The Versatility of Spaghetti Squash

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  http://zenhabits.net/marathon/ One of the thing I love to do is talk to people about food and cooking. One of the most common questions this time a year is about spaghetti squash. This beautiful winter vegetable is known for is replaceability for pasta, but the question is often asked, “What exactly do I do with it?”. I’ve put together several ideas so that you can fully enjoy the versatility of this wonderful squash. squash

What is Spaghetti Squash?

This winter squash has a smooth often yellow or pale golden skin, shaped like a long orb. Like most squash, it is very dense and heavy for it’s size. Spaghetti Squash is a great vitamin source, including Beta Carotene, Vitamin A and Calcium. The flesh consists of tightly packed rows of stranded flesh which is hard to tell until after it is cooked. Then, with a fork, the strands magically are scraped out and resemble pasta. I’ve seen squashes in several sizes, from football sized to half of that. The size does not affect the taste and, like most winter squashes, they can be stored for a week or two. A medium sized squash can easily contain 4 generous servings. The best news : 2 cups of spaghetti squash is only 90 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber, compared to wheat pasta which for two cups is 440 calories, 100 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber. A huge difference when watching calories and carbs in your diet. Spaghetti Squash~ A Healthy Hunger

How to cook Spaghetti Squash

Cooking spaghetti squash is not difficult at all. You have the option of baking, steaming or microwaving. My personal preferred method is steaming. It doesn’t take long and it’s the easiest to do. First cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and set aside. Place an inch or two of water into a pot with a steam basket and add the squash. Steam for 20 minutes and then test for doneness. Pull a strand and taste it. It will have some bite to it, but if it’s too “crunchy” for your taste simply steam it for a few minutes more and test again. After the squash is steamed, let it cool for a minute or two, then using a fork, scrape out the flesh into a large bowl. Alternatively place squash face side down in a roasting pan and place in a 350 degree oven, covered, for 50 minutes. To microwave place squash cut side down in a dish with an inch of water, covered for 15 minutes. And those seeds? They can be roasted and enjoyed, just like pumpkin seeds.

Spaghetti Squash 5 ways ~ A Healthy Hunger

The Many Ways to Enjoy Spaghetti Squash

The most common way to eat spaghetti squash is with a little oil (or butter), salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. The second most common way is to eat it like pasta with marinara sauce- (one of my most popular ways, along with turkey meatballs, when I was working on my Masters Thesis). Just like pasta, the options are infinite, and I welcome you to get creative. The dish above is made with caramelized shallots, sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese and a sprinkling of pine nuts. It was a snap to make and it all came together while the squash was steaming. 20 minutes to a hot, healthy lunch or dinner. The dish at the very top of the post is with sautéed baby bello mushrooms, asparagus and finely shaved parmesan, with a drizzle of olive oil. Here is another version that I think you’ll enjoy with Yogurt Sauce.

Spaghetti Squash ~ A Healthy Hunger

Spaghetti Squash with Caramelized Shallots and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
24 min
Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
24 min
174 calories
15 g
7 g
12 g
5 g
3 g
227 g
87 g
6 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
227g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 102
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
18%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 7mg
2%
Sodium 87mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 6g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
8%
Calcium
7%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 8 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  2. 3 large shallots, sliced length wise
  3. 1 clove garlic minced
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 2 oz goat cheese
  6. 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. To cook squash: first slice in half, scoop out seeds. Place into a large pot with a steamer basket and an inch of water. Bring water to a boil, add the squash, cover and steam for 20 minutes. Check for doneness but tasting a strand. If too crunchy, steam a few minutes more and recheck.
  2. Meanwhile: In a medium saute pan warm the olive oil over medium/low heat, then add the shallots and garlic. Slowly cook until the shallots are soft and golden. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a dry pan, toast the pine nuts, taking care not to scorch them.
  4. When the squash is ready, scoop out two cups onto each plate and top with shallot mixture, the goat cheese, nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and some coarse salt.
Notes
  1. If you purchased a large squash you may cook half and store the rest, wrapped, in the fridge for up to a week. Alternatively cook all of it and store the unused portion in a closed container for up to 3 days.
beta
calories
174
fat
12g
protein
5g
carbs
15g
more
A Healthy Hunger http://ahealthyhunger.com/
 
Spaghetti Squash with Baby Bello Mushroom, Asparagus and Shaved Parmesan
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
24 min
Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
24 min
173 calories
18 g
5 g
10 g
6 g
2 g
319 g
151 g
8 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
319g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173
Calories from Fat 87
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 5mg
2%
Sodium 151mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 18g
6%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
15%
Calcium
15%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 8 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  2. 2 cups sliced baby bello mushrooms
  3. 1 shallot, minced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 cups asparagus tips and the stalks in 1/2 inch slices
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. 1 oz shaved parmesan
Instructions
  1. To cook the squash: Cut the squash in half, remove seeds. Place a large pot with a steamer basked over high heat with 1" of water. Bring to a boil. Add the squash and cover. Steam for 20 minutes, then test for doneness. If too crunchy for your taste, steam a few minutes longer, then recheck.
  2. Meanwhile: In a large saute pan, warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium/low heat and add the shallots and garlic. Cook several minutes until soft and browned. Add the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes, turning once until browned. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 more minutes until they are al dente.
  3. When the squash is ready, scrape out onto 4 plates. Top with mushroom mixture, drizzle with remaining olive oil and top with shaved parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
beta
calories
173
fat
10g
protein
6g
carbs
18g
more
A Healthy Hunger http://ahealthyhunger.com/

 

   

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