Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Low Carb Diet: Spaghetti Squash

I'm taking all my readers along with me on my low carb diet adventures.  This time around I've discovered another pasta alternative- the spaghetti squash.  This vegetable had quite the intimidation factor so I avoided it for such a long time.  And I can now say I regret that decision for waiting far too long to take the plunge and figure out this amazing vegetable.  It was surprisingly easy to work with and the result was quite delicious. 

I made my spaghetti squash with my regular red sauce.  I always get the Ragu Super Chunky Mushroom red sauce in a jar. It does not have onions listed on the ingredients list therefore it is deemed safe for consumption in my onion allergy household.  I also add cooked and chopped hot Italian sausage (also available in a mild and sweet version by Jennie-O). If you're wanting to dress up your spaghetti with a little more vegetable goodness, you can also add spinach and sliced black olives to your sauce.  Depends on my mood and how much prep time or ingredients I have on hand which determines the results of my sauce for the evening.  I have found that with my vegetable noodle choices that a little bit of sauce goes a long way.  Spiciness is also intensified as there isn't any flour to pull in and dull flavors like with traditional noodles. 

To prepare the spaghetti squash, chop both ends off. Then very carefully half the squash, spoon out the seeds, brush inside with olive oil, season with salt and pepper (optional) and place both freshly cut and de-seeded halves of the squash cut side down on a baking sheet.  I baked in the oven at 400* for 35 minutes.  Remove the squash (carefully as it slides around easily on baking sheets) and flipped over with kitchen tongs and allowed to cool for 15 minutes.  Once the squash is cool enough, I used my tongs to grip one half and a large dinner fork to scrape the inside of the squash creating noodle pieces.  Using my tongs, I grabbed some noodles and added to my bowl then topped with my sauce.  One half of a medium to large squash served two adults. 

The spaghetti squash is perfect for spaghetti type pasta dishes.  I do not think it would be great for chili or a soup noodle.  I feel like the zucchini noodles is heartier and would stand better as a chili noodle.  I plan on experimenting more with this as the season changes and we head into Fall.  The consistency of the spaghetti squash reminded me of stringy hash browns and I thought about using the uneaten portion of the squash from one night's dinner in a breakfast casserole as a potato alternative.  I will also experiment with this theory and post about my results in a future blog. 

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