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Spaghetti Squash and Meal Planning??

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Old 02-27-2011, 04:16 PM   #1
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Default Spaghetti Squash and Meal Planning??

I have a couple of questions for you old pros....

First of all, what are your best tips for preparing Spaghetti Squash? I had one given to me and I want to prepare it, but am simply not sure what would be best.

Secondly, I would love to hear how all of you meal plan and plan your grocery shopping out. Any tips are greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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I can't help with the spaghetti squash, but when I cook I usually add lots of veggies to everything. One of my favourite meals is what I call chili although it is not a true chili. I usually buy a tray of very lean beef and a tray of turkey (both ground). I brown the meat and usually add at least one if not two bell peppers, grated parsley roots or parsnip or kohlrabi (what have you), grated carrots, zucchini and whatever else is in the fridge. Then I add a huge amount of salsa, a can of red beans and a can of chickpeas. Lots of chopped cilantro, spices, garlic, etc. and usually a splash of ketchup so that it's not too acidic. I usually have a huge amount of it and freeze several portions.

I make pasta sauce in a similar fashion - I start with a can or two of ready-made pasta sauce and I add lots of veggies.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:30 PM   #3
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Cut the spaghetti squash in half, take out the seeds. Cook one half in the microwave for about ten minutes; cool until you can handle it easily. Rake the flesh and it will come off in strands. I like it with meat sauce or with parmesan cheese. I have also used it to line a pie pan, covered it with fat-free ricotta mixed with one egg and Italian spices, topped with homemade spaghetti sauce....it is similar to lasagna.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:14 PM   #4
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I roast it whole in the oven at 375 for about an hour, until soft when pricked with a fork, then cut it open, remove the seeds, then use a fork to shred it. I like to top mine with a tsp of butter, parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, and salt. Yum! I made one last week. I added the leftover squash to some couscous/chicken/broccoli. I love couscous, but it is fairly high calorie, this really "bulked up" the meal for very minimal additional calories and was delicious.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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I have made this recipe several times, my wife and I both like it


Southwest Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)
1 can (about 14 oz) Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (about 14 oz) black beans, rinced and drained
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in greesed backing pan. Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until just tender. Using fork, remove spaghetti-like strands from hot squash and place strands in large bowl. (Use oven mitts to protect hands).

2. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, 1/2 cup cheese, cilantro, cumin, garlic salt and pepper, toss well.

3. Spray 1 1/2 quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon mixture into casserole. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

4. Bake, uncovered, 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
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I've made a dish similar to the one EZMONEY made. I put the shredded spaghetti squash in a baking dish with canned tomatoes, seasonings, olives and maybe some other stuff...I don't remember. Then I topped it with cheese and baked it. It reminded me of goulash.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:45 PM   #7
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I don't have any spaghetti squash receipies beyond those already mentioned. But I will say its delicious and I converted one veggie-hater to become a spaghetti squash lover

I meal plan once every 10 days or so. I spent one afternoon looking through my cupboards and going over old food diaries to see what I was eating often. From that, I made a list of the common foods my household eats, organized into the two stores I shop at. Whenever we need to grocery shop, I print out a list and then I just check off the things I need. If there is something super specific that I need, I check the "other" category and write it in.

The lists are organized by the way the stores are laid out, so I can breeze through without much effort. As for meal planning, there are about 15 different dinners that I cook pretty often. I sit down with my roommates and consider the week ahead of me. We plan dinners for the week, taking into consideration what can be made into leftovers for later in the week. We also try and keep things that cook up easily on hand for dinner: frozen shrimp, stir-fry veggies, pita pizza stuff, low-fat turkey sausage and cabbage, etc.

I make leftovers whenever I can because they make for easy and fast lunch options. I always keep the items on hand for chili because I can make it in less than 30 minutes. I accept that some nights, I"m too tired to cook and I have a tuna fish sandwich and that is ok.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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I just had spaghetti squash for dinner with a meat sauce. Yum. I also like it with chopped tomatoes and feta and spinach.

Cooking tip: It's hard as **** to cut the raw spaghetti squash, so I poke it 6-8 times with a metal skewer and micro it on 50% power for 7 minutes, THEN cut it in half.

Scoop out the seeds and roast @ 350, cut side down, in a lightly-oiled baking dish (I use high-quality olive oil) for 35 minutes. Let cool and use a fork to scoop out the flesh... which looks like spaghetti!

P.S. LET IT COOL! I've burned myself so many times handling a hot spaghetti squash. I never learn...
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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wow ... so crazy that you posted this today! I just bought one yesterday and really had no idea what to do with it lol... thanks for the ideas!
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Mmmm, spaghetti squash. I have come to TRULY prefer spaghetti squash over most pasta. And that's not just me trying to convince myself to like vegetables. Spaghetti squash is different than pasta, but it makes an excellent alternative. No, it's not exactly like pasta, but I enjoy it for what it is.

I put it in a glass dish with an inch or so of water and roast it at 375deg for 60min+. Be patient! When a fork or knife penetrates the skin with little resistance, it's done. Then I slice it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and use a fork to "comb" out the strands. It's normal for it to be a little bit crunchy.

Season it pretty much any way you want. Most pasta seasonings/sauces will work just fine. I made a huge batch of homemade spaghetti sauce with ground turkey and a ton of veggies (chunky tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, etc). Hubs had pasta and I had spaghetti squash. Since the squash is so low cal, you can have a huge filling portion of it. My pile of spaghetti squash was bigger than hub's pile of spaghetti, lol.
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