Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What To Do with Spaghetti Squash?

spaghetti squash

Lets talk about a weird vegetable: Spaghetti Squash. This impostor for spaghetti is from the winter squash family. It originated in North or Central America. This vegetable is often used as a replacement for pasta in dishes with an Italian flare. I am one of those cooks who refuses to look at things for what they are. I, therefore, cannot get myself to pour a jar of tomato sauce on cooked spaghetti squash. The rebel in me screams out for a less obvious use, something a little more unique like Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa Bake.

spaghetti squash quinoa bake

This dish is based on a Persian Kuku, an egg dish similar to a thick frittata. It's a perfect accompaniment to soup for a light dinner.

spaghetti squash bake fork

It requires some advance preparation since both the quinoa and spaghetti squash need to be cooked ahead of time. Cook the squash and quinoa earlier in the day or even better the day before.

spaghetti squash bake close-up

Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa Bake (serves 8)

4 cups of cooked spaghetti squash (1 large)
16oz lowfat cottage cheese
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon mild pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup egg whites
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheese (mexican blend)
2 teaspoon dry dill

Preheat oven 375F
Pre-oil a deep ceramic baking dish (large lasagna dish).

Heat the oil in a pan over medium flame. Add the pepper and onion. Saute, stirring often, until caramelized (about 10-15 minutes).

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to the pre-oiled dish and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the bake is set and the top is golden. If you would like to reduce the cooking time to an hour, use two deep pie dishes instead of the large lasagna dish.

spaghetti squash quinoa on fork

Artsy-Foodie's Tip:
Before cooking quinoa, make sure you rinse the grain really well in a colander. Quinoa has a soapy coating called Saponin which tastes quite bitter. In the U.S., most of the quinoa sold has already been pre-soaked for convenience, however a good rinse is extra insurance.


VeggieGirl said...

I've been baking ONE Spaghetti Squash each week, since they came into season - I love them that much!! And they're a perfect way to enjoy gluten-free "pasta" ;0)

Your Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa Bake is so innovative!! Love it!!

maybelle's mom said...

you are so right, it is so weird but delicious. and, I do adore quinoa.

Mary Ann said...

This looks so good. It looks like it would really satisfy you on a cold day. Fabulous recipe!

Stacey Snacks said...

This looks beautiful, sort of like a lasagne.
I am enjoying your blog, you are inspiring me to make more vegetarian dishes. Thank you!
Stacey Snacks

Elra said...

I like quinoa as substitute for my rice or legumes, Your bake squash and quinoa very inspiring, looks delicious!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Spaghetti Squash is new to me, but Quinoa yes I have used them. They look great when baked...

Kevin said...

This sounds like a tasty way to enjoy spaghetti squash.

Robin Sue said...

I love spaghetti squash and my kids caught on very quickly that it is not spaghetti! I made it alfredo and it was excellent but they want real pasta. I tried. But this is great with the quinoa, which I have in my pantry right now.

prettytastycakes said...

Yum. This dish looks delicious. Love the crust that developed.

syrie said...

Looks fascinating! I've heard about spaghetti squash but am amazed to see how noodles-like it really is. Does it hold its shape well?

Mariko said...

I seriously wish I had gotten this recipe yesterday. SERIOUSLY. I was searching for something different than marinara. Know what I did? Marinara. And Pesto. What a disaster. Well, now I know better AND I can do something about it.

Meryl said...

What a great idea for one of my favorite squashes! I wish I were home to make it right now. And I love your photos. :)

Passionate About Baking said...

Never seen it here, the spaghetti squash, but it looks very intersing. I love what you've done with it Alexa.

Lynne said...

YUM. I just discovered spaghetti squash this year and have been looking for creative ways to use it!

RecipeGirl said...

I LOVE spaghetti squash. My 2nd blog post back when I first started blogging was a Spaghetti Squash recipe.

I've never had quinoa though I believe I have a bag of it in my pantry. Will have to bookmark this recipe to try!

cindy* said...

what a great use of spaghetti squash! yum!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I'm also not keen on just treating spaghetti squash like pasta (e.g. dumping tomato sauce on it), but I do enjoy it. I really like this preparation of it and you've opened my eyes to new things I could do with this awkward fruit. Great idea!

Usha said...

I have never used spaghetti squash...your recipe sounds like such a creative and yum way to use it...will try this soon :)

CECIL said...

I think you are just truly the most innovative quiche/fritatta/ crustless pie inventor there is out there!!

I have never had this combo before but it sure sounds perfect!

Tartelette said...

As you can guess, it's one vegetable I discovered when I moved to the US and I am always on the look out for different ways to prepare it since I am still so-so about it. I love your recipes with the added quinoa!

Madam Chow said...

This looks delicious, and I'm with you on the whole spaghetti sauce thing!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

What a great concept! Love it!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Great and creative way to use spaghetti squash.

Julie said...

I tagged this recipe as a favorite on TasteSpotting when I first saw it and I finally had a reason to make it yesterday. It was really, really, really wonderful. Thank you so much for this recipe - the whole family loved it.

Amy said...

My husband gobbled this up! We love spaghetti squash. I wasn't sure about the dill (i really don't care for the flavor), but I made the recipe as is and it turned out fantastic.
I've already passed this out to family and friends.
Oh, I found this on tastespotting, too.

Michelle Frome said...

Beautiful - great idea to combine with a whole grain in a bake. Now if you were to substitute something for the cheese, what might work? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Alexa said...

Here are some ideas I came up with:
-crumbled tofu
-tofu cream cheese
-If you are just avoiding cow dairy, any goat cheese would work.
-silkened firm tofu
-butternut squash puree ( I have not tried it that way but I think it would yield a very interesting casserole. Quinoa goes so well with butternut squash. I might try it really soon)
Hope this helps!

Sally said...

I found this recipe through Google while trying to decide what to do with my leftover spaghetti squash. This is a *fabulous* dish and will be going in my permanent collection. I did alter it by adding meat. I first cooked the quinoa in my own chicken stock and then added two sliced, large Italian hot sausages. Thank you for such a unique and delicious recipe.

Kellie said...

I made this last night and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing this.

Maria J said...

I've been looking for a Paleo-friendly replacement for the bread (or shredded potatoes) in our favorite sausage and egg casserole. Wow! Your recipe is delicious! The quinoa and cottage cheese up the protein grams and taste better than our old recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

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