Original vs. Substitute Sam
The irony of this title is I often eat twice as much of this spaghetti substitute and my stomach feels anything but ‘skinny’ after. But there’s good news, eating twice as much ‘Skinny’ Spaghetti Squash is a great problem to have!
- Spaghetti squash has no gluten
- A cup is 45 quality calories, packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Significantly lower carbohydrates than pasta
After hearing my youngest brother Zach would be having spaghetti at his graduation party I saw an immediate opportunity to introduce the idea to family and friends. At first I second guessed the idea for of coming across as pushy, but I reminded myself the intention is to help others find fun ways to live healthier and it’s up to the individual to make the choice. So I began brainstorming how I could pull this off.
1) I had to find a way to communicate the benefits to everyone without coming across as a crappy Dish TV salesman in Sam’s Club.
So what do I do?
Create pamphlets like a crappy bank salesman from Cub Foods!
2) It was important the product was fresh so people enjoyed it and didn’t have a bad first impression of these new spaghetti noodles so I’d have to make them that day.
No problem, the noodles take about 40 minutes to bake in the oven and My mother’s cooking army was to have free reign in the kitchen by 10 o’clock (apparently it takes a 2 hours to bake a pan of bread sticks). No problem though, I’ll just wake up early and cook them to be done by 11 right?
Not so fast says one of my best friends, Jake, and his family. Instead, they insisted a round of golf and a few drinks were in order since we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. A few turned into too many to drive home, a late night by the campfire, and a late start to the next day…
10:00 AM: Party day rolls around I’m just getting picked up by my older brother Ike.
10:25 AM: I arrive home smelling like last nights bonfire, tired, and probably smelled like hops. Mom’s stress level is a 10 on a continuum of 0 to 1. At this point I find out we’ve got enough spaghetti noodles for Patch Adams to fill a swimming pool for that sweet old woman and “just in case” my Mom baked 300 additional brownies.
10:30 AM: Mom sees me and immediately knows the squash are not cooking yet. After taking a few verbal punches–of which I probably deserved)–and a bit of charm I’ve got the oven until preheating with an extension until 11 AM.
10:45 AM: I’ve got 5 squashes halved, dressed, oiled, seasoned, and tossed into the oven with 15 minutes until the deadline and 40 minutes until the squash is done.
11:00 AM: As Mom’s army of bread stick bakers arrives my squashes are hard as a rock and I know I’ve got to tread lightly to keep these babies cookin! Thankfully, my mom just bought an appliance resembling more of a spaceship than an oven unit and it has multiple ovens. On top of that, the head chef is one of my favorite family friends and she kindly agrees to place my pans in the main oven and uses the top “single rack” oven.
11:20 AM: My squashes are done to perfection. I “noodle” them and transfer the food to a crockpot for warmth and quickly escape the kitchen.
12:00 PM: The party starts, pamphlets are out, and the first person tried the squash without dying.
2:00 PM: A few compliments and 5 spaghetti squashes later
1. Preheat oven to 450 F
2. Cut the top off of the squash, slice in half vertically (hot dog style)
- 1 spaghetti squash
3. Use an ice cream scooper or spoon to remove the strings and seeds from the halves
4. Spread scant amount of olive oil or cooking spray on the inside of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper
*Note: I highly suggest a MISTO
5. Place squash cut side up on a pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (can vary based on size of squash)
6. Remove squash when insides begin to brown and can be pierced easily with a fork
7. Use an oven mitt to grip the squash and peel the insides back with a fork into spaghetti strands
8. Transfer the spaghetti noodles into a bowl or plate and top with your favorite sauce or seasonings!
I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU!