Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How have I never tried this??

I've jumped on the spaghetti squash band-wagon…and I’m enjoying every last bite! This is SUCH a great alternative to those carby noodles my household is very used to (and about 160 calories LESS!!). But while trying to change our eating habits over the last month, I've ventured out of my comfort zone…so glad I did – this is JUST like a bowl of regular spaghetti!!

This type of squash is pretty mild-flavored and gets its name from its long spaghetti-like strands that are produced by simply running a fork along the inside after it has been cooked. But be careful not to UNDER-cook the spaghetti squash… that happened to me after my first attempt – veryyy crunchy. Blah.

CUTTING this squash is a bit tricky… I have yet to perfect it. Basically a BIG knife, lots of careful maneuvering and patience. Once you get to the stem, it’s best to just pull the halves apart gently, rather than trying to cut through the stem itself. I think this is why most people simply poke it with a fork all around, and microwave the whole thing!!
photo credit: http://www.adventuresofclayball.com/2009/09/27/spaghetti-squash/

Once cut – scrape out the seeds, just as you would a pumpkin. Then add your choice of seasonings directly onto the insides of the squash. During my last attempt, I decided to save my seeds and baked them…mmm…just like pumpkin seeds – though a tad smaller. I like to toss mine in EVOO, garlic salt, pepper, a touch of crushed rosemary & a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper ;-)

After going through handfuls of different recipes online – I've seen multiple ways of cooking this squash. Though many are at a 375-400 degree range, for approximately 45-75 min. My 1st attempt was 45-50 min… turned out too crunchy, so it was under-cooked. My 2nd was for 70 min…and was MUCH better. So I guess it all depends on the heat & your oven.

Here are the alternate ways of cooking it:
  • Not very common: cook cut side UP or DOWN, in an inch of water (uncovered) – my first attempt, not as great. 
  • Less common:  cook cut side UP, covered with foil – my second attempt (along with seasonings), much better flavor & consistency, though there was a slight burn mark on the bottom skin of the squash after baking.
  • Common: cook cut side DOWN on a slightly oiled cookie sheet – this will be my next oven attempt!
  • Very common: “This is one of the few recipes that actually works better in a microwave than a conventional oven” – I think I really may have to try this method next time, way less time consuming!
I've also read that the larger the spaghetti squash, the thicker and more flavorful the strands – good to know!

After baking or microwaving, let it cool for a bit…long enough until you can hold the outside, while scraping the insides with a fork and allowing all the ‘strands’ to fall into a large bowl.

I like to plate the squash, then tomato sauce mixed with turkey meat, topped off with grated parmesan cheese – it’s seriously delicious! I don’t feel as guilty or as bloated as I normally would with regular pasta noodles…and I pair it with glass of cab & 2 slices of YUM garlic bread from Trader Joes – this is THE best people.



  1. Yessss I am addicted to it now as well! Making it again tonight!


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