How to make spaghetti squash your new favorite side dish

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Summer has gardens flourishing. If you have a bumper crop of spaghetti squash, put it to...

Summer has gardens flourishing. If you have a bumper crop of spaghetti squash, put it to good use. If you don't have a green thumb to grow it yourself, you'll find it at farmers' markets all over the city.

How to cook squash

Spaghetti squash is one of the easiest garden goodies to cook. After washing the squash, use a chef's knife to carefully slice the oblong vegetable in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the center. You can also wash the seeds and roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt for a crunchy, nutty-flavored snack.

Place the two squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Pour just enough water into the dish to cover the bottom with a 1/4-inch depth. Poke a few holes in the skin of each squash half and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until tender. When done, use a large spoon to scoop the spaghetti-like strands of squash away from the skin.

Delicious spaghetti squash ideas

If you're looking for a low-carb, low-fat and low-cholesterol food, spaghetti squash is it! According to Self Magazine, one cup of unseasoned baked squash has:

  • 42 calories
  • 4 grams of sugar
  • 10 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber

Here are six ways to pair it with your favorite dinners:

  1. Toss warm squash strands with homemade marinara pasta sauce as a side dish with baked chicken.
  2. Mix spaghetti squash with chopped garden-fresh herbs such as parsley or oregano for a light side dish with grilled fish.
  3. Try tossing the squash with fresh grilled shrimp. Then drizzle the combo with a creamy Alfredo sauce and mozzarella cheese. Place this back into the warm oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.
  4. Fold diced tomatoes and chopped red onion into a bowl of warm squash to pair with a beef dish.
  5. Use the squash strands as a low carb bedding for veal parmesan or chicken marsala.
  6. Sweeten the squash with a pat of butter and sprinkle of brown sugar. This goes great with pork chops baked with apples.

Are you looking for more ways to add vegetables to your day? Talk with a physician in Atlanta to see what type of diet will benefit you most.

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