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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Magic

Here's an eye-catching recipe for spaghetti squash marinara that's sure to please your senses as well as make your family, friends, or potluck crowd jump to their feet and applaud.

Spaghetti Squash, Create Magic in a Casserole Dish

The other day I wanted to have pasta, but discovered long ago that eating semolina (a form of wheat that most pasta is made from) makes me feel bloated or sleepy or both. Some might say I have a gluten allergy, but I like to call it gluten sensitivity. I know what's good for me to eat and what isn't. I'm in tune with my body and my body is in tune with me. 

Anyway, as luck would have it, I spotted this fresh organic spaghetti squash on sale at my local Sprouts Market. Yahoo. I couldn't wait to get it home.



Since there was going to be just the 2 of us (hubby and me) for dinner, I decided to cook the whole squash, string it, but transform only enough of it (2 days' worth) to make a Meatless Monday meal and Fun Tuesday meal. On the first day I served it for dinner. The following day I presented it at lunch and got rave reviews. The real reason I know it was good, was because my hubby wanted to eat it two days in a row and wanted two helpings each time.

Now on to My (Nancy A's) Recipe for Spaghetti Squash Marinara


Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash

sufficient water to coat the bottom of a baking pan and have the level of water come up  1/2 inch when the squash is placed inside on its side

salt, pepper, and mixed seasoning of your choice to sprinkle on the squash, after it is stringed

ingredients for my homemade marinara mushroom tomato sauce are provided at this link. best recipe for homemade marinara sauce

nutritional yeast to sprinkle on after it's all ready (I buy a brand fortified with B-12) and use it for its good taste and nutritional value

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the outside of the squash under cool water (use a vegetable brush to scrub dirt off). Put squash in a baking pan on its side. Pour in enough water to come up 1/2 inches so squash doesn't burn while it roasts.

2.Pierce the squash in a few places with a fork, so it releases any trapped air. This avoids having it explode, while it cooks in the oven. I cook all squash uncut, because I find it's hard to cut it in half or remove peel. No need to peel it. You can string it without removing peel.

3. Roast the squash whole, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how large it is. You'll know the squash is ready, when its skin starts to turn light brown and the fork you use to pierce it goes in easily. If you cut it open and it's hard to string it, don't hesitate to cook it for a few more minutes.

4. Slice the squash lengthwise like the photo below indicates. Remove pulp and seeds by scooping them out with a spoon or knife. 






5. Take a fork and string the cooked spaghetti squash like I did in the photo below. 




6. When half the squash was prepared, I put the strings of spaghetti squash into a casserole dish and mixed in the marinara sauce. I made my own marinara sauce and let it simmer on the stove top while the squash cooked in the oven (use ingredients mentioned in the link above). After both parts of this recipe were cooked properly, I combined them and reheated it. I served each portion with a little bit of nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. Here's what it looks like both as a lunch and dinner main dish idea.







I portioned out the remaining squash into freezer containers (without sauce) and put the containers into the freezer. 


Cooked and Stringed Spaghetti Squash in Casserole Dishes

Next time I want to serve it, I'll defrost and heat as much as I need. It can be used as a quick fix veggie or added to soup for its nutritional benefits and texture. Another way to mix it up is to incorporate the spaghetti squash into a simple sauté, one made from a clove of minced garlic, a teaspoon of organic olive oil, and fresh chopped basil or other fresh herbs like oregano, tarragon, or cilantro. Perhaps you'd rather top the spaghetti squash with Arrabiata (spicy) Sauce or Primavera (loaded with fresh veggies like carrots, red pepper, peas, string beans, onions) Sauce. Use any extra tomato mushroom marinara sauce on string beans, in soup, veggie chili, or any time you want good taste and added antioxidants.

Squash is so versatile and economical. You'll probably be surprised at how many ways you can fix it. Cooked and stringed spaghetti squash keeps well for a few weeks or even months in the freezer. Once defrosted, it tastes yummy, prepared as I mentioned above.

Plain cooked spaghetti squash contains only 42 calories per cup. That's much fewer calories than regular pasta (220 calories per cup). It's low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol and a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Pantothenic Acid (B-5), Potassium and Manganese, and a great source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.

Have you ever made spaghetti squash? If not, are you inspired? If you've cooked spaghetti squash before, how did you prepare it? Please share your comments, questions, and get social with me. I'd love to hear from you.

The quote for today is:

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  (Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story)" Quote listed at 
She Cooks He Cleans


Before I go I'd like to wish you all a Joyous Holiday Season and 

Many Blessings in the New Year! 

Now and throughout 2016 reach out to others. Your kindness


will light up the world.




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6 comments:

  1. Hi Nancy,
    I love spaghetti squash and oddly I am making it for supper tonight. I had never thought about baking it & freezing it but that is a great idea for an easy quick meal. Thanks for sharing all the health benefits of it too. The sauce recipe sounds delicious. I usually make my squash just by baking it upside down and using a little coconut oil and the at the very end add some maple syrup. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Marla for hosting Real Food Fridays and the good recipe idea. I've never used maple syrup on spaghetti squash before, and will try it that way next time. Have a great week and Happy, Happy New Year. Nancy A.

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  2. Hi there Nancy! Your recipe looks really good :) I have not tried spaghetti squash. Ever. I will be trying this recipe soon! Thank you for sharing over at Healthy Living Link Party. Hope to see you again!

    PS: I am featuring your recipe! I hope you stop by and grab your "featured" button.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Christina. So happy you'll be trying my recipe and appreciate you featuring it at Healthy Living Link Party. I'll be back for sure. I was once a spaghetti squash virgin, but am glad I'm not anymore. LOL. Have a Blessed New Year. Nancy A.

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  3. Who can resist this dish! I am so delighted that you shared your delicious Spaghetti Squash Magic with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party!Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! All the best, Deborah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deborah. Attending the party is always a treat for me. Such fabulous, healthy ideas and recipes that make me happy. Enjoy. Nancy A.

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