Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New favorite: Spaghetti Squash

And so we continue with a review of my new favorite foods. Next in line is spaghetti squash!I won't go into describing the food in great detail, as I feel that there are plenty of folk out there how have done a sufficient job for anyone's taste. What I will say though, is that, first and foremost, it tastes like a winter squash.  A mild squash, but a squash. None of this spaghetti nonsense. I don't want folks to go into this thinking they've found a noodle substitute. That's just silly.

What they do have, though, is a great texture to work with. Most winter squashes rock the soft and mushy, and summer squashes just stick to the wheel or stick approach. Spaghetti squash gives you something completely different, that soaks up other flavors and plays with others quite nicely.

The main recommendation I would make is that, when cooking it, opt for the well-done end of the spectrum. When undercooked, you miss some of the sweetness and the texture is not nearly as appetizing.

I am still exploring the options for how to fix this vegetable, but there are plenty of options out there. One of my favorites is the simple roasted squash with garlic, salt & pepper, and butter (or ghee, in my case). Add herbs as you like.

Fat Free Vegan recently posted a recipe for spaghetti squash with roasted brussels sprouts and chickpeas. I've been meaning to try it since she posted it and finally got to make it this week. Though I would recommend always sticking with the fresh sprouts v. the frozen after this attempt, I have to say that it was a tasty meal, even with those little mushballs. If you make it, I recommend the addition of the almonds and lemon juice, and perhaps a little less basil. It was quite tasty, all the same.

I haven't tried any of these recipes in particular, but as one would expect, Martha Stewart offers some pretty tasty sounding options as well. I'm seriously considering the dishes with the scallops or the shrimp.

Smitten Kitchen has a simple recipe for spicing it up Moroccan style, and Candida Cooking offers a soup option that not only is safe for me, it offers me the excuse to have more coconut milk in my life. I need all the excuses I can get for that rich creamy treat!

It can also be used for more sweet types of meal options. Similar to zucchini, it also makes a nice simple breakfast mush/"cereal" with some pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds blended in. You can also use it as a way to make some moist treats such as pancakes (on which I will post more later, when I find more recipes with teff), crepes, or  in this case, a candida diet-friendly version of flan!

Based on a recipe from Whole Approach's forum (thank you I <3 Stevia!), I thought I'd give it a try before the end of the weekend. I tweaked it only a little by adding yacon syrup to the bottom of the ramekins to make it seem more like the flan I've been missing. It absorbed the syrup a bit, so I ended up adding more afterwards.

The texture isn't anything like flan, as it's too spongey. However, the taste is certainly custardy, and reminiscent of the good stuff. The stevia made it sweet enough, and the squash and yacon syrup mellowed it's funny bitter aftertaste out. It still tasted squashy, though, so think in terms of a pumpkin kind of custard.

I suppose my taste buds likely differ from most folks when it comes to an appropriate dessert choice, (I have realized that I like carrot juice as a dessert!). However, I would recommend that folks try it. It's not flan, but it's a nice treat.

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