Friday, March 8, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Mushrooms

I distinctly remember the day my mom brought home our family's first spaghetti squash in the late 70's. .  It was big, yellow, hard and the size of a football.  We didn't really know what it would be like, but mom had heard that once cooked, the inside flesh would make strings like spaghetti.  She had also learned that you should eat this squash with lots of butter and brown sugar. And so that's what we did.  She cooked it in the oven, fluffed up the strings, mixed all kinds of butter and brown sugar in it and served it up in its own halves.

The strings may look like spaghetti, but the texture is not soft like pasta but still firm.  I remember thinking that I didn't particularly think the taste was that big of a deal, but hey, put butter and brown sugar on anything and it will taste good.

Once I grew up and got married and had my own household, I didn't pay much attention to spaghetti squash.  And then now that I'm following Weight Watchers, I'm experimenting with low cal/low points alternatives and I thought I'd revisit spaghetti squash given that it has 0 points (yes, you heard me right....0 points!!) as opposed to 5 points for a cup of spaghetti.

So this time I made it with traditional spaghetti in mind.  Using very few ingredients.

Here's what you'll need:

1 spaghetti squash
Pre-made spaghetti sauce (I found one for 2 points per 1/2 cup)
1 box sliced fresh mushrooms
1 yellow onion, chopped
salt, pepper, garlic powder &  red pepper flakes

I started with my oven at 400 degrees.  Baking your squash is going to take about an hour.  Line a pan with foil, use a sharp knife to poke some holes in your squash.  Put it on the pan and stick it in the oven for about an hour.

When it's done, it should yield to gentle pressure but still be holding it's shape.  Heat up your sauce.  In a nonstick pan, spray your pan with PAM (or the like).  Saute your onions and mushrooms...and then put a little water in it and cover to steam.

When your squash is ready, pull it out of the oven, carefully cut it in half lengthwise.
Allow to cool a little so you can scoop out the seeds.  Once you've got the seeds out, fluff up the squash with a fork keeping the strands long like spaghetti.  (This is the point where my mom would put on the butter and brown sugar.).  If you'd like to toss in some olive oil, this is the point to do it.  I am trying to cut the oils out so I didn't add any oil, but I did season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Serve on each plate with a ladle-full of spaghetti sauce.  Top with a spoonful or two of your mushroom and onion mixture.  That's it!

Serving size:  1 cup
Points plus value - 2-3 points depending on your sauce
The rest has 0 points.

Do you have a way you like cooking spaghetti squash?  I'd love to hear from you!
Here's a book that looks interesting.  I can up my squash intake if I knew what to do with it.  : )

No comments: