We are taking on the culinary arts in this week’s Nerdconomics! The recent release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 inspired me to create a tasty dish fit for our favorite web-slinger.
One of my goals with Nerdconomics is to present recipes that are both healthy and fun. Being somewhat of a food nerd, I want to provide as much nutrient density as possible, while still keeping a tasty flavor profile. I also want to provide recipes that will edible by everyone - even those on severely restrictive diets due to health problems or food intolerances. The recipe as presented is suitable for those on a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, Autoimmune Protocol, or Paleo diets. Vegetarians and vegans could easily leave off the bacon (and replace the cooking fat with coconut oil), and find a substitute for or omit the Spider Balls entirely. Enjoy!
Spider-Man Spaghetti Squash
Time to Make: Approximately 1½ hours
Ingredients - Spaghetti Squash
2 spaghetti squash
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
Ingredients - Toppings
1 package pastured/antibiotic free bacon
2 cups baby bella mushrooms, chopped
10-20 kalamata olives, chopped
½ small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste
Ingredients - Spider Beef Balls
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
½ tsp dill
¾ tbs thyme
1 tbs oregano
¼ tbs parsley
2 cloves of garlic, minced
32 pieces of shredded carrots (for spider legs)
Ingredients - Pesto Sauce
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup olive oil
2 cups fresh basil
3-4 sprigs fresh mint
1 tbs Ume Plum Vinegar (or Red Wine Vinegar)
1½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a sharp chef’s knife and the strength of Superman, halve the spaghetti squash. Scrape out the seeds and strings from the middle of the squash. Place on a baking dish, insides facing up, and spread ½ tbs of olive oil and ½ tsp of salt over each of the spaghetti squash halves. Place in oven for 45-60 minutes.
2. Place bacon in a large skillet on the stove and heat over medium until crispy. Remove bacon from heat when it looks almost-but-not-quite done to prevent burning the bacon. Set aside, but before you do eat 2-3 pieces of bacon. Why? Because bacon.
3. To prepare the toppings: mince the garlic and roughly chop the onion, mushrooms, and olives (this means cut into large chunks - it does not mean bandy your knife about like a drunken Jack Sparrow). Place the onion in the skillet that was used to cook the bacon and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mushrooms and olives and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat for another 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
4. Combine and mix the ingredients for the Spider Beef Balls in a bowl, saving one clove of minced garlic, the carrots, and the toothpicks for garnish. (And, no, you won't actually have to eat the toothpicks; they will be used as structural support.) Form the seasoned beef into meatballs - 4 large and 4 small.
5. When the spaghetti squash is finished (the inside flesh should be fork tender and pull easily into spaghetti-like “web” strings), remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Place the Spider Beef Balls on the baking sheet and place them to the oven for 12-15 minutes.
6. Combine the ingredients for the pesto sauce in a blender, and mix until smooth. Set aside.
7. Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash innards into the skillet containing the onion, mushrooms, and olives. Mix well, then place into serving dishes. (Note: you may wish to re-heat this mixture before serving depending on how efficient you are and how cold your kitchen is.)
8. When finished, remove the Spider Balls from the oven. Use a toothpick to hold one large and one small ball together to make your spider-body. Use a second toothpick to poke 8 holes for your legs, and inset pieces of shredded carrots. Add two tiny pieces of chopped garlic for the eyes.
9. Top the spaghetti squash mixture with the pesto sauce, and add a spider-ball.
10. Ta-da! A meal worthy of our favorite web-slinger!
I hope you all have a chance to make and enjoy this Spider-Man inspired dish! Send us your photos over Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or let us know in the comments how your version turned out. Until next time, this is Dr. T reminding you to get your hands nerdy.