Monday, November 15, 2010

My favorite vegetable

Spaghetti Squash!

Why you should try it:

1) It's a vegetable.  It's healthy! states that:
"According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient database, 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash provides 42 calories, 0.4 gram of fat, 1 g of protein, 10 g of carbohydrate (4 g as sugar) and 2.2 g of fiber."
"Spaghetti squash has a high water content and is not as dense in vitamins and minerals as other winter squash, such as acorn or butternut, but does provide 3 percent of the Daily Value for calcium, 5 percent of the DV for Vitamin A, 9 percent of the DV for Vitamin C and 8 percent of the DV for dietary fiber."
 Note how LOW in calories it is relative to the nutrition that you get out of it!

2) It is so EASY and FUN to cook!

Really, this is the kicker for me.  Here's my 35-minute dinner preparation experience:

  • Step 1: CUT the Squash in half.  I used a big knife.  Maybe i could have boiled it a little bit to make it softer?
  • Step 2:  Boil squash for 20 minutes.  I graded papers while waiting.
  • Step 3: Remove seeds (like a pumpkin).  I used kitchen scissors.  I microwaved some frozen vegetables while I was doing this.  
  • Step 4: Get the "spaghetti"!  Using a fork, slide it up/down/around the tender inside of the squash, and the strings come right off. SO FUN.  Kids would love it.
3) It's so versatile and delicious!

Spaghetti squash is often used as a "substitute" for pasta (either completely or mixed in with it), and it's also delicious sauteed or cooked on its own:

Not my dinner, but one spaghetti squash dish I found on a simple google search.

Again, at they directly compare the 2 dishes:

Pasta Comparison

"One cup of cooked enriched spaghetti yields 221 calories, 1.3 g of fat, 43 g of carbohydrate and 2.5 g of fiber. Pasta does provide more B vitamins. If you have diabetes or are watching your weight and carbohydrates, you can save 179 calories and 33 g of carbohydrate by eating a cup of spaghetti squash instead of a cup of pasta."

All I did for my dinner was mix the frozen veggies to the squash, added some Teriyaki sauce, and voila.  Stir-fry.

before the teriyaki sauce.
 I should have added some protein to my meal- chicken, beef, fish, anything would have been fantastic.  I was just lazy.

Might be a great idea for Thanksgiving!

If you have any  "secret subsititute" food suggestions, let me know!


Mike said...

Hey Laura - I just found out you can microwave spaghetti squash whole if you're in a hurry.

Leave the spaghetti squash whole and poke it with a fork all over, then microwave it for about 12 minutes, until fork tender. Then just cut it in half, seed, and fork it!

Just gotta let it cool a bit after you cook it and cut it in half so you don't burn yourself like me...

As far as my favorite secret substitutions go, I love switching unsweetened apple sauce for oil. It's never failed for me, even when baking bread...and it measures the same.

LittleRachet said...

I've been wanting to try this! YAY!

Kiersten said...

I've done it in the microwave (after cutting in half), then cooked it under the broiler for the last few minutes with diced tomatoes and cheese...yum.