You guys, I’m such a cheater. And what I mean by that is I love to cook dishes that are more exciting than the way they’re prepared. Spaghetti squash? Simple prep. Very exciting and seemingly creative dish. But let’s learn a little about the fruit, shall we?
So spaghetti squash is a winter squash that’s rather big (like a melon but longer) with a buttery yellow color and a flavor mild enough that you can basically treat it like a low-carb substitute for spaghetti. In fact, spaghetti squash has about 1/4 the carbs of spaghetti. It’s not as nutrient rich as other squashes, but it’s still good for you and a fun way to ease kids into eating veggies… or veggie-like fruits.
Now here’s the cool part. Spaghetti squash is REALLY easy to prepare. Ready for this?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut your squash in half lengthwise. This is the hardest part because the rind should be on the hard side. Scoop out the seeds and face it down on your baking sheet or dish and stab it all over with a fork so it steams out. This is the fun part because after you’ve chopped that sucker in half, you may be a little frustrated and giving it a good stabby-stab will let it know who’s boss. Even though it’s already been sliced in half.
Bake it for 45 minutes or until the inside is good and soft. It should be a brighter yellow than it started and a little more transparent.
If slicing it in half and stabbing it with a fork wasn’t enough, now you get to scramble it’s insides. Flip it on over so the meat is facing up if you haven’t already. I recommend putting the halves in bowls to keep them from rolling around on you. Take a fork to the meat and just rake across the surface. Keep shredding until the entire squash is shredded.
The fun part is adding your own twist with seasonings, sauces and the like. I personally like chopped basil, finely grated parmesan cheese and diced heirloom tomato with a light drizzle of olive oil and crushed red chili if I’m feeling sassy. However, experiment. Try your favorite pasta sauce or maybe a seasoning blend you like. I’m obsessed with cajun spices lately, but Spike seasoning is always a safe bet.
Enjoy! You can scoop it out or leave it in the rind to serve it out. Either way, it’s a fun departure and a great way to cut down carbs or even try your hand at vegan fare.
Now fire up your ovens and have some fun!