Wednesday, October 30, 2013

.:the new Fall fad - spaghetti squash:.

am i the only one who feels like spaghetti squash is everywhere right now, especially Pinterest?

well, i have officially hopped on the spaghetti squash train! i have always loved squash, specifically acorn squash served with butter, brown sugar and 'mallows, but spaghetti squash has intimidated me (and i NEVER thought drew would eat it). until now.

as i learned last night (and have been seeing on Pinterest), spaghetti squash is extremely versatile - whether, you want a low-carb substitute for your favorite pasta dish, create a fall favorite stir-fry or indulge in a new dessert.

fun facts about spaghetti squash:.

>> low calorie: 42 calories per cup of cooked spaghetti sqaush (compare that to a heavy 221 calories per cup of cooked pasta)
>> low carb: 10 grams of carbs per cup vs. 42 grams of carbs in pasta
>> nutrient-dense: beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin C, K and B-6
>> high water content - read this as "i get full sooner and not just by eating fast'
>> naturally gluten free
for more information on the benefits of spaghetti squash, visit

believe it or not, but spaghetti squash is just as easy to make as pasta (and as cheap too!) - there is only one extra step. i watched a youtube video and Google'd several times how to cook a spaghetti squash, so let me paraphrase what i found....

oven:. you can bake your spaghetti squash until it is soft, but it can be more time consuming. cut your squash in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the seeds/pulp. place the cut side down in a casserole dish or cake pan - whatever is big enough to lay them down FLAT. fill the bottom of the pan with at least 1/2 inch of water and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. i'll be honest and say that i tried to do this, but i did not have a pan big enough to lay the halves flat and it did not work, so i resorted to the...

microwave:. again, cut the squash in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the seeds/pulp. in one half, fill the hollowed middle with 1/2 cup of water. place the other half on top - essentially putting the cut squash back together. place it in a dish that will support the squash while it turns in the microwave - i used a loaf pan. microwave at 5 minute increments until the outside is soft (use an oven mitt to test squish it). i had a large squash, but after having it in the oven for 30 mins, it still needed 10 minutes in the microwave to soften.

i used a 'spork'...i have no idea where it came from
shredding:. once your squash is soft and 'squishy'on the outside, pull out the stringy flesh with a fork - it will naturally come out like spaghetti (hence, SPAGHETTI squash). feel free to shred right down to the skin, it's all good!  since the squash is already cooked, you just need add it to your dish or top it off with sauce and you're done!

last night, i sauteed garlic, pine nuts, mushrooms, broccoli and tomatoes in coconut oil while the squash was cooking. i also browned lamb sausage with garlic and basil in a separate pan - mainly for drew because he can NOT have a meatless meal, but i also added it to mine, it had great flavor! once my squash was done cooking, i pulled it out with a fork and threw it in my big wok with the sauteed veggies. once mixed, i squeezed in 1 lemon, added a blob of butter and sprinkled in parmesan cheese to add more 'sauce'.

that's it - it was incredibly good (a new favorite), cheap and made 4 LARGE servings. to put it in context for you, we ate this after getting home from the gym (hangry mode) and we both have a tupperware FILLED for lunch.

i have another spaghetti squash sitting on my counter at home and while i LOVED this recipe, i am trying to decide something fun and different to do with it - maybe mac n' cheese? i plan to pick up a few more while they are in season!

please share any of your favorite spaghetti squash recipes - this rookie needs more ideas!

always striving for more,
dee b.

p.s. i apologize for not taking more pictures throughout the process - i was in a rush to eat, i was STARVING after the gym.

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