Tonight was my first attempt with spaghetti squash. Anyone who knows me knows I love love love my pasta and carbs. But I have been inspired to try a healthier alternative. Check out these numbers:
1 cup cooked pasta: 200 calories and 40g carbs
1cup cooked spaghetti squash: 40 calories and 10g carbs
The first thing I did was go to the internet to research “how to cook spaghetti squash.” I looked at several pins on pinterest that explained that this can be prepared in the microwave or oven and decided to go the conventional oven route. For those who want to cook it in the microwave this can be done by cutting the squash and removing the seeds and gooey center and microwaving for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your squash.
Here are the directions I followed:
1. Slice squash in half lengthwise (be prepared to use your muscles; the skin is very tough and not easy to cut through)
2. scoop out the seeds and gooey center
3. place squash sliced side down on a greased baking pan (I lined my baking sheet with aluminum foil and sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray; I also sprinkled salt and pepper on the squash before placing it on the baking sheet) and poke several holes in the skin to allow the steam to escape
4. bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your squash. The instructions on the sticker on my squash said to bake for one hour. I checked mine after 50 minutes and it looked perfect.
5. once cool enough to handle; using a fork, gently pull the spaghetti from the squash. This part is fun and you will be amazed at how much spaghetti you will get out.
6. serve! You can top your spaghetti squash with marinara, pesto or olive oil. Add cooked vegetables, meat or cheese to your dish to increase its nutrition. I chose to try out a frozen seafood mix I had recently purchased from trader Joes. I sauteed the frozen seafood in a pan that I sprayed first with nonstick cooking spray. I added garlic salt, minced garlic and half a bag of spinach I had in my fridge and cooked for about 5-6 minutes until seafood was cooked and spinach wilted.
Here is the final product:
For the spaghetti squash I added crushed red pepper, Brummel and Brown butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Here are my overall thoughts on the meal: The spaghetti squash may look like spaghetti but it certainly does not taste like spaghetti. While it was tasty and healthy; it still overall tasted like squash. I think next time I will try it with some marinara sauce and see if that tricks my brain a little more. It was however, easy to make, healthy and very filling. You will get tons of spaghetti from a small sized squash and I have plenty left over to try a few different ways. I would cook spaghetti squash again and would still like to try different ways to incorporate it into dishes. I did read on Livestrong a recommendation to mix 50/50 spaghetti squash and real pasta as a way to cut down on calories but Im not so sure about that.
I would love to hear from you guys if you have tried spaghetti squash and have any recipes to recommend. Hope everyone is having a good week and is getting ready for the weekend.