Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

I found out about spaghetti squash a long time ago in one of my failed attempts at vegetarianism as a teenager. I think it was my mom who told me about it. It is an extremely versatile vegetable... it takes very little to prepare and is mild enough that it can be combined with a lot of different flavour combos. It's healthy, cheap and low calorie and best of all.. it can mimic the consistency of pasta.

So a little background on the benefits of eating spaghetti squash. It is a winter squash so this post may be a bit out of date... I thought to write about it now because it seems like grocery stores are in abundance of winter squash right now and considering the weather this week, it really didn't seem out of line to make a 'wintery' dish. Spaghetti squash is loaded in vitamin A and C, fibre, and they are one of the best sources of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene on the planet. They are also a decent source of omega-3's, antioxidants and phyto nutrients.. all things that are good to have a on regular basis. 

There is about 75 calories in one cup of cooked squash. One normal spaghetti squash can feed 3-4 people as a side dish. 
Stabbing is a requirement of squash prep. Take your aggression out

There are many different ways to cook up squash. You can roast it, boil it, steam it, microwave it or bake it. As a kid I always got mine pre-cut from the grocery store (if they aren't sold this way you can ask someone there to cut it length-wise for you). Then I would always microwave it. It seems to be the fastest way to make a quick dinner. Now, I always roast or bake.. I now know how much better a little patience can be with vegetables. I am pretty sure that all vegetables taste better roasted and/or baked over microwaved.

So... how to cook spaghetti squash:

Microwave: Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place flesh-sde down on a plate or microwavable casserole. Pour water onto the plate so that it covers the bottom. Cook on high for 5-8 minutes. If you can peirce the rind with a fork or knife easily, it is done

Bake: Pierce the squash with a sharp pairing knife around the squash so that steam can vent. Preheat the oven to 350F and place the squash on a baking sheet. Cook for about 45 minutes or until squash can be easily pierced with a knife.

Now, you got your squash cooked, split it in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Now take a fork and scrape lengthwise on the flesh of the squash it will easily start to shred and look like spaghetti.

What to do with spaghetti squash? You can just eat it as is. You could make it into spaghetti style dish and add marinara and some vegetables. Another great way is to add butter and garlic and saute it with the squash.

Today I felt like putting together a bit of a stir fry.

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry
Makes 2 servings, 45 minutes for the squash and 15 minutes for the stir fry.

  • 1 cooked spaghetti squash
  • 1 handful of mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of greens of choice (I used collards and kale, mixed)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp Pumpkin seeds
First cook the squash, seed and scrape to get all the flesh out and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the greens and continue to saute  for another 10 minutes.
these are just some of the veggies I had on hand tonight.
You really could use anything you want.
Last add the tomatoes, basil and squash. Mix well and cook until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste and top with pumpkin seeds.

has a little bit of everything, but the squash holds this dish together

This was a tricky one to picture well. Spaghetti squash seems to photograph a little mushy, but if you get the right flavours going, it will taste great. Spaghetti squash is good on its own, but they made it a great side and also a pretty good lunch the next day. 

1 comment:

  1. Spaghetti squash is so awesome! It's even just good with a little bit of pepper, but I love making a really good spaghetti sauce to go with it! YUM!

    -Michelle @ gloriouseats.com