Tasty Tuesday – Spaghetti Squash

Today’s tasty Tuesday recipes are courtesy of Hungry Girl.  If you haven’t tried this AWESOME veggie out of FEAR, here are some simple ways to make it THEN just add your favorite toppings just like spaghetti.

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Last week while grocery shopping, I ended up teaching many how to cook spaghetti squash.  It was on sale and as I picked up some for me, others began asking questions.  Before I knew it, I had about 6 people stopping me to ask how I prepared it and whether it was good or not.  So for all of you doubters…

This big, solid vegetable can turn into a perfect pasta swap, which is why it’s called a spaghetti squash! I love that a cup of the cooked squash strands has just 42 calories and 10g carbs, while the same amount of cooked traditional spaghetti has around 200 calories and 40g carbs.  If you are following Weight Watchers – it is a power food so there are no points!

As for how to transform the spaghetti squash into noodles, here are three foolproof methods…

In a Microwave (The Quickest)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
The fastest, but it’s also pretty hands-on.  To get the squash soft enough to cut, first microwave it for about 6 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, carefully cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place one squash half in an extra-large microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave for 7 minutes, or until tender. Repeat with remaining squash half. I have actually put both halves on a microwave safe plate instead of using a bowl.

In the Oven (The Classic)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, microwave the squash for 6 minutes, or until soft enough to cut. Once cool, carefully cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out those seeds. Fill a large baking pan with half an inch of water, and place squash cut-sides-down in the pan. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.

In a Slow Cooker (The Easiest and HG Favorite!)
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
What makes it so easy? You don’t even need to cut through the tough skin of a raw squash… Just put the squash in your slow cooker whole! Add 1/2 cup water, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, or until soft. Then you can easily slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

After your squash is cooked…
Once it’s cool, just use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti-like strands. You’ll be surprised how simple it is! The spaghetti squash strands will have a lot of excess moisture, though. So place them in a strainer to drain, and then thoroughly blot dry. The drier they are, the more pasta-like they’ll taste!  A standard spaghetti squash yields about 5 cups of strands. So cook one up, and use the strands in tour favorite recipe!

Share your favorite recipe with me and I will highlight it on Tasty Tuesday!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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