Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Get to know your veggies--Spaghetti Squash

I was introduced to spaghetti squash about 20 years ago.  A friend of mine gave me one, told me how to cook it, shred it out, and gave suggestions on how to serve it.  I looked at that squash for about 6 weeks or maybe even 2 months, and sorry to say, I chickened out and it ended up going to waste. 

I've been growing spaghetti squash on the farm since the first gardening season here, and I love it.  I've introduced many people to this veggie, did everything I could to FORCE them to cook it, and most folks like it, but I think some people expect it to taste just like spaghetti and they are dissappointed---sorry, nothing tastes like freshly cooked pasta :)

I tricked my kids and their father into eating it one night.  I prepared the usual marinara sauce for one of my favorite dishes, spaghetti of course, and didn't tell them the noodles were spaghetti squash.  Everyone asked why the noodles were crunchy and I told them it was a vegetable.  They thought it was cool. 

The biggest drawback I've found with spaghetti squash is that they are so darn big that I almost hate to cut one just for one or two people.  This year I found seeds for small spaghetti squash--that's what the members are getting this year.  They are supposed to be the perfect size for a meal. 

Spaghetti squash is low in calories; a 1 cup serving has just over 40 calories.  It's also got other vitamins and nutrients in it such as 3% of the MDR (minimum daily requirement) of Vitamin A, 9% of Vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E, 2% Vitamin K, 4% Thiamin, 2% Riboflavin, 6% Niacin, 8% Vitamin B6, 3% Folate, and a few other things that don't really have a minimum daily requirement.  So, in addition to being easy to cook and fun to eat, it's good for you, too.

To prepare spaghetti squash, I just wash it off under tap water, poke holes all over it with a really sharp knife; make sure to get through the skin and about 1/2" deep into the squash---they make a real mess when they blow up in the microwave (trust me, I know).  Nuke it on high for 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of it.  You can periodically check it by gently squeezing; when it starts getting soft you can take it out.  Let it cool for a few minutes then cut it open longways.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon then take a fork and start scraping out the fleshy part.  It will start making strands.  Get all the strands out then you're ready for a recipe.

Spaghetti Squash can be served as the noodles in spaghetti, served with an alfredo sauce, tossed with butter and garlic then sprinkled with parmesan cheese, and I like to make egg rolls with them.  Just substitute cooked spaghetti squash for the cabbage, bean sprouts, or whatever kind of "green" you use in your egg roll recipe--it's really tasty!

Spaghetti Squash is considered a "winter" squash, so it will be a while before any fresh ones are picked on the farm, but I'll be ready, parmesan in hand!

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