A word about Spaghetti Squash


With the peak season of cold nights and dark mornings, it's time to get thinking about excuses to keep your oven turned on all evening. One of my best excuses is roasting something really huge and hard....right. Not to mention, spaghetti squash gives you a great excuse to wield a really big knife after a long day of whiny teenagers and public transpo employees (or maybe that's just me). But really, spaghetti squash is worth the minimal effort it requires, and last forever in your fridge. Plus, it really does live up to its name as a pasta substitute. Your waistline, and more importantly, your life-long body will thank you. So will your wallet: spaghetti squash goes for about 79 cents a pound, but I've found it in season for 99 cents a squash.


1. By hook or by crook, slice a spaghetti squash into two halves, length-wise. Don't be dauntedl; this is difficult, but not impossible. My suggestion is to saw into it a bit with a bread knife to give your butcher's knife some leverage. Like I said, by hook or by crook. I usually use a man, but I think this is sad, so I keep on trying the two knife approach until he comes careening into the kitchen convinced I'm going to wind up short a hand.

2. Scoop out it's guts: remove seeds, stringy bits, and anything gooey looking from the middles of the halves - you're going to be roasting only the hard parts on its sides. Don't worry - they get nice and roasty in the oven over their long bake. For extra snacking, save the seeds and roast them simulatenously! Throw the rest of that junk out.

3. Light drizzle the exposed squash interior with olive oil or canola oil. Crack a generous amount of fresh pepper into it and season as you like - I generallys stick to salt and pepper, but part of me feels you could go nutmeggy with this baby and it would also be delish.

4. Place on a roasting pan (i.e. your most already-ruined cookie sheet...sugar leaks out of most vegetables and can leave dark burns on pans), inside-down (scooped-out side down), and bake for a good 45 minutes that way.

5. At the 45 minute mark, use tongs (or man) to flip the halves over so they are edible side upfor about 10-15 minutes, or until they are baked-looking enough for your liking. The flesh should be tender and easy to scrape with a fork. When scraped, noodly strings of squash will happen. Note: Generally, my squash comes out a little browner than in the image, which I really like.

This makes an excellent side with a dollop of sour cream or (my preference) plain yogurt. It's also commonly substituted in pasta dishes as is great with tomato sauce or with stir fried vegetables, or really with anything. Heart healthy and worth the one hard part, this is an easy and satisfying way to treat your body nice.

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