Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Spaghetti squash is fun!
It's been a while since I've played with my food.
Lately, with my commute and my workout schedule and making time to relax with Murdo, cooking has become a rushed affair that involves throwing together random ingredients in the quickest way possible. And because my dark little kitchen isn't the greatest spot for dinner photo shoots, the pictures always end up a little...meh. Needless to say, my cooking (and my blog) has been craving excitement.
Enter my Sunday afternoon play date with a spaghetti squash.
I've been playing around with the idea of the spaghetti squash ever since November, when I saw these photos. I was intrigued by the nutritional benefits as well as the coolness factor and the simplicity. I could eat spaghetti without the load of carbs? I could turn a squash into noodles? And all I need is a big knife and an oven? Sign me up, baby.
OK, so it took about three months for me to actually get around to even buying a spaghetti squash. And then another two weeks to finally take a break from lazing around during my precious weekend daylight hours to spend a little quality time with the squash. And my camera. Next to the only window in my apartment.
Let me tell you -- a spaghetti squash really knows how to show a girl a good time. Oh, and I took my time. With no real hunger to feed (I was still full from breakfast) besides my starving curiosity, I remembered what it was like to slow down and really appreciate something new and different. After weeks of the same old go-to ingredients and familiar cooking methods, this spaghetti squash was a welcome adventure.
But let's move on to the spaghetti portion of the program. To transform this squash into a noodle, I cut it in half (that part kind of scared me, but I got through it, thanks to the big, bad, very sharp multipurpose knife I got for Christmas), scooped out the seeds and innards, brushed with olive oil and butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper, then placed the halves cut-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. After fifty minutes of roasting in a 400-degree oven, the squash was tender and steaming and ready for spaghetti.
Pulling the strands away with a fork and watching this squash give birth to spaghetti is pretty neat. And the results are, well...spaghetti. The noodles have a slight crunch and a mild flavor that would pair well with any sauce or ingredient.
I tossed mine with Parmesan cheese, garlic flakes, Italian seasonings, and a squeeze of lemon. It was light, simple, comforting, and delicious. For lunch the next day, I added turkey meatballs. For dinner, peas and tuna. And there's still a serving or two waiting patiently in my fridge, ready for another something new and exciting.