Today I thought I might squash any negative perceptions you had on…..spaghetti squash.
As bad as my attempt to make a joke may be, this vegetable (or fruit if you want to argue about it) is actually incredibly good. While many would use it as nothing more than a mere decoration for fall, I much prefer to use it for eating.
Truth be told, I am not a good cook. When it comes to multitasking in the kitchen, I have a habit of getting lost or becoming overwhelmed with all the going ons around me. It makes me nervous, but it is so much fun! Usually, the end result of my labours turns out quite well; there have been a few small disasters that I may share someday. Ultimately, it’s about finding recipes you can work with easily and then build from there. Anyway, back to the star of our program….
Spaghetti squash is noted largely for having two awesome characteristics. The first of these characteristics being that when it’s scraped out, the flesh takes on an amazing resemblance to spaghetti. The second fantastic characteristic is that it is incredibly low in carbohydrates (when compared to pasta and other squash at least).
I’m sure you can imagine that this opens up a whole world of possibilities. There is so much you can do with spaghetti squash and I would like to share one of my favourite recipes to get you started. There are many like this one across the internet, but after experimenting with it, this is the one I currently use.
You will need the following:
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Olive Oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 3/4 cups diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup feta cheese
- 12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 6-8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 12 raw shrimp
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, cut the squash in half (CAREFULLY!) then scoop the seeds and dark orange stringy bits. Crack some salt and pepper over the squash, then place the two halves face down on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
While the squash is in the sauna, heat up a sauté pan with some oil and sweat the onions; they should start to take on a clear and brownish tinge. Next, add the garlic and stir for a few minutes. Your kitchen should start smelling delicious by now. Stir in the tomatoes to the garlic and onion mixture and heat the whole thing through, then set aside.
Once your squash is done, pull it out of the oven and let it cool. I have failed almost every time to give these things ample time to cool which results in much cursing. Ideally, you would want it till hot but cool enough to hold. When you have reached this point, take a spoon and started scraping from the edges inward. If you are doing it correctly, you should start seeing strands that resemble spaghetti.
Once you’re done scraping out the good stuff, put the spaghetti-like pieces into a giant serving bowl. Add the tomato, onion, garlic mix and toss it. Next, add the olives, feta and basil and toss again. Serve warm in a pasta bowl topped with freshly cooked shrimp seasoned with red pepper flakes.
This recipe is simple and delicious. If you are craving Mediterranean flavours without the heft of pasta, give this a shot. You will not be disappointed!