I am almost embarrassed to admit that I just now got on the spaghetti squash bandwagon. I guess I could never understand how this seemingly bland, boring vegetable could taste good. In my opinion, plain spaghetti squash tastes like…nothing. However, for people who are looking to add more vegetables while consuming less calories and cut bread or grain-related carbohydrates from their diets, this vegetable is the way to go. If you doubt me, check out this little chart below…the calorie counts may vary depending on the brand you are using, but look how much you save in calories alone!
|1 cup portion||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)|
|Spaghetti (made with white flour)*||221||1||43|
So this squash is not very hard to prepare, but it can get a little messy with all the seeds. Because this is a seasonal vegetable, not every grocery store is carrying them right now. I bought mine at Sprouts, and I believe Whole Foods carries them as well.
Unfortunately, this squash reminded me that I need a new knife set. Even with my largest and sharpest knife, I had slight difficulty carving this bad boy in half.
I have heard there are a lot of different things you can do when cooking a spaghetti squash, but I decided to play it safe and follow the directions on the sticker that was on the squash when I bought it. It said to pre-heat the oven to 375F, fill a pan with 1/2 an inch of water, lay each side of the squash face down and let it cook for about 40-45 minutes.
After that was done I removed the squash from the oven and let both sides cool down for about 10 minutes. After that, you take a large fork or spoon and scoop out the insides, which look EXACTLY like spaghetti! I can’t believe I never did this before.
Below is a picture of the spaghetti squash before I decided to dress it up. It really looks like spaghetti, right? I know I keep saying that, but I am shocked at the resemblance. Of course, as far as texture goes, spaghetti squash is more rubbery, and has a little crunch when you bite it. Otherwise, it is an awesome substitution. Not to mention, Spaghetti squash is high in vitamin C and specifically the mineral manganese, which our bodies do not need a lot of, but it has a big job, playing a major role in the production of healthy bones, tissues and sex hormones.
So after figuring out how to make spaghetti squash, I figured I would give it my magic cooking touch. I wanted to treat it like it was REAL pasta, and make it as I would one of my favorite pasta dishes and see how it would taste.
This dish is very simple. It is my homemade tomato sauce, combined with ground turkey and a cup of spinach, sprinkled with lemon pepper and garlic powder. For one serving of spaghetti squash (about 1 cup), use 3-4 ounces of ground kosher organic turkey (I prefer Empire brand), 1 cup of spinach and if you do not have homemade tomato sauce or you are too lazy to make it, Trader Joe’s Original Marinara is one of my favorites in a jar. Make the squash as directed. While the squash is cooking, cook the meat and saute the spinach in a pan, pour 1/2 cup of preferred tomato sauce in the pan and let it sit. When the squash is done and cooled a little, spoon out the desired amount and pour the sauce over it. Feel free to add extra olive oil, basil or some fresh Parmesan. Also, let it be known if you are cooking for yourself, you will have a TON of extra spaghetti squash for extra meals. Be excited about that. Buon Appetito!