When I went vegan in August, I frequented some vegan restaurants to get inspiration for my meals at home. (Okay, I frequented one vegan restaurant and went there three times because I was obsessed, Counter in the East Village.) One of the delicious foods I discovered there was the spaghetti squash. After reading up on some recipes, I was surprised to see how easy it was to cook – and when I stumbled across one in the grocery store, I snapped it up to try.
Combined with some ingredients I already had on hand including fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, it was delicious and nutritious (a combo I don’t make as often as I should) and I’m obsessed because it was also so easy.
Here’s how I did it:
Step 1: Prepare the squash. This really couldn’t be easier. You cut it in half lengthwise and place the fleshy side down in a baking pan. Fill the pan with about 1/4 inch of water and bake it in the oven on 375 for about 40 minutes , cooking until tender. When a fork goes clear through the skin into the squash, it’s done.
Step 2: Remove the squash from the oven. Using an oven mitt or something else to protect your hand, hold the squash toward you, flesh-side out. Take a fork, and simply scrape out the squash. The flesh comes away in cute little strings. I scraped them right onto a plate.
Step 3: Toss with your fresh ingredients! I combined the squash with just a little bit of tomato sauce and then topped with fresh tomato chunks, some mozzarella cheese and a few basil leaves.
And seriously, that was it. One thing to note on the nutrition front is that the squash is not as filling as a bowl of pasta – so don’t feel guilty if you need to have two or three bowlfuls to feel full. Just go light on the cheese each time so that you don’t wind up eating a ton of that instead. Bon apetit!