Happy Thanksgiving: Healthier Turkey made with Olive Oil

Spaghetti squash stuffed with ginger-garlic beef and Harissa Roasted spaghetti squash

Olive Oils from Spain’s ambassador, Chef Seamus Mullen, introduces two healthy alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey ahead of the Holiday.

Thanksgiving is viewed as a quintessential family party. The ritual of sharing a table around a dish of food with loved ones and giving thanks for all the good that was received during the year deserves a different and healthy celebration. The use of ‘liquid gold’, the healthiest fat, will help individuals to enjoy healthier, tastier and nicer textures at dinner.

In Chef Mullen’s opinion, Olive Oil is the guest that cannot be missing on tables on such an important day. The two meals he created as gastronomic alternatives for a healthier Thanksgiving were Spaghetti squash stuffed with ginger-garlic beef and Harissa Roasted spaghetti squash.

For the Harissa Roasted Spaghetti Squash:

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF

2. Put the squash cut-sides up on a rimmed baking sheet. Generously season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Divide the harissa between the squash halves and rub all over to evenly coat. Drizzle the honey all over the squash.

3. Roast until very tender, about 50 minutes.

4. Let the squash cool a bit, then run a fork all over the cut sides to lift out and separate the spaghetti-like strands of the flesh. If you need to hold the squash in place, do so with tongs or hold on to them with a kitchen towel. Transfer the flesh to a large bowl.

5. Aggressively season the squash with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with the fork and drizzle with the vinegar. Add more harissa if you’d like and toss again. Serve hot.

When Spaghetti squash is cooked, its flesh can be forked into capellini-lie strands. The vegetable is subtle – bordering on bland- so I load it with hard-hitting seasonings while it’s still hot and ready to soak up spice, sweetness, and tang. This makes a great side dish on its own or can be used as the base for spaghetti bolognaise subbing the pasta for this healthy alternative.

For the Spaghetti Squash Stuffed with Ginger-Garlic Beef:

1. Mix the beef with 1 tablespoon salt. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the beef and onion. Cook, stirring and breaking the meat up into tiny bits, for 30 seconds, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds, then add the pine nuts. Cook, stirring, for 15 seconds, then add the raisins.

2. Add the Harissa and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. The beef should be cooked through, but the onion and garlic should be barely cooked. Transfer to a large bowl and add the squash. Fold gently until evenly mixed. Add some harissa and salt to taste.

3. To serve, you can mound the mixture back into the squash shells or simply transfer to a serving dish. Tear the mint leaves on top and serve immediately.

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