Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

I think I've said it before, but it bears repeating...we LOVE pasta! However, sometimes pasta feels a little too heavy in the summer months, don't you think? And moreover, wouldn't it be great if pasta had more health benefits? Like maybe if it were a vegetable???

Well, if you've ever found yourself thinking that, then we're glad you stopped by today! If you've never tried spaghetti squash (also known as calabash squash or vegetable spaghetti), you're in for a real treat. It's easy to prepare and is low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C. Not only that, there's an added bonus: your kids will eat it!!

We've experimented with a few different recipes, and we can honestly say that we've loved them all, but for us, simplicity is key. We like the very basic flavor of the squash, enhanced with just a few simple ingredients, so here we'll feature three very simple ways to make this easy and healthy dish!

Start by picking out the perfect sized spaghetti squash. Don't know what it looks like? Check out this link for a photo....

Spaghetti Squash #1

Slice it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a baking sheet, skin down. Take 2 oz. of unsalted butter and cut it into 1 oz. pats, putting one pat on each half of the squash. Sprinkle with 2 oz. brown sugar, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. Now for the fun part! Take a fork and rake it along the length of the squash. Look how the squash turns into noodles! The kids LOVE this part! Then take some fresh basil and finely chop it before sprinkling it over the top. Delicious!

Spaghetti Squash #2

Do everything the same as above, but when you're finished scooping out the squash "noodles", top with your favorite spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese. So yummy, fun, and the kids might even find this to be sneaky! It just might be your new way to make spaghetti!

Spaghetti Squash #3

1 spaghetti squash
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp salt/pepper mix

Split the squash lengthwise. Season each half with all of the ingredients listed above. Roast skin-side down for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender, but not mushy. Remove it from the oven, and use your fork to rake out the squash. Now, get the following ingredients ready!

3/4 c. squash
2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp. salt & pepper mix
1/2 tsp. parsley

Saute the squash in the garlic and butter, being careful to use low heat so the garlic won't brown and turn bitter. Now, season it with parsley, salt, and pepper and serve! DELICIOUS!!

Now run, don't walk! Get to the grocery and find yourself a beautiful spaghetti squash for dinner tonight!


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