Friday, April 18, 2014

The Magical Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a variety of hard squash unlike any other. It looks similar to acorn squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, etc. but has a texture unlike any of those squashes. When cooked you can run a fork down the squash and yield strands of squash in the shape of angel hair pasta or spaghetti.

It is popular among the dieting and low carb crowds because it is as filling as pasta but is much less calorie dense. Here are the nutritional stats for one cup of cooked spaghetti squash:


You can use it in any recipe where you'd normally use pasta, and it's neutral flavor pairs well with any cuisine. Many other bloggers have covered how to cook it, and I suggest clicking on the squash photo below to read a post from Elana's Pantry with a nice short set of instructions with photos:


I eat spaghetti squash at least once a month, and usually eat one small squash worth of noodles per serving. Here are some of my favorite toppings: 


Italian Style
1 medium onion, sliced
1-2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 small bell pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 bunch kale, sliced into ribbons (can sub any other dark leafy green)
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 cups broccoli, chopped
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
Nutritional yeast to taste
Black olives to taste

Saute the onions, mushrooms, and pepper for 3-5 minutes on medium heat in a medium pot. Use juice from the tomatoes, red wine vinegar or water to keep the veggies from sticking. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add in your sliced kale and tomatoes. Add in salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir to combine and cook until kale is wilted.

Add your broccoli, cover and let simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir in broccoli once it's had a few minutes to steam. Continue to cook until your preferred broccoli doneness. 

Place 1/2 of this mixture on your squash. Top with nutritional yeast and chopped olives.



Bulked up Rawsta
Follow the instructions for Rawsta from this post

Mix raw noodles with squash and pesto or hummus.

Mexican Style
1 medium onion, sliced
1-2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 small bell pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 can/2 cups black beans
1/2 container fresh salsa
Salt, pepper, taco blend (cumin, coriander, garlic, chili powder, cayenne) to taste
Lime
Cilantro
Avocado

Saute the onions, mushrooms, and pepper for 3-5 minutes on medium heat in a medium pot. Use juice from the salsa, red wine vinegar or water to keep the veggies from sticking. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in black beans and salsa plus your seasonings. Cook for at least 10 minutes for flavors to combine. You can also add fresh or frozen greens with the beans and salsa.

Top the squash with 1/3-1/2 of this mixture plus avocado and cilantro.

Soup
Add the squash noodles to your favorite soup. It's best to add warm noodles to warm soup.

Rice
Use the noodles in place of where you'd normally use rice, for example, as a bed for a delicious curry.

Side Dish
The noodles are great on their own as a side dish to a more traditional meal, like a slice of lentil loaf or a veggie burger. Make sure to season with your favorite spices, condiments or nutritional yeast.

If you have another way you love to eat spaghetti squash please share it in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Hey that Mexican variation sounds great! I love spaghetti squash but usually eat it with stir fry or other Asian type dishes and have never thought of it with Mexican dishes. I'm going to try this!

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