Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Salad

It's pasta salad, without the pasta. You could call it Low Carb Pasta Salad, if you were a carb-driven sort of person or you could call it All Vegetable Pasta Salad, if you were a vegetable-driven person, or you could stop lying to yourself about the pasta and just call it salad. You're in charge here. First, do up a spaghetti squash. Slice it in half longways, then into the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes. Then leave the kitchen because it's warm in there and you don't want to spend this time cooking. Take the squash out, let it cool until you can handle it (5 mins?) and scoop out the seeds. I use my melon baller for this, because I like to make sure my melon baller keeps busy and isn't just waiting around for melon. That'd be a waste of space. Then with a fork, shred the squash. It falls apart into "spaghetti" pretty easily. Put the spaghetti in a bowl. Next, I just chopped up some veg and called it a salad. A bell pepper. I had little sweet peppers but either way. Some pickled jalepeño. Fresh is great too, but I pickled all of mine. Some unphotographed onion and some tomatoes. I had cherries, so I cut them in half, but chopped tomato would be great too. All into a bowl. Plus black beans, which should be pre-cooked, defrosted or canned. I used two cups. The cheese is optional and honestly, didn't really change much about the dish so don't feel like you'll be missing some key flavor if you skip the cheese and call this dish vegan. I used some cheese curds we got from Greensgrow, but queso fresco would be great here, or cotija. Crumble that cheese on top, if you so choose. Toss it together and all you need is a dressing. I went with honey lime vinaigrette. I started with a good jar that sealed well, added a quarter cup each of red wine vinegar and safflower oil, a tablespoon each of honey and lime juice (use real lime if you have it), a pinch (1/8 teaspoon?) salt, and a bit (1/4 teaspoon?) of both cumin and ground chile pepper. I used these Aleppo peppers - they're not quite as hot as cayenne, but cayenne works too. Drizzle overtop and toss. Chill and serve cold. This recipe is cross-posted at Saturday’s Mouse, where I’m working on making food out of food.   Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Salad Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked or canned
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons jalepenos, diced
  • 3 ounces mild cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil (or other mild oil)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh is best)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile pepper
Instructions Bake the squash, let it cool and string it with a fork. Toss squash with other veg.Add dressing ingredients to a jar and shake until well combined. Drizzle over salad and toss. Chill and serve cold.
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings