I am constantly on the hunt for new foods, recipes, etc, to add to my diet. I am especially interested in finding good substitutes for high carb foods, like pasta. I've been hearing about spaghetti squash for awhile now, and it has definitely become the "in" pasta substitute. I'm a huge fan of pasta, especially my family's spaghetti recipe, and so tonight I finally decided to try it out with a ground turkey sauce.
My first experience with spaghetti squash was a couple of years ago while I was in grad school. I was having lunch with an old flame's sister who just happened to work at the same Hebrew school that I did (really small world, totally different story). We were sitting outside on the Brandeis campus, on a really lovely day, and she was sitting there eating this mushy, stringy looking stuff out of a plastic bag. Needless to say, it didn't look very appetizing, and I haven't been in a hurry to try it since then.
I'm also not a huge squash fan (except for pumpkin, which I have devoted a previous post to). I have definitely been more open to squash recently, and always eat it when it's on my plate. It's not my favorite flavor, but veggies are veggies.
Finding the squash to prepare for tonight's meal was a challenge in itself. Sakief and I always plan our weekly meals over the weekend, so I began the hunt for the elusive spaghetti squash on Sunday. Commissary, nada. Yesterday I ran to the Publix and Winn Dixie on my way home, nada. The produce manager at Winn Dixie thought they'd have some in today. Nope. At Mollye's suggestion I was going to try Wal Mart, and happened to discover a run down looking Winn Dixie in that part of town. Hallelujah!! They had spaghetti squash.
Next up, I have to cook it. Well, you have to cut it open first. I'm an excellent pumpkin carver (not so much), so this should be no big deal, right? Wrong. See my first attempt to the left. Not a huge disaster, but it definitely seems like it should be easier to open. I got the knife stuck in the squash and had to whack the whole thing against the cutting board; it didn't split quite evenly, but oh well.
Thankfully spaghetti squash is one of the easiest things I've ever cooked. Once halved, I popped it in the microwave for a few minutes, and voila! Low carb pasta. And wow, does it have a good flavor, even all by itself. A little starchy, a little sweet, perfect. It has a bit more of a crunch than al dente pasta would, but I was feeling good about pairing it with my sauce.
All in all, I was incredibly pleased with my first foray into spaghetti squash. It's not an all the time substitute, but definitely an excellent one when I need it! Plus, I only cooked two out of the three squash that I bought, so I have one more to play with this week! Bon appetit!