving around the pan) and then your onion. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add your ground turkey to the garlic and onion mixture. Mix well.
- Add in your prepared red pepper flakes, salt and pepper (as desired) and Italian seasoning. Cook until meat is brown. Add in you tomatoes, mix and simmer (while stirring occasionally) until all ingredients are combined and tomatoes are wilted. Set aside.
- Once the boats have been taken out of the oven and cooled for a few minutes, scrape the squash (long ways) with a fork, which will give strands of squash (similar to the appearance of noodles).
- Carefully and gently combine some of your squash and meat mixture in a separate bowl. Fill one boat and repeat with the others until your mixture is gone. You can also reserve some to enjoy later. It lasts several days.
- Top each boat with a little cheese and broil in the oven until lightly browned on top. About 1-3 minutes. Watch the oven because they will broil quickly.
- Garnish with some chopped fresh basil.
NOTE: WE ALSO MADE BROCCOLI BOATS. GREAT FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT WANT TO EAT MEAT. SAME INGREDIENTS (MINUS THE ONION and tomatoes), BUT INSTEAD OF THE MEAT, WE SUBSTITUTED 3-4 CUPS OF SAUTEED BROCCOLI. you can add the tomatoes if you like. WE COOKED THE BROCCOLI THE SAME WAy AS THE MEAT BUT ADDED IN SOME WATER AND STEAMED IT ON THE STOVE. YOU CAN ROAST YOUR BROCCOLI in the oven AS WELL. WE ALSO USED THE RAW SMOKED CHEDDAR FOR THE BROCCOLI BOATS, BUT BOTH KINDS of meats ARE FABULOUS. THE GARLIC AND SEASONINGS REALLY ADDED FLAVOR TO THe broccoli. Any type of meat can be used. this would also be yummy with bison, sausage (not as healthy but would be delicious) and grass fed beef. so many options for these boats. i recommend you to try them and see what you like.
*** Spaghetti Squash (uncooked) will keep for quite a while on your counter after you buy it. I love to load up at the farmers market and store it on my counter for use. They will last several weeks, if not longer. Fresh off the farm is best, but just so you know, they will keep a while.
Have you made Spaghetti Squash before? I welcome you to comment below or share a recipe you love. Enjoy, Friends!