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Easy Fun with Spaghetti Squash

One vegetable I love to cook with my kids is spaghetti squash. My kids love to use a fork to scrape the strands out of the cooked squash while taking a few bites with their hands. Being born and raised in China, it is actually something I discovered after I moved to the U.S. As a huge squash lover, I was very curious to learn about the texture and flavor of this newfound vegetable. It can be al dente or soft depending on how long you cook it. The mild flavor and refreshing aroma make it very versatile. You can use it in literally any way you want: eat it straight with a little drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt, serve it with a piece of steak and steamed broccoli, mix it into your favorite salad, or add it to your Thanksgiving casserole. I use it in cuisines of all different cultures. I have used it in Chinese chicken soup, hearty pad Thai, and vegetarian poké bowl. Last night, I served it on the side of bagels, smoked salmon, and roasted Brussels sprouts. The lightness of the squash balanced off the strong flavor of the smoked salmon.





Just like many other yellow or orange-colored vegetables, spaghetti squash is packed with phytochemicals (substances that give fruits and vegetables their color, flavor, aroma and health benefits) and other nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K. Overall, spaghetti squash offers many health benefits:

  • Supports growth and development of children

  • Antioxidant and anticancer

  • Improves blood sugar control thanks to its fiber content


Furthermore, the seeds of spaghetti squash are also valuable. The seeds are high in fat, protein, amino acids like cystine which is found in digestive and immune systems, and minerals like selenium. I love roasted squash seeds as a snack. They are slightly crunchy, nutty, fulfilling and always fill my home with aromatic excitement. They are a safe ingredient for the kids to pack for school either in their lunch box or as a snack.


Recipe - Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • Baking sheet

  • Parchment paper (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (can roast the seeds separately or grow your own spaghetti squash!)

  3. Drizzle the cut side with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt.

  4. Turn the spaghetti squash to cut side down. Bake for 30-40 minutes for al dente texture or 40-50 minutes if you prefer a softer texture.

  5. When done baking, take the squash out to cool. Use a fork to scratch and fluff the flesh. Serve!


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