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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

Winter and summer squash are available year round in the grocery stores however the best price is always when local squash are in season.  Squash is usually priced somewhere between 29¢ and 39¢ in season, 49¢ to 99¢ the remainder of the year.  In terms of nutrition, squash is an excellent value for your food dollars.  Not only is squash easy to prepare it is quite versatile.  Squash can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, as a side dish, in desserts and breads.  Squash seeds can be roasted for a delicious snack.

spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a winter squash that gets its name from the long fleshy strands that resemble spaghetti.  This squash is high in folic acid, potassium, Vitamin A and beta carotene.  It is low in calories at 42 cal per 1 cup serving in comparison to 220 cal in 1 cup of spaghetti.

Despite its appearance, spaghetti squash does not taste like spaghetti nor does it have the same texture.  The squash can be baked, steamed or microwaved.  As with all winter squashes, I prefer baking that brings out the flavour by slightly caramelizing the natural sugars.  Spaghetti squash is quite good topped with a little butter and salt or it can be topped with your choice of sauces.

To bake: Wash the squash then cut in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds.  Place about a half inch of water in a baking dish.  Turn the squash halves upside down in the baking dish, cut side down.  Bake uncovered at 350ºF until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Place squash cut side up on cooling rack.  Use a fork to pull the squash strands from the shell.

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