Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Simple Spaghetti Squash (For Beginners)

I recently rediscovered spaghetti squash. Apparently I used to eat this as a kid, but I have zero memory of it, and just became interested in it again via my favorite guilty pleasure and massive time waster, the great Pinterest.

Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for spaghetti squash. A vegetable that can substitute for noodles? Yeah...that sounds great... Kind of reminded me when a friend told me if I was hungry for something sweet, instead of eating dessert I should chew gum. (We're not friends anymore. Obviously).

But actually, spaghetti squash was pretty great. If you have celiac disease like me and understand that traditional noodles are the root of all stomach evils, this is a great alternative. Or, you know, if you just want to eat healthier, this is a perfect choice, too.
Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce

Spaghetti squash isn't exactly like the traditional noodle, so don't dive into it thinking that's what you're getting. You'll only be disappointed. See my rant on imitation foods here.  I encourage you to enjoy spaghetti squash for what it is. The texture is less chewy than a traditional noodle, in an odd way it makes you feel more hydrated (you'll have to try it to believe), and it doesn't need a lot of sauce. No, seriously. I tried it multiple ways, and my favorite by far was just a little olive oil, garlic, thyme, and salt.

There are so many spaghetti squash instructions floating around there, but this is what worked best for me. Enjoy!
A large bowl of yum!

1 spaghetti squash
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
pinch of salt and pepper


Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Cut the spaghetti squash in half. For me, this was the most difficult part, but I can't imagine trying to do it while hot, so cut it before cooking!

Step 2: Scoop out the seeds and the stringy middle. Common misconception that this is the "spaghetti" part. Its not! Get rid of it!

This is what your squash should look like cooked. I couldn't imagine this turning into noodles, so that's why I'm adding it for you non-believers :) 

Step 3: Place spaghetti squash on tin foil lined pan and cook "face up" for 40 minutes. Take squash out, flip face down, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Step 4: Take squash out of the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Using a fork, scoop out the insides of the squash in long strokes (if you want the longer noodles).

Step 5: In a small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle spaghetti squash noodles with mixture and toss until evenly covered.

Serves 2-4