October and November is the perfect time to start exploring the world of squash…including my favorite: Spaghetti Squash. As a longtime distance runner, my previous life revolved around very large bowls of pasta. Now that I’ve discovered spaghetti squash, I have found a perfect substitute for my spaghetti and meatballs- and I actually prefer it over pasta.
Spaghetti squash is aptly named because when the flesh is cooked, it separates into spaghetti-like strands. It has a mild flavor similar to plain pasta and is a great way to get kids (and husbands) to up their veggie intake.
Nutritional stats: This squash is loaded with vitamins, making it a more healthy alternative to plain old spaghetti. Winter squash, such as this spaghetti variety, is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), folate, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, pantothenic acid and manganese. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains 2g of fiber and only 40 calories and 10g of carbohydrates.
How to Prepare: Like a potato, take a knife and pierce the squash in several places. Bake squash at 375 degrees for approximately 1 hour or microwave the squash for 12-15 minutes until soft. Let cool 5-15 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle take a large knife and cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into strands. Add your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy! (Oh yeah, and you can roast the seeds in the oven for a crunchy snack or salad topper.)