Whether you’re looking for a healthy alternative to traditional gluten free pasta, or are trying to swap out the grains and processed foods for (real food) veggies, here’s a simple substitute that you might enjoy.
Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? After you steam it, you can rub a fork through it, and it’ll become stringy like spaghetti. Of course, it doesn’t have as soft a texture, but with the right sauce on top, it’s really quite tasty. It’s not for everyone, but why not give it a try?
Here are three different ones from our local, organic farm. Notice the one on the right looks orange. That’s because it was grown next to the pumpkins! Pretty amazing, huh? A good way to peak interest in how food grows, and where it comes from, in children.
Normally, spaghetti squash is yellow, like the one in the middle. When you cut through it, you can see there are seeds inside. I scooped them out of the half on the right side. You need to do so before you steam them.
Okay, so once you’ve cut it in half, and scooped out the seeds, that’s when you put some water in a large pot, about an inch or two. If the water line goes above the steamer, then you pour some out.
Note: In case you haven’t used one before, a steamer is a metal basket with holes in it, which allows steam to heat veggies without having them actually touch the water. It’s a simple, inexpensive cooking method that retains more nutrients.
If your squash is too big to fit into the pot, then you can cut each on in half again and try to fit them in that way. Or just get a larger pot.
It takes about 20 to 30 minutes of steaming on medium to high heat before the halves or quarters are soft enough. With a pot holder, you’ll want to flip one over and stick a fork in it to see if it goes through easily enough. If not, steam it for another 5 minutes and check again.
Just be careful not to overcook them! They come out mushy like that, and don’t taste very good. I don’t think any vegetable tastes good overcooked, and there are far fewer nutrients that way.
Once it’s cooked just right, not to hard, and not too soft (I feel like Goldilocks here), then it’s time to take it out of the steamer. Cool for a couple of minutes and then use a fork to make “spaghetti!”
Top with your favorite sauce, and you’re good to go. I’ll have some sauce recipes coming up within the next week or two. Would you like to get started with my Hearty Bolognese Sauce recipe?
Here’s a condensed version of this recipe in a printable format:
Have a happy, healthy day!