I thought I’d post a recipe for a change of pace in my blog because I am so in love with spaghetti squash and the versatility of it as a low carb option for those of us who are watching their carb intake, but want to eat well! This time of the year it’s very affordable, and if I store it correctly when I buy it on sale , I hope to keep some for another month (if it lasts that long since I have a cool storage area for items like this in my 1930’s house … where they built places to preserve).
This recipe was inspired from this site but I tweaked my version to reflect my taste buds and give more help to the newbie squash chef of how many cups rather than just the weight. Also how many the recipe feeds. Hopefully the way I’ve written up the recipe will help you to decide how much to make (and duplicate the ingredients to ensure everyone has a full bowl).
YIELDS : 4 servings
1 spaghetti squash (4-5 lbs / 1.8 – 2.3 kgs) about 4-5 cups total
8 slices of bacon, cooked crisp, diced after cooling down (save the fat if using in Step 8 below)
2-3 Tablespoon of olive oil
5+ cloves of garlic, chopped (if you like garlic … add more – for the ½ portion we used 5!)
¼ cup olive oil (see Step 8 below)
Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved (put in a bowl for people to help themselves too)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. You can either bake the squash in the oven which I show below in Step 2. If you don’t have the time, you can cook it in your microwave oven which takes about 10 minutes per half side.
2. First wash the squash, slice off the stem, and stand it on the cut side to cut in half. This can be a challenge, use a good solid knife and protect your hands. If you are ensure about how to do this … watch the link above for microwaving … she shows how to cut one in half with ease.
3. Scrape the seeds from center. Sprinkle the insides with salt and ground pepper.
4. Place cut side down on oiled pan (I use parchment paper ) – saves on cleaning afterwards.
5. Bake for 30-45 minutes or when a sharp knife is inserted without any resistance. Set aside to cool.
6. Cook up the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Place on some paper towels to take off excess fat. Let cool abit and crumbled with fingers. Set aside. Note: if you are not a lover of bacon fat which can be used in the later stage of this recipe, drain the fat, and place a few tablespoons of olive oil in pan, to cook the chopped up garlic for a minute or two. When you smell it’s fragrance that usually means it requires no further cooking). Set aside
7. Using a fork, scrape the flesh from the squash in long strings and set aside in a bowl (don’t worry if that doesn’t work, it’ll all be gobbled up soon).
8. You can either add the squash to the fry pan to mix everything up together with either a dollop of the ¼ cup of olive oil (use your discretion) or you can add in the reserved bacon fat if you feel like being on the wild side … it’s up to you! Or you can toss the fry pan mixture into the bowl (I prefer the fry pan method myself).
9. Divide up amongst 4 plates (or 2 if you’ve halved the recipe - I save the other half of the plain squash for another meal). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese ( use LOTS) on it along with some freshly ground pepper.
You may never go back to the full carb/fat version of this dish again! The portion I had was almost triple what I would have when made with regular al dente pasta, and my blood sugar remained steady in my happy blood sugar zone with no spiking at all. Even better, if you’re not on insulin and just medication/exercise regime … bonus … you may be able to have a little treat with your espresso afterwards (psst - I still did - because I didn't mind using up 15 grams of carbs for a little biscuit with my cafe later).
NB: For those of you who are vegetarian - do not turn your noses up at this that it contains meat. You can easily substitute the bacon for your fav vegetarian substitute!! One recipe I can vouch for when I’m wanting a change of pace for my gutt, is this recipe that uses affordable block tofu! Another one if you have the extra $$$ for it, is this version using tempeh. Either recipe can be “crumbled” to replace the bacon in the recipe above and still be satisfying to the taste buds (as well you will stay true to your ethical opposition of eating animals).