Just when I said all I can eat this month are desserts, I can safely say that I now want nothing to do with them. The excitement for all things cookie, toffee, gingerbread or peppermint has waned. The pine is dried to a crisp, and people will take their lights down this weekend after making goals for 2010. It is the week when we go from overdosing on sweets, to proposing a regimented health plan for the new year in a matter of days. I'm now craving the deep greens that are in season, warm root vegetables or anything kissed with fresh citrus. Hugh suprised me with a sweet Schwinn bicycle tied with a big red bow for Christmas, now if I can only figure out how to stop successfully and put my helmet on the correct direction, I may be on to a new hobby.

This is a perfect gluten free side dish, that can easily be made in to an entree with some grilled fish, chicken or tofu. The lime makes it taste fresh but the warm squash keeps it comforting enough for the colder weather. We ended up adding some black beans after the pictures, which made it quite filling. The leftovers were even better as all the flavors blended. Queso Fresco is Spanish/Mexican cheese that isn't aged, so it's fairly mild. If you have feta on hand, it works just as well if not better if you like more of a tang. MEXISQUASH_02MEXISQUASH_03

MEXI SQUASH // Serves 4 as a side

2 to 3 lb. Spaghetti Squash
3/4-1 Cup Queso Fresco/ Feta Cheese
Half Red Onion, Finely Diced
1/3 Cup Cilantro, Chopped

Juice of Two Limes (about 1/4 Cup)
2 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp. Coriander Seeds
Salt to Taste

Oven at 375'
1. Cut squash in half length wise, scoop out seeds and place cut side down on a rim baking pan. Fill the bottom for about a half inch of water. Bake on the middle rack for about 50 minutes. You know it is done when the flesh is tender enough to shred easily.
2. While the squash is baking, dice the red onion and chop your cilantro.
3. Make the dressing: start with the red pepper, fresh garlic, coriander and cumin and grind together with a spice grinder, pestel or back of a wooden spoon. Add the lime juice and agave and whisk together. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and whisk again. Add a generous pinch of salt, you can add more at the end.
4. Remove the squash and let it cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape the inside of the squash into a large bowl, it will look like spaghetti, hence the name. Add the onion and dressing and toss to coat while still warm so it softens the onion and garlic flavors. Test for salt and pepper. Add in the cilantro and half of the cheese, toss again. Serve with fresh cilantro and cheese on top. MEXISQUASH_06

Reader Comments (49)

I am really craving the savory dishes after all the gorging on sweets, even though I have such a sweet tooth. For some reason Mexican flavors have been especially appealing to me. I love the combo of feta/lime/cilantro yuuuum. Thanks for a great recipe!

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ goodLife {eats}

This looks amazing. It is fantastic and the flavours sound heavenly!

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I wish I could buy that first photo. the colors are so vivid.

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdonna

YUM - this looks so clean, fresh...excellent!

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDenise @ Chez Danisse

Spaghetti squash is next on my long list of squashes to conquer this winter. Thank you for the recipe! Beautiful photos, as always. :)

Have a wonderful new year!

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercandice

I am so curious about Spaghetti squash! Your photos look stunning as always. :) Wish you a wonderful 2010.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Purple Foodie

This looks and sounds amazing! My body is craving healthy foods and my snug pants tell me I need to forego the sweets and snack on some brown rice and veggies instead. This dish is just what I need.....happy new year bloggin' friend

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin @ Roost

You did it again. Absolutely gorgeous. I love how the bowl in the bottom picture pops out at you. Looks delicious too. Happy New Year to you and yours!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEl

Its great to have a new idea for squash since I usually eat a lot of it in the winter!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Oh yum!!!! I've been on a huge cilantro kick lately.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Local Cook

This looks like a wonderfully refreshing and healthy way to kick off the new year. Your photos are stunning! Happy new year!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Sara. Wow. Your blog. Your photography!!!!! I am so inspired and impressed. Happy New Year!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnticiplate

Can't wait to try this. What a wonderful combination of flavors to celebrate the start of a healthy new year. Thanks for sharing!

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNourishing Words

Oh, lovely photos! And lovely recipe!
Happy New Year.

January 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Wow, love your blog! Great pics, great flavor... as I intend on focusing more on whole foods in this new year, I plan on being a regular visitor for inspiration. Thanks!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

oooh!!! that looks SO good! we LOVE spaghetti squash at our house, so this will be perfect to try! thank you for sharing!

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramelia

Wow - I have just discovered your blog from a comment you left on mine and what a revelation - your photography is fantastic and everything looks delicious - a great find!

