Those otters looked a little suspicious

Dear readers, I've been sick.

There should be a clause that every lovely, perfect weekend be followed by a lovely, perfect week, for too often it seems we're punished for, oh, trying to enjoy life a little. I thought those otters looked a little suspicious.

At any rate, a girl can only live on fried eggs and bottomless bowls of soup for so long before she starts craving something a bit more substantial. Since I was away last weekend, I've been making do with some odds and ends -- a head of broccoli, some potatoes, homemade granola with yogurt. And what to do with the acorn and spaghetti squash perched in the corner?

I thought I'd give you a break from all of my pumpkin shenanigans and focus on a different squash. I'd like to imagine I'm not the only one obsessed with citrus-coloured vegetables. And this time I get to play with two varieties. I know, you're stoked. I can sense it from this side of the screen.

I pulled this meal together from what I had on hand -- an example of what you can do with good, local ingredients. I usually want to make meals that are slightly involved and interesting, but I often resort to the same types of things pretty routinely. I'm hoping to change this over the next few months and stretch my culinary legs a little. Luckily, even sick I find it easy to throw a couple squash in the oven and roast them and a bit of pork while I catch up on my blogs and television shows. It requires little energy and yields big results.

Another bonus? This meal is entirely budget friendly. Squash is super economical and plentiful this time of year and will keep for months under the right conditions. Pork can also be had for cheap if you aren't overly particular, but I buy my meat directly from a butcher and pay the premium. Even still, this meal is satisfying, nourishing and economical -- and a much-needed change from my soft food diet.

Spiced Pork Over Spaghetti Squash

Loosely adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 2

This recipe yields two servings, but you'll be left with more spaghetti and acorn squash than you really need. Fortunately, squash freezes really well, so you can always put it away for a future use. I like to keep some kicking around because I like adding squash to omelettes and soups or for incorporating in other dishes.

1 large pork loin chop (about 10oz)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch cinnamon
Salt and pepper

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
1 standard-sized acorn squash
1 tbsp grated parmesan
4-5 fresh sage leaves, minced
Good quality extra-virgin olive oil

1. Whisk together spices in a small bowl and coat pork with them. Salt and pepper each side generously and bring to room temperature.
2. Slice the squashes and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Place in 400F oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until fork-tender.
3. Bake pork until an internal temperature of 145F is reached (or 160F for very well-done.) Cover and let rest.
4. Scrape half the spaghetti squash into a bowl. In a separate bowl, scrape out flesh of one half of the acorn squash. Mash and mix with a quick drizzle of olive oil, the parmesan and sage.
5. Mix the acorn squash "sauce" with the spaghetti squash until well combined.
6. Slice the pork in two and serve over spaghetti squash. Serve immediately.


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