where have you been all my life?

I love pasta. In fact, I love it so much that Italy has made me an honorary citizen. Okay, I lied about that. But if there was such a fair-trade program in place (i.e. citizenship for pasta-consumption), it would totally be true.

But because carbs generally aren’t viewed as the best choice for people who are trying to lose weight, I do my best to stay away.

And then, my friends, I discovered the Spaghetti Squash.

In its virgin state

In its virgin state

Looking at this puppy, would you ever guess that it’s flesh could replicate actual spaghetti? I can tell you I certainly didn’t believe it would. But curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to spring for the whole 0.79 cents and try it out.

It turns out all you need to do to prepare this magical, wonderful, amazing pasta-replacement is to cut it in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds and string-y stuff in the middle, and then pop it into a pan, face-down.

Scoop this crap out.

Scoop this crap out.

Pierce the skin with a fork in a bunch of spots, and then just pop it into a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Then just turn each half over and continue to bake for another 10-20 minutes.

That’s it. (I know, right??)

Just rake your fake through the flesh.

Just rake your fake through the flesh.

Let it rest for a few minutes, and then just take a fork and lightly rake it along the flesh. The spaghetti squash will do the rest. Honestly. It literally comes out in long, thin strips that look and feel like cooked spaghetti.

Don’t believe me? Have a look:

Looks like the real deal, right?

Looks like the real deal, right?

Okay, so it looks pretty close to the original carb-a-licious stuff, but what does it taste like? Well, I’ve gotta say, considering I didn’t salt the flesh at all, the taste was pretty awesome. Obviously sweeter than pasta – but still, a really pleasant flavour. And the consistency is amazing. My brain actually thought I was eating pasta. And this made me happy. 🙂

I had prepared a nice meat sauce (extra lean ground beef, onions, garlic, cubanelle peppers, various spices, tomato sauce..) while the squash was baking, so as soon as I finished scooping it, all I had to do was ladle the sauce over top, and voila, dinner!

spagetti squash 4

Completely satisfying!

I’m officially impressed. This meal didn’t feel like the healthy-but-not-as-tasty version of other ‘substitute’ meals I’ve tried. This one actually hit the spot. It was hearty (like pasta) and held up beautifully to the heavy sauce.

I heart spaghetti squash.

But I wonder if Italy will revoke my honorary citizenship? Shh…don’t tell them.

Get moving!

xoxo nancy

31 thoughts on “where have you been all my life?

    • I didn’t use a recipe for the sauce babes. Just sauté some chopped onion, garlic, pepper and the meat of your choice (I used extra lean ground beef, but you could use ground turkey to make it healthier), once it’s all browned, add in your spices (salt, pepper, oregano, etc) and your herbs (I used fresh basil) and the tomato sauce. Just add in what you like! Easy peasy!

  1. ooooh 🙂
    this looks intriguing! I have never come across spaghetti squash before…I wonder if I can get it here… I must be able to, I shall be looking into it 😀

  2. Definitely going to try this. Think I’ll be able to fool the kids? If so, that’ll be a double win for me! 😀 thanks for sharing

    • Kids are smart. You may not be fooling them with this. (And thankfully they can carb it up all they want with their damned youthful genes!). Maybe try this for you and hubs when you are kidless. 🙂

  3. Love! Love! Love spaghetti squash- be careful how many calories you place on top, tho’ 🙂 It’s like salad….the lettuce and veggies aren’t the issue, it’s the dressing that kills me 🙂 your photo’s are enticing me to go to the grocery store,!

    • I hear you Miss Joan, but… you can’t have spaghetti without sauce – and same goes for spaghetti squash! 🙂
      I went with extra lean ground beef, but you could sub in ground turkey to make it even leaner/less calories.

      My goal isn’t to make a dinner that’s less than XX calories (like at BLR); rather to make healthier choices wherever possible. (And definitely not giving up real spaghetti forever — just glad I’ve found a good substitute for those days when I want to be healthier.) 🙂

  4. Made it for the family….awesome! Made too much squash so using the leftover squash to bake a spinach ricotta turkey meat lasagna tonight

    • Can’t believe I’d never even heard of it before. Crazy! I’m happy that not only have I now discovered it but I’ve turned on a few readers to it too. Spreading the spaghetti squash joy one blog post at a time. 🙂

  5. Looks delicious! I’ve only made this one time and it was probably 15 yrs ago and my husband (boyfriend then) and his dad were not impressed so he won’t let me try again. I may just have to plan spaghettti and see if he even notices 😉

    • Someone on Twitter recommended trying it with an Alfredo sauce (and smoked chicken), which does seem like it would complement the nutty flavour of the squash even better than my meat sauce. I plan to try that next time!
      Good luck with your experiment!

  6. Pingback: a grateful nancy is a happy nancy | my year of sweat!

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