Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Kale

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Every January, the internet, magazines, and TV cooking shows are flooded with healthy recipes.  So may I reintroduce you to bacon!  How can bacon be healthy?  You ask.  Well, just do an internet search on “bacon health benefits” and a whole bunch of gems will pop up like

  • Bacon is full of “choline” which increases your intelligence and memory, and guards against Alzheimers
  • Bacon is high in B vitamins which combat stress and help to move nutrients through the body
  • Bacon contains Omega 3’s, the same heart healthy fats found in fish

Since you can find it on the internet, it must be true, right?  Actually it is true, but when it comes to bacon we really just eat it because it tastes good and now we have a reason to do it without guilt.

I’ve also been known to get an ice cream malt or shake for lunch because I need the calcium.  That’s what I say, and I’m sticking with it.

A lot of people going low carb or no carb use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute.  I don’t think it’s a real great pasta substitute, but I do think it’s fun to eat.  When you pair it with a silky egg yoke sauce and bacon…it’s kinda sorta like a carbonara, one of my favorite pasta dishes.

Here is a picture of the squash being salted to bring out some of the moisture prior to cooking.

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I like this recipe because it has a lot of different tastes going on, so your taste buds keep enjoying it.  A tad sweet like most squash, but that’s tempered by the slight bitterness of the walnuts and the mild heat of the red pepper flakes.

This recipe is for a single squash of about 1-1 1/2 pounds. That’s enough for a main dish for a person, or side dish for 2.  Simply multiply the amounts for each additional squash!

Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Kale

1 Spaghetti Squash of about 1 1/2 pounds cut in 1/2 across the width, not lengthwise

1 piece bacon

1-2 cups raw baby kale, sliced kale, or mixed Italian greens

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 date seeded and chopped

pinch red pepper flakes (peperoncini)

1/4 cup finely chopped raw walnuts

the yoke of 1 organic egg, beaten well, with just a tiny bit of water added

olive oil, salt, and pepper

wee tiny tiny bit of lemon zest, not too much (optional, but I like the little zing so I think it’s important)

baking pan

Frying pan or skillet large enough to hold everything including the squash

Cut squash in half, remove the pulp and seeds, and liberally salt the flesh. Let sit for at least 15 minutes and then drain out the water and wipe off the remaining water and salt.  It will draw out a lot of water and make the roasting easier!  Very lightly rub the flesh with olive oil.  It doesn’t need a lot.  Roast for 30-45 minutes at 400 F.  The one I had took almost 45 for some reason, but I have a wonky oven.  Once it has cooled down enough, use a fork to pull out the strands and put in a bowl.  Keep the shells if you would like to use them as a serving bowl.

Fry up your bacon, then remove.  I keep it whole to make it easier to drain the fat, then chop the bacon once it’s pulled out.  Reserve 1 tsp of the bacon fat.

Add the kale, garlic, dates, and rep pepper flakes to the pan. (med low heat) Those greens are going to reduce in size very quickly, and the garlic will cook down quickly as well.  Add the squash and mix everything thoroughly so the squash is reheated.  Once the squash is nice and hot, remove everything from the heat.

Quickly pour in the egg mixture and use tongs to stir everything and coat each strand.  You will not get scrambled eggs if you take it off the heat and move quickly.  The heat will cook the yoke and you’ll have a silky sauce.  Stir in the raw walnuts and serve hot.

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