I kept seeing recipes for spaghetti squash on Pinterest, and really wanted to try it, especially after I had it as a side with a seafood entree last time David and I went out to dinner at Pappadeux's. I'm always hesitant to try a new food, knowing full well my hubby won't go near it with a 10 foot pole.
Yes...it's true. My husband eats many different things, but will not eat any kind of winter squash. No buttternut, acorn, or pumpkin squash ever crosses his lips (except for pumpkin pie). I made this Carrot Apple Ginger Soup and he didn't like it...even though it has NO squash in it! So yeah...I've given up. :-(
Anyways...we recently have cut out a lot of carbs in our diet. Not completely, but David and I definitely don't reach for chips, crackers, or bread anymore. I try to serve more veggies or fruit instead. I haven't really pushed the kids in this direction, If I tried to take every bit of carbs out of their diet, I would have 5 very unhappy kids. And while I'd be perfectly happy having mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, and quinoa instead of pasta...my whole family would be up in arms...and this momma ain't got time for that! Right?
My sweet Rebecca and I are the only ones who will eat spaghetti squash...and I guess I will keep trying to get the rest of the kids to try in. Meanwhile, that just means more for the two of us. ;-)
Simple Baked Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash, wiped clean if necessary
2-4 tablespoons butter (I like 4 :-) )
2-4 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-2 teaspoons fresh herbs (I used thyme, but you can use basil or another herb of choice)
salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
You can bake the squash 2 different ways. A) Cut the squash in half. Season with the salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. A knife inserted in the flesh should go in easily without any resistance. B). Leave the squash whole (my preferred method). Use a small, sharp knife and stab (yep...stab) the squash at least 6 times, You need to do this or you will have a squash explosion in the oven...and let's not even imagine what a mess that would be. Bake the squash at 375 for one hour. If you push on the rind and it doesn't give at all, let it bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 to 30 minutes. If you're short on time, just go ahead and cut it in half with a big knife. Just be careful...it's going to be very hot and steamy!
Once you cut it open, scrap out the seeds and any pulp that clings to the seeds.
Now comes the fun part! Take a fork and scrap out the flesh. It will fall apart into strings, that look amazingly like spaghetti. See?
Keep going until you have both sides scraped out. Now, you could serve this as is, with a little salt and pepper. But I like to add some more flavor.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Melt the butter, then add the spaghetti squash. Stir it around a few times to evenly coat with the butter. We're not cooking it any more, just adding some seasonings. Now toss in the thyme (or herb of choice), garlic, and parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, with a fish fillet, pork chops, hanger steak...anything! It's the perfect substitute for pasta. After I made this the first time, I made a bolognesesauce and baked another spaghetti squash to go with it. It was delicious...at least, Rebecca and I fought over the leftovers. I did make regular pasta for everyone else. :-)
We got our first hint of fall last week here in southwest TX by way of a "cool" front, meaning we had 2 days of highs in the upper 80's and lows in the upper 60's, plus lower humidity. I'm sure any Yankee reading this is laughing their heads off. But fall means winter vegetables are on their way, and you should be able to find spaghetti squash easily in your grocery store. Buy one, bake it, and serve it up...you won't regret it.
God bless your table tonight!