You know what you need come Friday? I most certainly do.

An IV drip of hot cocoa to keep you warm while you’re standing outside at 4:30am waiting for a $700 bazillion inch TV.

A big enough bag to hold all the new Coach bags you’ll score at the outlet, for regular price of one big tote.

Comfy sneakers so you don’t get blisters trekking around the mall or across ginormous parking lots.

Looser pants.

And a hearty but healthy meal to come home too.

I can give you one of those things. Hint: it’s not the TV. My husband would kill me.

This is one of the last recipes I made before I committed to going (almost) dairy-free as part a traditional Chinese medicine approach to my well-being. I say almost, because my practitioner says I can still have it once in a while. As much as I’d love to make another pan of this to bring for lunch every day next week, I’ll be passing on the daily dose of dairy and saving it for a weekend treat here and there.

But YOU. You who eats dairy and seeks a warm, satisfying, “meaty” and cheese-y yet light-on-the-waistline plate of comfort food: I suspect this is right up your alley.

PS. It also doubles as a last minute Thanksgiving dish should you have have one of those “OMG, I just found out my brother’s roommate’s cousins and his 6 stepkids are coming” moments. Or a “I just want to bring something different to the table this year” kind of thought. You’ll be thanked, I promise.


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Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Chorizo and Kale

Yield: 8 servings


6 cups cooked spaghetti squash strands (900gm)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced small (200gm)
1 anaheim chili pepper, seeded and diced small
3 cloves minced garlic
12oz washed, chopped fresh kale
1/8 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T finely chopped fresh chives or sliced green onion
1/2 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 egg
6 oz soy chorizo sausage, crumbled
3oz reduced fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese,divided


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13" casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Place a dutch oven or very large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and Anaheim chili, and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for one more minute, stirring. Add the kale and a few splashes of water, cover, and let it steam for a few minutes until slightly wilted (it will cook more when the casserole is baked). Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti squash, cooked onion and kale mixture, and green onion. In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, cottage cheese and eggs. Stir this into the spaghetti squash mixture. Fold in the chorizo and 2/3 of the shredded cheese. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, spreading into an even layer, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193.1
Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 38.5 mg
Sodium 453.3 mg
Potassium 327.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 11.4 g

Cara Lyons,

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