Can you feel it? Despite summer temperatures still ruling most of the country, and warm upper 80's and low 90's still being the norm here in Boise, fall is almost here! And with it comes a slew of new seasonal produce recipes. And what's more 'fall' then squash?
Now I'm not generally a huge squash fan, myself. But there are two exceptions: Pumpkin (Heck yes! Pumpkin flavored everything is the best time of the year!) and spaghetti squash.
For a long time I avoided spaghetti squash like the plague because I didn't know how to cook it. But when I started trying to eat healthier it seemed like a no-brainer to substitute spaghetti squash for some of my favorite noodle dishes, and so I learned to cook it, and cook it well. There is a 30 calorie vs. 150 calorie difference between a bowl of spaghetti squash and a bowl of noodles, as well as being gluten-free and paleo. In short, it's good for you.
And you know what? It's easier, faster and better in most cases then boiling spaghetti noodles when cooked correctly. And the best part? The only thing you need to cook them "correctly" is a microwave!
How to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave
you will need:
Let's get started!
First you'll cut your squash in half, but NOT lengthwise (that's hamburger, not hot dog people!). The reason for this is that the fibers that make up this squash wrap around it in the short direction, and slicing it in half this way will give you the best 'noodles.'
Scoop the seeds out of your squash. If you like you can add some extra virgin olive oil or salt and pepper at this step, but I usually just rinse them briefly with a bit of water.
Place the halves of your spaghetti squash upside down on a plate. Microwave on high in five minute increments, giving your squash a gentle squeeze in between each to check for done-ness. You'll feel it when it's done, it will 'give' a bit (and smell heavenly). I find that usually between 10-15 minutes is the perfect amount of time for an averaged sized spaghetti squash, usually around the 11-13 minute mark.
Take your squash out of the microwave and let cool for a few minutes. Then use a fork to gently pull the 'noodles' away from the skin.
Pile your 'noodles' onto a plate, and you're done! One squash usually makes a heaping helping for two people, or would comfortably feed up to four with a side of veggies and some garlic bread (hey, you're having squash for dinner, you can splurge!)
Now of course you simply top with your choice of noodle toppings! Noah and I have had pretty much any combination you can think of an we're addicted. I'll be sharing some of our favorite sauce/meat pairings in the next few weeks, so keep checking back! And in the meantime if you want to see more of my recipes you can check those out here.