Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Ever had spaghetti squash?

I’ve never been a big fan of spaghetti. I don’t love most tomato sauces so I’ve just never enjoyed it. When I was a kid and my mom would make spaghetti, she would keep the noodles and sauce separate and I would just eat spaghetti noodles with a little butter on them.

Since Stephen and I have been married, I’ve never made spaghetti. (Up til two weeks ago, at least.) He’s the same way as I am with red sauces… just not a fan. BUT I did read a recipe for a chicken lasagna one time on a blog, and the blogger recommended Bertoli’s 5 Cheese tomato sauce, so we tried it.  Stephen and I BOTH like this red sauce.

I’ve been trying to make healthier meals and I read blogs/follow several people on Instagram who suggest healthy alternatives. One girl (Skinny Meg) raved about how easy spaghetti squash was to prepare. Stephen had voiced at some point in time that he wouldn’t mind trying it, so when I was shopping in the produce section one day, I saw one and thought I’d give it a try.

It’s SO easy to make. It does take a bit more time than just boiling spaghetti noodles, but it’s just as easy.  Mine came with a sticker on it that instructed how to prepare it… but there are several ways and you can just google it for more suggestions. I’ve made this twice and used two different methods to cook the squash and I still want to try a few more before I decide which way is easiest.

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We use turkey smoked sausage, spaghetti sauce, and spaghetti squash.

Put a little olive oil in a skillet and then while it’s heating up, slice the sausage into rounds. Sometimes I slice it into rounds, then half those again so that they’re half-circles. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your sausage and get them good and brown on both sides.  I zest some fresh garlic in while it’s cooking, just for some extra heat. I’ve even thrown in red pepper flakes for days when I needed my sinuses cleaned out. I like for the sausage to be almost burned on both sides.  Once it’s cooked the way you like, throw in the spaghetti sauce and let it all meld together on low for 5 minutes or so. This makes the sauce a little less runny, which we like.

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Take your squash and remove the seeds then scrape out the “noodles” using a fork.  You can see the picture above. One-half of a squash filled made a big heaping pile of noodles on a plate. It makes a ton!

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{Buzz Lightyear plate optional!} I topped ours off with a little parmesan the first time I made it but it doesn’t really need it. Christopher LOVED this. Loved it. He always asks for seconds when we have this and always cleans his plate with no whining! It’s a super easy and healthy dinner for me to make and we all three love it; Stephen and I prefer the spaghetti squash noodles to regular spaghetti noodles. I will say that they are crunchy, not like you would expect, but I think it gives the dish good texture and not such a baby-food-like quality.

Sooooo, the next time you’re in the produce section I would highly recommend getting a spaghetti squash and giving it a try!

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--Steph