Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vegetable of the Week: Spaghetti Squash

The taming of the squash

I've long been terrified of the different varieties of autumn/winter squash.  They seemed challenging to cook, and they'd only been served to me in childhood swimming in butter and coated with brown sugar.  If you have to do that much to a vegetable to make it edible, it can't be very good, right?

I honestly can't recall ever having eaten spaghetti squash, so this week's veggie was truly a leap for me.  We decided to serve the squash "noodles" with spaghetti sauce; it somehow seemed appropriate.

How to cook spaghetti squash:

  • Cut the stem end off the squash then cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
  • Microwave each half of the squash, cut side down, on a plate for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully (it's hot!!) remove the seeds and discard.  
  • Use a spoon to scrape out the squash innards into a serving dish.  Marvel at the way it falls into "noodles!"
The raw squash smelled like a pumpkin.  When the squash is cooked, it has a sweet smell.  The flavor was mild and slightly buttery and just a little sweet.  We added a touch of butter to bring out the flavor a bit more.  Elias and I both enjoyed it.  Maddie wasn't all that excited about it (but she's pretty picky anyway).  The hubby ate it but wasn't all that excited either. I think he really wants the pasta back.  

Recipe:  Spaghetti Squash with Turkey & Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 spaghetti squash, prepared as above
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Jarred spaghetti or tomato sauce (we used our homemade canned tomato sauce -- sooo good!)
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste
  1. Cook the ground turkey in a deep skillet until no longer pink.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft.
  3. Stir in the sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning to your preference.
  4. Serve over hot spaghetti squash noodles.