Last year I discovered a delightful thing called the spaghetti squash. I don’t know how I went so long in life without knowing about this yummy veggie. Spaghetti squash is great because you can use it as a replacement for spaghetti in most recipes. It’s way lower in carbs, of course, and has a heck of a lot more nutritional value than real spaghetti. Of course it’s not going to taste like spaghetti. It’s squash, and it tastes squashy. It also has a bit of a crunch to it, but trust me, it’s good.
Add some garlic and cheese, and you have a delicious and simple side dish.
I found this recipe last year from Steamy Kitchen, and it is so yummy! You can basically pick whatever herb you want to put in there — parsley and basil are both great, and I think rosemary would be good too.
Whenever I fly home to visit my parents, I try to make them a new vegetarian recipe to broaden their culinary horizons. My mom was flabbergasted when I became a vegetarian, because growing up, meat was always at the center of meals. You could not have a meal without meat. She never knows what to make me when I come home, so I like to show them that it’s possible to have a perfectly delicious, nutritious, and filling meal with no meat in sight.
Last year I made this recipe and my Dad loved it. He went back for seconds and thirds and probably fourths. It was the first time he had tried spaghetti squash, and he loved it so much that he has even made the recipe himself a few times. Success!
Baked Spaghetti Squash
1 smallish spaghetti squash (3-4 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. butter or earth balance butter substitute
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced (The original recipe calls for 2, but I always add more.)
1/4 cup chopped basil, parsley, or rosemary
Freshly ground salt to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375° F and throw the whole squash in. Bake for 60 minutes until you can easily cut into the skin. Let the squash cool for a bit until you can handle it without burning your hands.
If you’re short on time, forget the oven and microwave the squash for 5 minutes or longer… however long it takes until your knife easily cuts through the skin. (If you do choose the microwave route, you will still need to roast it in the oven for 30 minutes after microwaving. Cut it in half lengthwise before roasting.)
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Get rid of the seeds with a fork. Hold up half the squash, and use the fork to scrape out the insides. It will come out in long strands, just like spaghetti! Isn’t it pretty?
If you’re having a hard time getting the strands out, it probably needs to cook for a bit longer. Stick it back in the oven for a few minutes.
After you’ve scraped til you can scrape no more, set the strands aside and grab a large sauté pan. Heat the butter and garlic over medium heat. Allow the garlic to sauté for a couple of minutes, and then add the squash, salt, and herb of your choice. Mix it all up and then add your cheese. Add more salt as needed. Serve piping hot, and enjoy!