Feb 29, 2012

we don't need no stinkin' hashbrowns!

i ran across this recipe via pinterest and HAD to try it.  i found one of the best substitutes for a delicious, carb-loaded, cheesy dish that i feel guilty even thinking about, much less eating.  my friends, i have discovered a comparable substitute for hasbrown casserole thanks to dandy dishes and pinterest.  here's the lowdown - the hashbrown casserole recipe i have calls for hashbrowns (duh), sour cream, lots of cheese, butter, cream of mushroom soup, etc.  put it all together and you have a solid 6 hours on the treadmill to work off a serving.  it's been ages since i've had hashbrown casserole and had filed it away under "recipes i should never eat again but probably will if given the chance".  when i ran across the sub recipe on pinterest i was a little skeptical.  it calls for using spaghetti squash, which i love, love, love, but i wasn't sold on it 100%.  tonight i decided to experiment.  the original recipe from dandy dishes is as follows:

Spaghetti Squash Au GratinServes 6
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, cut in half and very thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
½ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Place in a covered dish with a ¼ inch of water and microwave for 10 -12 minutes. In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add the butter, onions, red pepper and thyme and cook until the onions are slightly brown in color. Salt and pepper to taste.

Using a fork, scrape the insides of the squash and transfer to a small bowl. Combine the squash, onions, sour cream and half the cheese together and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Place into a 375º for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
here's a pic of my version:
as it is, each serving equals 4 weight watchers plus points.  when i made it tonight, i revised the recipe a little and found that substituting low fat cheddar, fat free sour cream and cooking spray (instead of butter) made this tasty side come out to 1 little WW+ point per serving!  it's so good and really satisfies any craving for something cheesy and rich.  i'm excited to try variations of this, perhaps with less cheddar and a little blue cheese, or add mushrooms and other veg to make it more of a casserole... the possibilities are endless. 
you're welcome.  :)

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