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Vegetable spotlight: spaghetti squash

spaghetti-squash-vegetable-spotlgiht

One of the best things about fall, besides football of course, is the squash.

Acorn, butternut, kabocha, it doesn’t matter they’re all delicious, comforting and filling. Bake, steam, sauté, braise, yes please. One of my favorite squashes, which we make the most frequency in our household, is spaghetti squash. It’s versatile and can be used in so many dishes.

First things first, here’s an easily tutorial on how to make spaghetti squash:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half using a sharp knife. It is best to do this on a sturdy surface and be mindful of your fingers.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
  4. Rub oil on the flesh side of the squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper then place face down on a baking sheet.
  5. Once squash is on the cookie sheet, take a fork and punch a few holes in the skin of the squash, which will allow the steam to escape.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until you can pierce your fork easily through the skin.
  7. Once your squash has cooled. Take a fork and run it down the flesh side of the squash. This will create ribbons that resemble spaghetti, just not as long.
  8. You can work your fork all the way to the skin, scooping out the squash as you go.

One squash usually produces 3 to 4 servings depending on what you’re using it for and who might be eating it, my husband can easily eat half a squash or more on his own.

Now that we know how to cook a spaghetti squash, below are a few ways to enjoy this wonderful vegetable; hopefully these ideas will spark your own creativity.

  1. Make spaghetti. Sauté mushrooms and peppers or any other vegetable that you desire then add store bought pasta sauce to the vegetables. You can also add your choice of meat or tofu to the pasta sauce. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti squash for a lighter version of your favorite pasta dish.
  2. Put spaghetti squash in your favorite soup. Trader Joe’s creamy corn and roasted pepper is a favorite but can often use a little bulking up. Add squash ribbons for added fiber and texture.
  3. Use as filling for tacos. The squash will take on whatever taste you want it to. Mix it with cumin, chili powder and garlic salt then place in a corn tortilla. Top with black beans, salsa and guacamole for a delicious Mexican feast.
  4. Mix into your stir-fry. Sauté vegetables and meat, if using, with oil, add spices and sauce, at the last minute throw in a cup of spaghetti squash.

Try on it naked. Spaghetti squash is also excellent all on its own. Once it’s done cooking, add just a touch of salt, butter and oregano for a simple, healthy meal that will do wonders to fill you up.

Written by Lisa Horvath

Last week’s spotlight: broccoli