In Season: Spaghetti Squash

I’m no “sneaky chef” alla Jessica Seinfeld, but I do admit to trying to pull a few things over on my kids in an attempt to get them to eat a wider variety of healthy foods.  I got away with serving “pink chicken” for years before they caught on that it was salmon.  “Piggy bites” were pork, and “baby trees” for broccoli.  Well, my kids are now 6 and 8, going on 16 and 18 and the jig is up.  However, tonight I thought I’d give it one more try.

The bright yellow oval spaghetti squash looked so pretty in the store.  I’d serve it along side pork tenderloin (as opposed to piggy bites), and dress it up like pasta with a little butter and lots of parmesan cheese.  It’s simple enough to prepare, and I had the oven on anyway, so it seemed like a no-brainer.  Plus, it’s high in vitamins, beta carotene, and low in calories.  Simply cut, roast, spaghetti-ize the insides, toss with some other yummy things and presto…”spaghetti”.  Yellow spaghetti, but spaghetti none the less (or a facsimile thereof).

Once roasted, it is actually kind of fun dragging a fork lengthwise down the insides of the squash, watching the spaghetti strands appear.  I was *this* tempted to have the kids help, but I thought maybe it was best if they didn’t know it was a vegetable the first time they tried it.  Into a bowl it went (it makes more than you think) with some grated parmesan, butter (clearly olive oil would be healthier), and some chopped parsley.  It looked beautiful.  A sprinkle of salt and it was ready. 

Well, I thought it was delicious.  So did my husband.  The kids…weeeellllllllll…not so much.  However, I read it could take up to twenty (yes, twenty) tries before a child can actually determine if they like something.  So, I’ll keep trying.  Next time I’ll mix it with some tomato sauce and meatballs.  You just never know.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan

Serves 4-6

1 medium sized spaghetti squash

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

salt

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place whole squash in microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften skin (otherwise you’ll never be able to cut it!).

Halve lengthwise and place on a foil lined baking sheet, cut side down.  Roast for 45-60 minutes until flesh has softened (it will slightly darkened in color and become golden brown on the edges).

Remove from oven and using a fork, drag the tines lengthwise down the flesh and ‘spaghetti’ like strands will form.  Scoop out all the spaghetti you’re able from both halves and place in a bowl.

Mix with parm cheese, butter or oil, and parsley.  Sprinkle with salt if necessary (although the parm cheese is salty so it may not need any).

Serve hot.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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4 Responses to “In Season: Spaghetti Squash”

  1. Judy Says:

    Next time you have spaghetti squash, throw in some feta, fresh basil, and tomato — amazingly good, but our kids don’t like it either ;). Guess we just have to keep trying!

  2. Ruth Says:

    Great tip on microwaving the squash before cutting. I’ll have to try that. Thanks!

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