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Fun with Spaghetti Squash

January 4th, 2008 · by Cyndi · No Comments

A newer version (2013) of this post is now up:

Sorry, no pictures with this one. No measured recipes either.

Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that gets its name from the fact that, if you cook it just right, it will fall apart with a fork into long spaghetti-like strands. Okay, here are some pictures and more info:

What’s so wonderful about it is that it’s a way to eat more vegetables, it’s lowcarb, and it’s really good too.

The above website and many others have cooking instructions. I like to bake it. About an hour in a 350*F oven, turn once or twice during cooking. Do not forget this step: prick deep and well with a knife every few inches before cooking. All it takes is once to realize the importance of this (yes, it explodes). A dozen pricks 2 inches deep are plenty.

It is done when you can put a fork through the skin with ease and through the flesh with slight difficulty. If it doesn’t turn into spaghetti after opening and scraping, cook it longer. If you cook it too long, it turns to mush (but still tasty and it makes great latkes).

When done, cut in half lengthwise. When cool enough to handle, remove seeds and the gooey bits surround them (you can bake the seeds like pumpkin seeds). Then use a plain dinner fork lengthwise to scrape out the flesh into strands.

Spaghetti squash goes very well with garlic. You can make a very nice and simple side dish by browning chopped garlic in butter or olive oil and then stirring in spaghetti squash to warm and coat. It also goes well with tomato-based pasta sauces. It’s a great thing to bring to a spaghetti dinner if you can’t have regular pasta due to the wheat or thecarbs.

I cooked up a huge spaghetti squash the other night. I used half then and half tonight.

For the first half, I sauteed some mushrooms (crimimi) and thinly sliced stalks from daikon radish leaves (nothing special about them, I just happened to have them in the fridge). I seasoned with some Mediterrean-type herbs and then added a can of diced tomatoes, red wine, and the chopped radish greens. Then I let it simmer.

I’m not doing the recipe justice but I rarely write stuff down and I change how I make things each time. When we were ready to eat, I stirred some squash in with the sauce to coat it.

Silly me, I realized too late I’d forgotten the protein. Not something I normally do but I am so used to soy pasta these days, which is its own protein source. It was still filling and good.

Tonight I used the rest of the squash. The dish was similar but not the same. I sliced some carrots and sauteed them in olive oil with a couple ice cube-sized hunks of frozen grated ginger. When the carrots were slightly brown, I added some very firm tofu, ground up with my fingers as I held it over the pan. I seasoned this with salt, chipotle pepper powder, cumin, turmeric, and dill. I would have used curry if I had any. Miriam insisted that I add some mustard, which I agreed was a good idea.

I put that all into a bowl then sauteed the sliced stalks of some rainbow chard (I saved the leaves for another day) and seasoned with salt and lots of black pepper. Then I added the spaghetti squash and half a jar of Seeds of Change Marinara Sauce. When that was warm through, I added back the tofu.

I’m a big fan of one-pot meals, I just eat more of them than if I had side dishes. But there’s no reason why you couldn’t serve this with greens or salad or anything else you like. If you leave out the tofu, it becomes more of a side dish itself. If you eat meat, you can use ground beef or turkey instead of the tofu. You could even add beans instead. Your choice. Spaghetti squash will accommodate you.

An earlier version of this recipe was posted to September, 20, 1991 and to my lowcarb website February, 28, 1999.
Other listings: lowcarbvegetarianrecipes & here (also on their most saved article list & most 20 highest rated)


Categories: Food · Main Dishes · Recipes · Vegetable Dishes
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