Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin

The credit for this recipe goes to Kalyn Denny, who shares many carb-conscious recipes on her blog, Kalyn’s Kitchen.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Servings: 6
1 large Spaghetti squash  (2-3 pounds)
2 Tablespoons Olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons Rosemary Garlic Rub*, or any all purpose seasoning that’s good on vegetables
1 large Onion, diced small
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme leaves
fresh ground Black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon minced Garlic (or less, according to your family’s taste)
12-16 oz. chopped Swiss chard leaves (about 5-6 cups chopped chard, or could also use other greens you may have on hand such as spinach, collards, or kale. The cooking times might be longer for some greens.)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Chives or sliced Green onion
1/2 cup Sour cream
3/4 cup Cottage cheese curds (put the cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water to get the cheese curds)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese plus about 1/4 cup more for topping the gratin
1 Egg, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash if needed, then cut off the stem and blossom end, stand squash upright, and using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut in half lengthwise. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them, and discard.
3. Rub cut sides of squash with about 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil for each half, then sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Rosemary Garlic Rub or other seasoning of your choice.
4. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray, put squash in pan and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash.
5. Roast squash about 45-50 minutes, or until it separates easily into strands when pulled with a fork. Let squash cool for a few minutes, then shred into spaghetti-like strands.
6. While squash cooks, wash chard leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towel. In two batches, stack up chard leaves on top of each other and slice into thin ribbons, then turn the cutting the board the other way and slice again into small pieces. Chop onion.
7. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions, season with your favorite vegetable seasoning, dried thyme, and black pepper, and saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes.
8. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped chard all at once. Cook chard about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until it’s wilted to about half the size it was. (The chard shouldn’t be completely cooked, since it will cook more in the gratin.) Turn off heat.
9. Put 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water until only the cheese curds remain, then let drain. Spray a glass or crockery gratin dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
10. Using a large fork, gently mix the chopped chives or green onion and shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture.
11. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg and mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture.
12. Finally, put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it’s evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.
13. Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.
*Rosemary Garlic Rub
Rosemary-Garlic Rub for Pork, Chicken, or Salmon
(Makes slightly over 1/2 cup of rub. Recipe can be cut in half, but this keeps indefinitely so Kalyn recommends making the full amount and storing in a small glass jar.)
4 Tablespoons Sea salt
2 Tablespoons dried cracked Rosemary (see note)
2 Tablespoons granulated Garlic (not garlic powder)
1 Tablespoon coarse grind Black pepper
1 Tablespoon of your favorite Vegetable seasoning (optional)
Note: The rub can be made in a mortar and pestle or probably even a blender, but Kalyn uses a mini food processor. If you don’t have cracked rosemary, start by putting rosemary in small plastic food storage bag and pounding with meat mallet or heavy dish until rosemary is broken apart.
Blend salt and cracked rosemary in food processor one minute, or longer, until mixture is fairly ground but still has some texture to it. Add other ingredients and process about one minute more, until mixture is finely ground and well blended.

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