“And you should love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5). These words describe a way of loving God, but they can also be understood as a way of loving ourselves, as an extension of God. We must love ourselves with our heart by nourishing it with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy meats, dairy, and even sweets. We must love ourselves with our soul by feeding it new ways of connecting to our Judaism and our community. And we must love ourselves with our might by not only physically exercising our bodies, but also by exercising our minds and character to constantly strive for new levels of nourishment.
In the posts that follow, I will give you recipes and tips for how to live the healthiest Jewish life possible keeping in mind heart, soul and might. For now, with only a few hours before I start to cook yet another Passover meal, I want to share an exciting and delicious recipe with you (I'm assuming you are as sick of potatoes as I am). This recipe for spaghetti squash is high in vitamins A, C and K as well as folate and iron and is low in fat and carbohydrates. The earthiness of the mushrooms and balsamic vinegar lends an intensity of flavor to the squash and will ooze comfort into your heart and soul for the end days of Passover. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach
1 spaghetti squash (3-4 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ pound baby spinach
Prick squash all over with a fork or knife, like you would a potato. Microwave on high for 5-8 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Turn over and microwave another 5-8 minutes or until the squash feels tender to the touch. Alternatively, roast the squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Cut the squash in half and gently scoop out the seeds. Scrape out the strings of squash into a bowl with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned and almost fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook 2 more minutes, or until garlic is lightly browned. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and cook until all of the liquid cooks off. Add in the spinach and cook until it wilts, about 1 minute. Combine the mixture with the spaghetti squash, season with additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve.