From the Land 10.17

food for thought
full share: onions, choice of spaghetti or butternut squash, carrots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, kale, pinto beans, and choice of chives or parsley!

partial share: onions, choice of winter squash, carrots, and cherry tomatoes!

veg of the week

spaghetti squashCurcubita pepo

Like other squashes (with which it shares a scientific name), the spaghetti squash most likely originated in the Americas but has since spread worldwide. These winter squashes (meaning they have a hard rind when fully mature) are pale to yellow in color, and when cooked the flesh is stringy and sweet.

Uses: Because of its stringy texture, spaghetti squash is often substituted for pasta. It is easy to bake: cut in half (lengthwise) and place cut side down on a baking tray with a bit of water. Bake at 350 until the shell is soft. Cool to touch, then scrape out flesh with a serving fork, loosening the strings. The baked squash can be topped with tomato sauce and cheese, sauteed with olive oil and garlic, or topped with sugar and sugar for a sweet treat.

Nutrition: Spaghetti squash is very low in calories, fat and carbohydrates, and therefore makes a great substitute for pasta. It is very high in water content and is therefore not as nutrient rich as other winter squashes, but still has good amounts of calcium, vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber.

To store: Store uncut squash in a dry, dark room at room temperature for up to a month. It can also be cooked, scraped from the skin, and stored in a plastic freezer bag.


Mexican American Studies Banned in Tucson Arizona
by Alex Deck
Hello PCCSA members and fellow Arizonans. I have something very important to share with you this week, off the topic of food, concerning education in Arizona. Recently I sat in on a viewing of the film, Precious Knowledge, shown nationwide on Friday, October 12th. Here is just a little bit about what I learned.

The dropout rate for latinos nationally is 56%. In Tucson, AZ, the MAS (Mexican American Studies) program dropout rate was 2.5%. Unfortunately this program was abolished in 2009. Why? Because it was believed that militant and anti-American ideals were being taught to its students. This program “inflame[s] racial resentment” says John Huppenthal, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Huppenthal believes that the program gave its students the opinion that they are the oppressed. MAS provided its students with information about the appalling incarceration and graduation rates among Mexican Americans. In addition, students were taught about their cultural heritage, giving them a sense of identity. Telling students they are being treated unfairly and then empowering them is a scary thing.

From what I can tell, very little research was done on the part of TUSD (Tucson Unified School District) towards investigating this program before shutting it down. Huppenthal sat in on one class.

Today the fight for racial equality continues. Two of the program’s professors are being sued. A fundraiser to help them in their legal battles is being held. If you feel inclined you can visit this site to make a donation.

I hope you will watch these two short videos:

A Daily Show clip on the situation

Introduction to the documentary, Precious Knowledge

I encourage you to look more into this pertinent issue on the state of Arizona’s educational affairs. (Links to articles found below).



spaghetti squash with sausage, kale, and sundried tomatoes
adapted from serious eats
serves 4

  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 1/4 pounds, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 1/2 T butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 C drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
  • 1 lb. Italian sausages, crumbled
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 3/4 C  chicken broth
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1/2 C shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/3 C chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Place the squash cut-side down in a baking dish, and add enough water in the pan to come 1/2 an inch up its sides. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, then turn over and cook, covered, until the the squash is very tender, an additional 15 minutes.

Cool the squash slightly, remove the seeds with a spoon, then use a fork to gently pull the strands away from the peel. Toss with the butter while still warm, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the squash is cooking, heat the reserved tomato oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up as you go, about 8 minutes. Remove the meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind in the pan.

Add the garlic and kale to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is very fragrant and the kale begins to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, chicken broth, and vermouth. Bring to a boil and cook until the kale is very tender and the liquid is nearly all reduced.

Return the sausage to the skillet and add the Parmesan and basil. Toss well to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the warm spaghetti squash and top with the mozzarella.

spaghetti squash salad
adapted from taste of home
serves 8

  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 1/2 C chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 C chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt

Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Fill pan with hot water to a depth of 1/2 in. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the squash, separating strands with a fork.

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl; add the squash and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon as a salad or as a relish with burgers and hot dogs. Store in the refrigerator.

curried winter soup
adapted from all recipes

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 t curry powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 8 C vegetable stock
  • 1/4 C dry lentils
  • 2 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 C uncooked white rice
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 1/4 C elbow macaroni
  • 1 small spaghetti squash

Place cut side of the squash down in a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled. Shred squash with a fork.

In a large soup pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add curry powder, cumin, and turmeric. When onions are transparent, add stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add chopped tomatoes and juice.

If using brown rice, add the rice 10 minutes after adding the lentils, if using white rice, add rice after 25 minutes along with the can of corn. (Add the can of corn at the same time you add rice, white or brown).

After 35 minutes, add the macaroni and spaghetti squash. Simmer until rice and pasta are cooked.


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