Let’s talk about spaghetti squash!
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Come on – keep reading!
Give it a chance!
First – let’s end some misconceptions.
This watermelon shaped yellowish squash does NOT taste like spaghetti noodles.
Nor does it have the texture of spaghetti noodles.
It is NOT spaghetti.
But after cooking – it can be forked out of the shell into a strands that have the shape of spaghetti and are a great whole food substitute for pasta.
It really doesn’t have much flavor at all – allowing it take on whatever flavor you add.
Now that you have mentally prepared and alerted your taste buds – are you ready to give it a try?
Good! Let’s cook it.
Although there are many different methods – the most important thing to remember is to cut vents in it so it doesn’t build up steam and explode (think baked potatoes).
To avoid this – and as an extra precaution – I always cut mine in half, scoop out the seeds, and place them upside down in a baking dish with a little water in the bottom.
Then I cover them with foil and bake them at 350 degrees until the insides are tender – or – if I’m in a hurry – I’ll skip the foil and microwave them on high till soft.
It’s hard to set baking time since they vary in size (especially when home grown) but plan on at least an hour in the oven and 20 minutes in the microwave.
Then you take your fork and “string” the flesh into spaghetti like strands.
See? It’s easy!
Now you can get creative.
Add butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese for a yummy side dish.
Or butter, cream cheese and Ranch dressing mix.
Or cover it in an Alfredo sauce – add some diced ham or cooked sausage and you have a yummy entree.
Or switch out the Alfredo and ham for ground beef and spaghetti sauce.
How about a “loaded baked potato” dish with bacon, cheddar cheese and sour cream?
The flavor combinations are endless!
An added bonus? You can cook the squash in advance and refrigerate it – with or without the additions – until you need it.