Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

This was a recipe idea I got from my cousin Heidi's blog, Heidi is a vegan, and this would have been a great vegan dish, if I hadn't added parmesan cheese on top. Oops! My weakness! This still made a great vegetarian dish and would be a perfect "Meatless Monday" choice.

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Cooking Spray
  • Marinara sauce
Really, that's it! 

I've read a few different ways to make this dish - baking it first, microwaving it for a bit, or just cutting open first, and then baking. I went with the latter route.

The spaghetti squash is literally labeled with "Spaghetti Squash" at the store. You can't miss it!

I found the squash pretty difficult to cut open. I used my regular old chef's knife, but I wonder if I should have used a different sort of knife. A pumpkin-carving knife would have been perfect! This is very reminiscent of carving a halloween pumpkin.

Here's what it looked like once I finally got it cut in half.

All of the pulp and seeds then needed to be scooped out. (At first I was just going to scoop out the seeds and leave the pulp to cook, but I'm glad I didn't. The fleshy part of the squash turned out to be more than enough food!)

I washed and dried the seeds... I'm so going to roast them like pumpkin seeds. :)

Here's what it looked like after I removed all of the seeds and pulp. 
(My camera flash was out of batteries! Yikes!)

And then put them cut-side-down on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

I baked them at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, and then it looked about like this.

I had a hard time getting a decent picture of this, but the texture of this was super cool once it was done baking. It really did just shred itself into a spaghetti-like appearance when I pulled it away from the rind with a fork.  

Here it is in a bowl, by itself.

To eat, I just topped it with warmed marinara sauce (um, Prego? I'm embarrassed by that. I need to work on making my own marinara sauce.) and then shredded some parmesan on top.

We also added a side of my homemade Cheesy Garlic Bread for the Freezer and some steamed carrots. (I was too hungry to snap a picture!) 

John and I were both delightfully surprised with this! Although it doesn't really look like it in these pictures, it is amazing how much it actually does taste like real pasta (but with a sweeter undertone). I think it would make a fine substitute when counting calories or just concerned about overall health (and who isn't!). According to a Live Strong article I found, a 1-cup serving of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories, while 1 cup of cooked pasta has 221 calories. The carb difference is 42 to 10. Not too shabby!

Like Heidi mentioned when she made this, the squash did get pretty watery as it sat in my bowl. I'm not sure how to remedy that. Bake it longer?

What is your favorite healthy substitute for a commonly-loved dish?


  1. Glad you enjoyed! I have the same thoughts on baking it longer to reduce the water. I'll have to try it. Also, let me know how your seeds turn out. Was going to do That but was too lazy.

    1. I'm sure I'll do a post about roasting the seeds. :)

  2. I made this dish tonight and really liked it! It was a bit watery, but I liked the flavor. Brittan wasn't a huge fan, but it was definitely a healthier alternative!

    1. I'm glad you liked it! Did the kids try it at all?