Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Plenty to love about Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Spaghetti squash has always fascinated me—the concept of a veggie that can be cooked and scraped to resemble spaghetti. I love the idea that you can eliminate the carb-prone pasta element by subbing spaghetti squash as the base of this meatball dish.

Plus this recipe, which I found as a make-ahead feature, is great for just that: some weeks ago I froze an extra batch to thaw and serve for those  “December meals”, when no one can find a spare moment to cook.

The mock spaghetti created by the strands of squash was light and had far more flavor than boiling up some pasta would. We really loved this dinner—and will again in a few crazed days when we unfreeze and warm that second serving.

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

2 (2 1/4-pound) spaghetti squash
2 pounds ground chicken (I used ground turkey)
4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt (or salt substitute)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons hot olive oil
1 (24-ounce) jar tomato-basil pasta sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Parmesan cheese

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Bake squash, cut sides down, on a lightly greased baking sheet at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes. Combine ground chicken or turkey, green onions, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Shape into 24 (2-inch) balls. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Scrape inside of squash to remove spaghetti-like strands (about 6 cups). Cover and chill squash and meatballs for up to 24 hours. Cook garlic cloves in hot olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; stir occasionally, for 1 minute. Add sauce, tomatoes, and meatballs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes. Microwave squash, covered with plastic wrap, at high for 3 minutes. Stir fresh basil into sauce; serve over squash. Top with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings. (Source: Southern Living, September 2012)

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