Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: Kitchen Concoctions: Preparing Spaghetti Squash College-Dorm Style

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kitchen Concoctions: Preparing Spaghetti Squash College-Dorm Style

     As I mentioned in my Easter post, I got some pretty awesome exotic health foods in my basket this year-- I love healthy foods!  (RELATED: My Top Nutritious Snacks).  Among the bunch was a lovely little Spaghetti Squash.  I'd previously mentioned wanting to try making one, but it just hadn't happened.  Still, I've been anxious to eat this "spaghetti impostor," especially since it's gluten free and I'm still on-- though weaning off of (that's for another post-- a gluten free diet.
     Last night seemed like the perfect chance to make my Spaghetti Squash.  At first, I was a little intimidated by the challenge of doing so in a college dorm.  I didn't have the necessary utensils and ingredients to do it in the basement oven, so I did my research and headed to the kitchenette down the hall.  Turns out: It's pretty darn easy!  Here's the lowdown:

What You'll Need:
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- a large plate or serving dish
- a (decently) sharp knife
- a fork (FYI: plastic doesn't work so well)
- seasonings (I used garlic salt)
- optional: cheese!
- optional: a measuring cup
-optional: an oven mitt

 First, cut the ends off your squash and then slice it in half lengthwise to form two little boats.  The inside will have lots of gunky stuff, so scrape out the seeds and the "innards," but leave the strands that will later become your spaghetti!  I did this step with my hands, but if you've got other means: Go for it!
 Next, fill half the squash with 1/2 a cup of water (or guesstimate if you don't have a measuring cup). After that, make sure the squash is level on the plate and place the other half on top of squash half filled with water.
Pop the whole thing in the microwave and nuke it for 10 minutes or so.  Most of my preparation and cooking was based off this blog post by MeganRuth, which pointed out that the spaghetti strands should be more of a clearer yellow when done cooking.  For my squash, it was about 10.5 minutes, but it also depends on your microwave.  The one in our dorm kitchenette is quite ancient.
After your squash is done, it should resemble mine: Deliciously laden with spaghetti strands!  Take your fork and begin raking the strands out, which will happen easily.  This is the step where I would recommend using an oven mitt if you have one.  I survived by using sheets of paper towels, but I wouldn't recommend it.
 My medium squash yielded about 4 cups of spaghetti, which is a very ample amount and is super filling.  Though optional, I seasoned my squash.  I had a little garlic salt on hand, so I sprinkled that on and mixed it in.  I also took 1/2 a low-fat cheese stick and broke it up and mixed it in before heating the mug for another minute.  Once I was back in my room, I dug in! I won't mince words: It was SO good!!!!  The texture is very similar to real spaghetti, and I loved the taste!  It wasn't too bland by itself but it also didn't taste like I was eating "vegetables."  With my light seasoning and melted cheese: It made for the perfect nighttime snack!  It's also refrigeratable for a couple of days if you want to save it for a quick snack later.  Plus, it was so easy to improvise.  If I was able to do it (RELATED: Pancakes for the Kitchen Amateur), I guarantee: you won't screw it up.

It was a perfect snack for the evening!  With the great flavor, you would hardly know that each cup is chock full of vitamin A, vitamin c, potassium, iron, fiber and many other essential vitamins and minerals (See the full lowdown  HERE).  Plus, each cup is only 42 calories so you can load up on healthy toppings like low-fat cheese, veggies and sauce.  Add some healthy sides and you've got a well balanced meal.  Or you can do what I did and have the pasta as a fun, evening snack.  Either way, even diehard pasta fans need to give this one a try!  If you're wary, you can also try mixing it half and half with real pasta to get the best of both worlds.  Among the recipes I still want to try with Spaghetti Squash: pizza boats, pizza crust and spaghetti squash seasoned with pesto (or nut butter?!)  I've committed to making some for the family when I'm home this summer, and I think I'll have plenty of chances to experiment once they fall in love with this delicious treat like I have.  It believe the Spaghetti Squash just earned a spot on my lists of Top 10 Favorite Foods and Best College Snacks!

1 comment:

  1. Nice work cooking it in the dorm! Spaghetti squash is the best!