Emily’s Post: Veggie Up Dinner

One of my more recent obsessions is spaghetti squash.  Spaghetti squash is a pale yellow winter squash that resembles the appearance of spaghetti on the inside.  It is a great way to incorporate another vegetable into your meal, and is a great substitute for spaghetti and pasta.  If you are trying to reduce your intake of carbohydrates, substituting with spaghetti squash is a great alternative.  A cup of spaghetti squash contains only 10 grams of carbohydrates in comparison to around 40 grams of carbohydrates in a cup of pasta.  There are many ways to use spaghetti squash in your meals as it takes the flavor of whatever you put on it.

The best way to prepare spaghetti squash is to take a fork and poke holes lengthwise from end to end of the squash to make an outline to cut it in half.  Putting the squash in the microwave for 2-5 minutes can help soften it to cut in half easier.  Cut following the fork marks lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds.  Drizzle the inside with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Place the squash halves face down on a prepared baking sheet, and then put them into a preheated oven of 400°F for 35-45 minutes, or until the squash is tender.  After taking the squash out of the oven, let them cool a bit then turn them over.  Take a fork and scrape the flesh to make the long spaghetti-like strands.

Because spaghetti squash takes the flavor of what you put on it you can put whatever toppings you would like on it.  You could top it with a traditional meat sauce, pesto and chicken, or even more veggies! You can find fresh spaghetti squash at our farmer’s markets in late summer and fall and while storage supplies last through the winter. Spaghetti squash also freezes exceptionally well, so if you have extra (they are very prolific garden plants) it pays to freeze the remainder for using all winter long!

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