Did you know that 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash (155g) only has 42 calories? Armed with that knowledge, you buy a spaghetti squash when you see it in the store. And then you wonder….hmm, what should I make with it?
If you have cooked spaghetti squash before, you must be aware of that overwhelming squashy taste and smell. So, when people tell you to add pasta sauce and act as though it is all fine, to replace it with normal spaghetti, they are – I’m sorry to say, so wrong, very wrong!! It tastes quite terrible slathered up with pasta sauce.
One more problem with spaghetti squash – We have stopped looking at it as a vegetable. We only see it from the lens of a grain replacement.
I hereby would like to propose – we go back to celebrating it as a vegetable and not just as a low-calorie pasta-like vegetable…you know, similar to cauliflower. You see, just because we have cauliflower rice, we have not stopped using cauliflower in our gobi manchurian or kurmas, right?
How to cook it?
Okay, let us address the first question. How to cook it? You can bake it in the oven for 50 minutes like I did with my semiya upma recipe. But, I have been there, done that.
So, this time, I tried pressure cooking it with my lovely Instant Pot. The blog NomnomPaleo suggested I cook it for 7 minutes (and 9 for soft). Being the Indian I am, I went with 9, and it was too soft – even for me. So, boys and girls, go with 7 minutes.
Fluff out the strands as usual. The cooked strands are now ready to be flavored…
How to flavor it?
So, I wanted to go with big bold flavors to cover up the squashy taste. I have 3 ideas I tried which all came out surprisingly well.
- Thai Curry Sauce served over hot rice
I used a shortcut method here. I love my Thai style curry sauces available from Trader Joes. They are packed with flavor and have no preservatives.
Into the instant pot went the curry sauce, cooked squash..
and then 1/4 cup of coconut cream (or 1/2 cup of coconut milk)
Just bring to a simmer
and serve over hot rice.
Super easy, the squash adds bulk, without a whole bunch of calories and was delightful!! This is technically a vegetable-filled sauce, isn’t that amazing? See, treat spaghetti squash as a vegetable once in a while.
2. Mexican Chili
One of my favorite non-Indian spice in my cabinet is the taco seasoning. So, obviously, I had to try a chili.
Start with sautéing onions in oil…
Now time to add chopped pepper (capsicum) and corn (frozen that was thawed)
I don’t like raw-ish peppers. The bell peppers gives me this raw feeling in my body many hours after eating it. TMI, I know!! But, anyway, that’s why I close the lid to soften the peppers and when I can cut through the pepper with a ladle, I know it is ready for the next step…
Add the 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash
Then add black beans and a generous, I mean – a generous serving of taco seasoning (almost 1/3 cup generous).
The taco seasoning’s first ingredient is cornmeal. So, it is not like adding garam masala which is intense. The taco seasoning has spices and thickeners added that make it fairly mild (at least the Costco brand I have).
Ok, now, with all these ingredients, you have yourself a chili that you can eat with sour cream. Which is what I did. But my kids needed a little bit more convincing.
3. Make a spaghetti squash quesadilla
This just confirms my belief that you slather cheese on anything and the kids will eat it up.
Anyway, you take the chili filling in a pan. Heat it up, add cheese slices and cover the lid. Within a minute the cheese will melt.
Scoop up the cheese-covered chili, lay it out on a tortilla, and wrap it up.
One more key point – toast the tortilla with a little butter before filling, just to get some brown spots. Then add the filling, roll the tortilla and put it back in the pan and brush some butter again to crisp up the top and bottom.
The kids will never know it has spaghetti squash. It has too much taco flavoring and cheese covering it and a crispy tortilla shell.
The advantage of this filling is that, it is bulky and healthy. So, it gave me enough to make quesadillas for both breakfast and lunch that day and they happily ate it all up.
I hope you liked the above ideas to use up your spaghetti squash. Don’t be afraid to try big, bold flavors with it. How do you make your spaghetti squash? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Check out my Pinterest Videos showing the recipes discussed above.