Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kitchen Experiment: Spaghetti Squash!

A few weeks ago, I went to my friend Sara's house for dinner and she made the most delicious spaghetti squash. It was basically comfort food - but without all the calories and fat! Super simple, too - just the squash, marinara sauce, grilled chicken and mozzarella cheese.

I've always been super intimidated by this vegetable but after hearing from Sara how easy it is to prepare, I decided I should give it a try. So over the weekend, I bought my very first spaghetti squash and ... success!


Spaghetti Squash With Meat Sauce
Serves 2

1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and cleaned
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef (I used 93 percent lean)
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups marinara sauce (Look for no sugar added)
2 heaping Tbsp green olive tapenade
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle flesh side of squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set face down on a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes* or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set squash aside until cool enough to touch. Then, using a fork, shred the inside of each squash and create your strands of spaghetti.

While the squash is baking, you can prepare the sauce. Start by browning the ground beef in a medium skillet. Drain off fat and add diced onions and garlic. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add marinara sauce and olive tapenade and simmer until squash is ready. 

Combine about 1/2 cup of sauce with the spaghetti strands from each squash boat. Then, top each boat with additional sauce followed by the mozzarella cheese. Return squash to the oven for another 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

This ended up being a super delicious dinner and much easier to prepare than I expected. A few takeaways from this experiment:
  • Do not overcook the squash. I left mine in the oven an extra five minutes because I was chatting on the phone and forgot about it. As a result, my squash was a bit softer than I would have liked. Next time, I'll set a timer. 
  • Consider blotting the inside of the squash with a paper towel after creating the spaghetti strands. I thought mine turned out a tad watery. 
  • I'll definitely make spaghetti squash again - maybe next time a taco-inspired recipe?

Tell me: What's your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash?

- ST

*Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your squash

2 comments:

  1. Heck yes I LOVE it. I pretty much think it goes with everything :) I like doing tempeh and spinach and hummus for a super fast meal with it

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    1. Wow, I love the idea of a Mediterranean-style squash - I think I'll have to add that to my list :)

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