Simple Spaghetti Squash

With nearly everyone on a healthy eating kick at the start of a new year, I thought it was an apt time to share one of my favorite ways to create a veggie only meal: spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is oft substituted for its wheat, and therefore carb/calorie dense cousin, spaghetti pasta. I'm not one to shy away from carbs (more fries please!), but I think spaghetti squash deserves it's own spotlight. It's crunchier and more flavorful than its counterpart and doesn't require a heavy sauce to give to life. At 31 calories per serving with plenty of vitamins and minerals, it can stand alone as a tasty side dish. With the addition of a few basic items probably already lurking in the fridge, I enjoy spaghetti squash as a main course.

Simple Spaghetti Squash
Serves 4

1 spaghetti squash
2-3 cups water
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or your favorite healthy oil like grapeseed, avocado, or truffle oil)
2 pints grape tomatoes 
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the spaghetti squash in half length wise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. In a large microwaveable container (preferably glass), add about one inch of water. Place one half of the squash cut side down into the water. Continue adding water until half (of the half) is submerged. Microwave for ten minutes. Allow the squash to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the microwave and repeating the process with the second half of the squash.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and pat dry the tomatoes. Coat in one tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake the tomatoes for ten minutes or until the skins begin to blister open. 

Once the squash is cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape out the interior flesh.The interior will pull out in the form of long, noodle like strands. Everything but the skin can be eaten, so scrape as close to the edge of the squash as possible. Toss the pulled squash with the roasted tomatoes, remaining oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. 

If you hate doing dishes as much as me, feel free to serve it inside the leftover squash skin ;)

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