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGourmet Chick

These soooo look like my flavors. I recently realized my fridge is always full of cilantro, jalapenos, and limes, Your photos are to die for! I just sit and drool over them! Love it!

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNadia

Yum! I'm with you--ready to leave the desserts for real food. This looks amazing, as always.

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Leftoverist

This looks awesome! I'm going to have to make it very very soon!

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Hughes

I have been meaning to eat squash shredded like this. The rest of the flavors are just perfect!

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

Yum. Wish i had this right now. Looking good sister.

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercyd

MMM, that looks way more appetizing than a chocolate cookie right about now. I just had a massive sundae and am positively over sweets, until tomorrow. :) heh gorgeous photos!

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSweets at Vicky's

I love love love your recipes. This is no exception! I want to eat it right now!

By the way, I have made that sweet potato and chick pea dish many times already and got a wonderful response from it.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiana @ frontyardfoodie

Waned is an understatement...phew, I can't imagine a craving for a Christmas cookie anytime soon :) This recipe looks just about perfect right now: fresh and healthy. As always, lovely photos!

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Gordon

what an innovative way to prepare squash!. I will definitely give it a try

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterheidileon

Love cilantro with squash - adds a summer-fresh kick to a winter staple. Thanks for the recipe!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie (thinkereater)

This looks absolutely delicious. And, as I think I have stated before, the photography is mind-blowing!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Ziegler

YUM!! I am mad for squash, and spaghetti is so much fun. I'll love trying this new recipe. It looks perfect!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

wow, everything looks so good here and your photos are just amazing!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

WOW you have an amazing blog :)

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGelareh @ Orange Truffle

Oh, yes -- what a nice dish!
I'm definitely through with the sweets at this point -- though we'll see how long that lasts.

Happy 2010! Looking forward to more fine eats with you in the new year!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlo

My husband refuses to eat spaghetti squash. I have no idea why. He loves all the other flavors you have going on here so I'm hoping if I try it this way, he will embrace it.

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Oh YUM. Looks fantastic. I love the picture of the limes!

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

oooh, looks good. for how much i love all squashes, i've actually never had spaghetti squash! isn't that weird? this may have to be my introduction...

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I'm writing this all blurry-eyed and cosy in my pj's... and that first picture immediately woke me up, better than any cup of coffee would! I immediately thought "I need to make this" before I had even read what it is! Exactly what I'm in the mood for, after all the stodgy sweetness of Christmas :)

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEle

This is such a brilliant way to prepare squash. Yum. Happy New Year. :D

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

I can't wait to try this! I made a side dish of corn and queso fresco and cilantro back when the weather was warm (recipe from Gourmet) and I loved it. Now I know what to do with the spaghetti squash sitting on my kitchen counter. Thanks!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna @ marzipan

Happy New Year, Sara! Always looking for new ways to prepare spaghetti squash. Add the word 'Mexi' and I'm sold. So excited to try this. Thanks!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdanielle@crispytarts

This looks delicious! I haven't had spaghetti squash in a while, so this could be a good way to get back to it.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Excellent photos. This squash dish sounds delicious!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzoe

Your photography is stunning! I aspire to take photos like these!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

I know you must get this a lot but judging by the quality on display, you work hard at it. Your photos are incredible. As though I can smell or touch them. Thank you!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTo Kiss the Cook

After eating this dish, I think there are three great things about it. First, the spaghetti squash has a bit of a crunch that is wonderful in your mouth. Second, the lime gives it a fresh and tangy flavor. Third, the cilantro is the perfect herb to add to this combination. Once again, Sara, you have brought us a wonderful recipe. Thank you! What a talent you are!

January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I'm trying this tonight! Err, well, I've instructed my boyfriend to make this for me. He he he

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

This is such a great idea- I made it last night and it was absolutely delicious! A nice change from the usual spaghetti squash and marinara. Thank you for the beautiful recipes and photos!

January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Hi Sara, I tried this and absolutely loved it! What a refreshing and flavorful combination.

Inspired by your innovative use of spaghetti squash I went back to my Indian roots and made it with green chillies and peanuts here:

Thanks again!

January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRadhika

[...] Mexi Squash Spicy flavourful spaghetti squash. The photos on this site make everything look delicious. These healthy muffins are from the same website and I really liked them too. [...]

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIn the kitchen « Hello

i tried this last night, and it was delicious! i will definitely make it again!! thanks for the recipes. :o)

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkristel wyman

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