How to: Cook Spaghetti Squash

Sunday, February 10, 2013
I grew up in a family of gardeners. Because of that I was exposed to a large variety of vegetables and can only think of one I didn't care for as a kid -- Spaghetti Squash.

As a rule, I love all squashes but what my Mom did with that spaghetti squash should have been criminal -- she made spaghetti with it and believe me when I say my Mom is a great cook but spaghetti has never been her specialty. So for years I just put this veggie out of my mind and never thought about giving it another try -- that is until I entered into a low carb way of eating.

Not only did I give it another chance, I discovered that I actually LOVE it. If you are not eating it, you should be and if you garden, you should be growing it too.
Firstly, choose or pick a squash with shiny, pale lemon-yellow skin. If it is white or pale green, it is not ripe. It should feel heavy for it's size and avoid the overly large ones and those with bruises, soft spots and cracks.
When you are ready to prepare, cut in half (they are hard and you may need a mallet to get it opened) and scoop out the seeds and matter.
Now you can steam or boil or even microwave to cook but my preferred method it to bake open-side down on a foiled lined baking sheet at 375°F for 30-40 minutes. Once out of the oven, cover with foil and allow to sit until cool enough to handle.
When cool enough to handle, rake a fork back and forth thru the flesh to make spaghetti like strands. Use a large metal spoon to scoop out into a dish.
My favorite way to eat it is simple -- saute 2-3 cloves of garlic in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. When softened add 1/4 cup of butter and melt. Add 1 Tbsp parsley and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan to your spaghetti squash and pour over melted butter mixture. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Mix well and top with another 1/4 shredded Parmesan and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown around the edges. 

Another favorite is to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles in Filipino Pancit -- I'll share that recipe soon.

The best part is that a 3/4 cup serving is only 30 calories (this is the plain squash) and 5 net carbs -- a very good low-carb value.