Summer is the time to enjoy a unique veggie, Spaghetti Squash. These bright yellow gems are the shape of a football (American football that is) and get their name from the stringy, fibrous pulp that has the appearance of spaghetti. That is where the likeness ends. One cup of traditional spaghetti noodles contains about 220 calories, 42 grams of carbohydrates and little nutrients. One cup of spaghetti squash provides about 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates and many nutrients such as Vitamin A and potassium and B-6. ‘Ben’s Farm’ squash has the added nutritional benefit of being organic!! Cooking is easy and garnishing choices are limited only by one’s imagination!
Cooking your squash: There are many methods. I am going to share the one I have always used and it is easy. (Microwave directions at the end)
- Wash off the outside of the spaghetti squash removing any farm dirt.
- Place in an oven-proof baking dish.
- Pierce the top side several times with a sharp knife (this lets the steam out as it cooks)
- Pour about a cup of water into the pan. This keeps the squash skin from drying out too much before it’s finished baking.
- Put pan into a preheated oven (175C or 350F)
- Bake for about 1 hour OR until a fork pierces the squash easily.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. (Enough so you can handle it without burning your hands. OR wear oven mitts to protect your hands)
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half length-wise.
- Scoop out the seeds. (Can be kept and roasted like pumpkin seeds)
- With a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash and watch the noodles appear! Lovely!
Now What? There are many ways to jazz up your Spaghetti Squash noodles. Here are just a few:
- Serve with your favorite traditional tomato or Alfredo sauce.
- Sauté onion and garlic in butter. Add chopped tomatoes and warm through. Toss with spaghetti squash adding feta cheese, olives and fresh basil. Serve warm.
- Sauté 2 cloves of garlic and 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2 cups of chopped Shiitake mushrooms and cook until done (5-7 minutes). Add squash to the skillet and quickly fry with mushrooms. Sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan while sautéing for a minute. Serve with parsley garnish and salt & pepper to taste.
- And this tasty bit of heaven~ Burrito Bowls~ from Making Thyme for Health.
Microwave cooking directions: Pierce the Spaghetti Squash all around with a sharp knife. Place in a microwaveable dish with a bit of water in the bottom. Microwave on medium-high in 5 minute increments. Be sure to rotate the squash every 5 minutes until it is soft (about 10-15 minutes). A fork should pierce it easily. Let it cool slightly, Cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and use a fork to separate the ‘noodles’.