|Posted on August 19, 2015 at 1:35 PM|
ClickToThink.com Contirbutor (Rick Sr)
The Squash Game I Played with the Kids
I was surprised when the server pointed to the list of sides at the bottom of the menu page. “Spaghetti Squash”. First of all, many are not familiar with this most unique member of the squash family. Those that are familiar don’t want to deal with the trouble to prepare it. For me, it was a must. I tried every which way to slip good food into my family’s diet.
Spaghetti squash was a blessing when it came to achieving the task of feeding my children more than chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. Instead of a side dish, I tossed it with a little spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese and served it as spaghetti. And I wasn’t lying. I just left the word ‘squash’ out.
According to the Healthy Eating website (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/spaghetti-squash-calories-nutrients-1883.html ) the large yellow squash is low in calories. A gel formed during digestion aids in removing cholesterol from the body. The bulk fiber added to the stool may benefit those who worry about constipation. Spaghetti squash helps the body regulate blood sugar. ABC—no, this isn’t a lesson on the alphabet. You will be getting these vitamins along with E and K by adding this squash to the family menu. Spaghetti squash has calcium, copper, the highly beneficial (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manganese ) manganese, and selenium—a trace element my gastroenterologist said to be sure my multi-vitamin contains.
There are many ways to prepare spaghetti squash from microwaving to boiling. To retain the most nutritional value, I prefer to cut the squash in half lengthwise and bake. After I remove the seeds and all the stuff clinging to them, I place the squash meat-side down on a pan I have sprayed with a quality cooking spray. The pan goes into a 350 degree preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove. Let cool enough to hold the squash with a clean kitchen towel (or paper towels). With cut side up, use a fork to scrape out the inside of the squash. The result will be spaghetti-like strands. The strands may be just an inch long or the length of the entire squash. Here is a link to Kitchen Treaty’s site (see link below) illustrating the step in the preparation. It can be confusing if one has never prepared spaghetti squash. The first time I cooked it I had my doubts I would end up with the spaghetti shaped squash http://www.kitchentreaty.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-two-different-ways-in-the-microwave-or-in-the-oven/.
Finally, plate the nutritious veggie (technically, a fruit because of the seed contents, but try to find it with the apples and oranges in the produce section) impersonating spaghetti pasta. Top or toss with your favorite sauce. Add a touch of parmesan.
I recently reminded the kids of my trickery. They remembered—and loved it.