I used to think the spaghetti squash was a mythical vegetable; a part of paleo folklore that only appeared in minimalist-organic-farmers-market food blogs to taunt everyday folk like us who have to make our grain-free noodles with sweet potato and a peeler.
And then I stumbled upon the elusive vegetable in – you guessed it – WHOLE FOODS.
I felt like I’d discovered the Holy Grail. “Ah hah!!” I gasped, clasping my precious find with both hands and raising it up in a sort of salute to the vegetable gods.
Goodbye julienne peeler, hello instant healthy spaghetti.
WTF is spaghetti squash?
From what I’d heard, it’s a variety of winter squash (kind of like a pumpkin) that has flesh like spaghetti strands, making it perfect as a healthy, low carb pasta and noodle substitute (averaging only 42 calories per 150g serving).
Yes, it sounds bizarre to me too. Hence, you can understand my excitement about the discovery!
How did I cook it?
The squash I found actually came with cooking instructions on the sticker: cut in half, scoop out seeds, roast face-down in oven until soft. Too easy, I figured.
The shell was pretty hard to crack through, but I managed to split it open. Gazing at the pale and rather dry-looking innards, I felt slightly disappointed. Where was the spaghetti? There were only a few strands around the seeds, which I had to scoop out anyway. Oh well, I thought, I’ll roast it up anyway and maybe it will be just like a regular pumpkin.
After leaving it to cook for about 40 minutes, I took it from the oven, flipped the halves over and poked them with a fork. And lo and behold – the flesh loosened and came away like spaghetti strands! I was amazed at the transformation. Talk about the coolest vegetable discovery since cauliflower rice!
I later learned you can also steam, boil and microwave the squash until soft, or even cook it whole (just remember to pierce the skin before microwaving so it doesn’t explode).
How did I eat it?
Using what I had on hand, I just stir fried the ‘spaghetti’ with some tomato, capsicum, salt, pepper and paprika, and served it with a chopped avocado, a fried egg and some olive oil. Not very exciting, but delicious all the same!
I found the taste was fairly neutral, which would make it adaptable to most pasta dishes. The look and texture actually reminds me of those translucent vermicelli noodles, so I’m keen to try it with Asian flavours.
Where the fork do I find it?
Now here’s the challenge.
The sticker on my squash said ‘Product of Guatemala’, so if you’re in Central America, you’re all good. And since my moment of enlightenment in Whole Foods, I’ve seen it in a few other grocery stores. Gotta love New York City!
Honestly, I’ve never seen it in Australia, so I need your help with this one! Does anyone know where us Aussies can find spaghetti squash? I’d love to know!