One of my favorite low calorie substitutes is Spaghetti Squash. It is healthy, filling and very adaptable; use it as a base for spaghetti, pizza, or casseroles. This is not a quick cooker, so the trick is to be prepared and cook in advance. There are a variety of ways to cook spaghetti squash, but I prefer to steam bake in the oven. Here’s how I do it….
Choose a squash that is firm (with no soft spots), heavy and pale to golden yellow. I like to get a big squash so I can eat on leftovers for days!
Cut lengthwise in half with a large, sharp knife.
Scoop out the seeds and extra fibers with a large spoon. It will be very similar to scooping out your Jack o’ Lantern at Halloween.
With both halves scooped clean, place (skin side down) in oven safe dish (I usually use a 13×9 glass pan). Rub squash with olive oil (or coat with cooking spray) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add about an inch or so of water to the bottom of the baking pan (not on the inside of the squash) and cover with aluminum foil.
Cook in preheated oven of 375 ° for about 45 minutes. The time really depends on the size of your squash. I start checking in after 30 minutes, but it could take up to an hour and 15 minutes. Check by piercing fibers with a knife or fork; a finished squash will be soft and easy to pierce. Try not to overcook; spaghetti squash is not at its best when its all mush.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before you handle (I will remove it from the water to help this). Next, using a large spoon, scoop out the softened fibers all the way to the rind. You will notice immediately how the fibers separate and look like noodles even when you scoop with a spoon.
Serve with your recipe of choice and enjoy!