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Spaghetti Squash Boats

Vibrant Spaghetti Squash Boats bring color and nutrition to the dinner table.

Family mealtime doesn’t have to be drab and dull. Add a little color to it by creating a theme night dedicated to your favorite color. One night a month, have your children assist in creating a menu based on a color of their choice. The main rule? Everything you make and eat for that meal has to originate from the color that you select. So, if you choose purple, you have to find foods that are purple and come up with a menu using those as main ingredients. Let your children do the research and once they find foods that match the color they’ve chosen, help them by planning what recipes you can use to achieve the end result of a monochromatic meal.

If you are stumped by where to begin, let this yellow food recipe get you inspired: Spaghetti Squash Boats. Just think of a yummy side dish and you will have your first Color My Dinner theme night all planned.

Spaghetti Squash Boats

Serves 4
Prep time: Approx. 20 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes

2 medium spaghetti squash (2-2 ½ lbs.)
1 lb. ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 small Roma tomatoes, diced and seeds removed
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. For the Spaghetti Squash Boats, cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish. Fill pan with ½ inch of hot water. Bake, uncovered, at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
2. When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash, separating strands with a fork. Set the hollowed shells and squash aside. In a skillet, cook beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain.
3. Add mushrooms, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add squash; mix well. Cook, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Fill shells; place in shallow baking dish.
4. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; place back in oven and bake 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Foods by Color

Use this guide as a starting point for creating your meals.

Brown: Brown rice, beef, chocolate
Yellow: Bananas, lemons, pasta, scrambled eggs, spaghetti squash
Purple: Eggplant, grapes, lavender
White: Hard-boiled eggs, orange roughy, whipped cream
Green: Lettuce, kiwi, mint chocolate chip ice cream
Pink: Shrimp, raspberries, strawberry yogurt

Written and photographed by Kristen Doyle, dineanddish.net

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