Friday, November 8, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Time and budget constraints are often cited as reasons for not cooking healthy meals. Sadly, it is not unusual to find your supermarket receipts slowly climb as you try to eat healthier. Just compare the cost of water to that of soda. The other day I took my niece to the movies and we bought some snacks and a small water bottle. I was blown away when I saw the receipt. Can you believe that a small water bottle costs more than a large soft drink? Seriously, there is something wrong with the world when water costs more than soda. Anyways, I digress...
Even when the higher cost of food is not a problem, prep time often is. Cooking a healthy meal can be more involved, however, it doesn't have to be. Take for example spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is easy to work with, budget friendly, and yummy on your taste buds. When time allows I go all out with my spaghetti squash dinners. however, when I'm short on time I use the K.I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid) method. I simply roast the squash and top it with spaghetti sauce and a little Parmesan cheese. And voil√†, dinner is ready!

1 spaghetti squash, medium sized
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste

Short ingredient list and lots of hands off time, so basically this recipe is the what you'd call easy peasy lemon squeezy!  This is what I buy when I go to the store:

See what I’m saying? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

First comes the hardest part *ton, ton, ton* cutting your spaghetti squash in half. The larger the spaghetti squash the harder it is to split. Quite honestly I sometimes take the easy route and ask my husband to cut it for me!
Today I had to fend for myself, as you can tell from those ragged spaghetti squash edges. Ugly cuts won't matter in the end, so just do your best and forget the rest.
Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings. Rub with EVOO and season aggressively with salt and pepper.

Place the squash, cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes.  
Note: If you bought a larger or smaller squash you will need to adjust the roasting time accordingly. Add or subtract 10 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
Now do whatcha like. Wash a load, take a nap, watch a little Netflix, spend the next 40 minutes or so doing something besides cooking. I did promise it would be easy, didn't I?

40 minutes later, remove from oven. 
Note: Not sure if your spaghetti squash is ready? It should be soft. Using a fork, scrape at the flesh of the squash. If it comes off easily, in threadlike strings, it's ready.

Meanwhile it cools a little, heat your spaghetti sauce and grate your cheese. Once the squash has cooled enough to touch, use a fork to lightly scrape the flesh of the squash into a bowl. Now simply plate your squash and top with sauce and grated parm.

How easy was that? It's tasty, healthy, budget friendly, and has lots of downtime. Oh and my niece loves it, so it's kid friendly too. Yum, yum, yum!
In later posts I will show you some of the other recipes I've put together using spaghetti squash. Stay tuned!

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