I am in spaghetti squash heaven right now!
I know I’ve tried it before but like most new foods, it takes me a try or two before I get comfortable with experimenting with it. Once I started thinking, I knew I didn’t want a tomato-based sauce with it. Too easy – spaghetti noodles + tomato = done that. Besides my mindset is always on CREAMY. If I had used a tomato-based sauce, I knew I would be dousing it with all kinds of cheese to make it creamy, and much as I love cheese I didn’t want cheese this time. So enter CASHEWS. If you’ve never soaked cashews, then processed them til creamy, you are missing a rare treat. The consistency and light color remind me of Alfredo sauce, and I knew that would be perfect with this spaghetti squash/veggie combo. So, let’s get started!
The most challenging part of preparing spaghetti squash is cutting it. It has a very tough rind. But luckily I have my trusty watermelon knife with the serrated edges that could probably cut through steel. When I was Googling how to prepare spaghetti squash, I happened upon the Eat Within Your Means website which give credit to guiding me in how to cut the spaghetti squash and how to pull the excess moisture from the squash so that it’s not mushy when you cook it.
I cut both ends off the spaghetti squash and then cut it horizontally using my trusty red watermelon knife. Then I used a spoon to scoop out the seeds and other innards. I wonder if you can roast the seeds like you do with pumpkin seeds. Hmmm, I’ll have to try it with my next spaghetti squash ’cause these went bye-bye. I cut one extra time to get the lifesaver-type ring you see in the upper right picture. That was enough cutting for me. I read that you can microwave the squash to prepare it for cutting, but of course I went my own way. 🙂 After I finished cutting, I liberally salted the inner flesh and placed the pieces on a wire rack and set it on a pizza pan – a tip from Eat Within Your Means to draw out the extra liquid. See it pooling in the pan? Cool!
After about 20 minutes, I wiped the flesh to get any excess salt and put the spaghetti squash in the oven on 375 degrees, loosely covered with foil and let it cook for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a fork stuck in the rind penetrates easily.
When you’re able to handle it, take a fork and loosen the strands of the noodles from the skin with a fork. You can cut away the rind if you like, but it’s not necessary
VEGGIE/CREAMY CASHEW SAUCE TOPPING
The veggies are your choice. I used chopped: carrots, zucchini, onion, pepper, and spinach, and sauteed them until tender. The cashew sauce needs a bit more prep.
Prior to processing, the cashews need to soak in a bowlful of water until soft – overnight is better for me; that way I can drain the water and refrigerate until I need them. But you can also soak for four to five hours to get the same results. After soaking, process them in your favorite blender. For a thicker consistency, you don’t need to add any liquid – and ohhhh! It makes a DELICIOUS dip this way. But for a sauce, it needs to be thinned out. I used veggie broth. Nope, not sure how much; I rarely measure anything. But it’s easy – as much or as little as you need to get the consistency you’re happy with.
See how creamy they become? I love creamy! 🙂 Anyway, put the creamy cashew sauce and the veggies together and … voile!
Doesn’t that look delicious!! And here it is all mixed together:
Okay I ate a little before I took the picture. 🙂
Now the oven method is just one way to cook spaghetti squash. Microwaving it is just one of a few other methods.