I know I’m a little late to the game, but spaghetti squash is amazing! And it’s so easy to make! And it’s a low carb alternative to pasta! So many things!
I bought my first spaghetti squash a couple weeks ago, and I was feeling pretty confident as I had seen countless recipes using spaghetti squash. [I am a self-proclaimed foodie after all.] I figured I knew exactly what to do and how to cook it. However, I still needed a tiny bit of help: what temperature? how long? etc. You know, the important things.
So I performed a general Google search for “spaghetti squash”. I clicked on the first option at Eat Within Your Means. It sounded promising. Little did I know, my mind was about to be blown. She actually had a completely different way of cooking spaghetti squash than what I was expecting. Normally, most people slice the squash lengthwise, roast it for however long, and then use a fork to scoop/shred out the “noodles”. WELL, in this method you take said beautiful squash and a sharp knife:
And instead of slicing it length-wise, slice it cross-wise:
And scoop out the seeds and extra stringy stuff. Then lay them on a wire rack on top of a baking pan and salt both sides to draw out the extra water. Let them sit about 20 minutes after salting both sides, then use a paper towel to wipe away the water droplets that have formed. This helps to make the noodles not quite so wet…
Then toss ’em in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. After they come out of the oven, let them cool for a bit. Otherwise you will scorch your pretty little fingers.
Once cool, peel off the outer skin and start to separate your ‘noodles’. It comes apart SO easily and doesn’t require any other kitchen utensils, just your own two hands! Which is oddly satisfying…
Look at that plate full of spaghetti squash noodles. Beautiful, low-carb, vegetable goodness. The next part is completely up to you. I chose to saute some other veggies with pesto, add about 1/2 cup lentils, and add it to my spaghetti squash (no, I didn’t eat the entire squash in one sitting – I used probably 1/3 of the ‘noodles’). This turned out to be a perfect Meatless Monday Meal.
Now, nutritionally speaking, spaghetti squash doesn’t offer a whole lot of extra nutrient benefits above and beyond any other squash. Actually, it’s lower in vitamin A than most. It’s kind of easy to ascertain that though, due to it’s pale yellow color. Most of the other winter squash tend to be darker in color, and thus richer in vitamin A, specifically the carotenoids – beta carotene being the most abundant. Fun fact: only about 50% of beta carotene is actually converted to vitamin A in the body. The main function of carotenoids are as antioxidants – which is still a very important thing! Eat those colorful fruits and veggies!
So ‘in a nutchelle’, spaghetti squash isn’t super high in vitamin A or other nutrients like it’s winter squash brothers and sisters, but it’s an EXCELLENT low-carb alternative to pasta and is SO easy to make.