How to Cook Perfect Spaghetti Squash

Unless you're carb loading for a big race, you might want to ease up a little on the noodles. This isn't a keto thing or whatever. That big bowl of carby goodness with a side of bread can really dull the mind and weigh you down. Over time, you'll lack the energy and vitality that you need to do what you're here to do, leading to the cardinal sins of laziness and self-delusion. Don't believe me? Here's a cautionary tale.

A good friend of mine once gave me this stellar advice: "Upgrade your vices." 

She was a health nut of the highest order, but she wasn't at all about depriving yourself of all the things you like and sucking all the fun out of life until you're living in puddy grey copy of a copy of a life you want.

It goes something like this- Rather than reaching for a Hershey bar, go for some organic raw chocolate. Rather than a glass of wine, have a little Inner Eco with a splash of soda for fizz.  She once tried to convince me that Dandy Blend is just as good as coffee, but that was a dirty lie. I digress. 

Anyway, you get the idea. I liked that approach, so I stuck with it. Thanks Maria!

Spaghetti squash is one of the ways I upgrade. But there are a few things you should know about cooking it. First, here's what you'll need. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • Some high quality oil. 
  • A little salt. 

Seriously, that's it. 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400-degrees. 
  2. Cut your squash in half lengthwise (Google it if you need to. Knife skills are clutch).
  3. Scoop out the innards without taking the meat of the squash. In other words, go easy. Expert tip: You can save the seeds and roast them up for a delightful snack or crispy garnish.
  4. Lightly brush the inside of the squash with oil. NO, not EVOO! That's for drizzling after, not for cooking. If you want the natural flavor of the squash to come through, and trust me, you do, use a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point. I like avocado oil. Grapeseed oil works well too. Experiment. 
  5. Optional, sprinkle a few pinches of salt on the inside of the squash. 
  6. Now put the squash cut side down on a rimmed baking dish and pop it in the oven. 
  7. Cook it for about 30-45 minutes. depending on the size of the squash. You're going to have to pay attention here, but don't keep opening up the oven to check on it. You'll know when it's done when you can pierce the skin with a fork, but not too easily. There should be just a little pressure before it breaks the skin. It's not an exact science. You'll figure it out. Either way, don't over cook it because it will get mushy and you're going for al dente here. NOTE: It will cook just a little more when you take it out of the oven, so err on the side of under-done and you'll be just fine. 
  8. Take it out and let it cool off for a few. 
  9. Take a fork and scrape out the meat. It'll come out like spaghetti noodles. Cool, right? 

How to dress it up:

I personally like marinara on it, but you can do what you want. Pesto, some alfredo sauce? Get crazy. Sometimes, it's nice to just drizzle some EVOO on it with a little salt and pepper for something simple and light(er). 

IMPORTANT NOTES: 

Spaghetti squash gets weird when you reheat it, so this isn't a dish I would cook a ton of and eat all week. The nice part about squash is it will keep for a while. So if you've got a big squash, maybe only cook half, and wrap up the other half in the fridge. It will keep for several days, so you don't even have to eat the same thing in a row every night. 

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