Monday, March 12, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Three Ways

Riding the current from our Meyer lemon experiment and Grapefruit Three Ways challenge, we took on yet another sunshiny-hued edible this week - spaghetti squash.

Since Mufasa has a family history rife with Diabetes and has been deemed pre-Diabetic himself, I am constantly on the lookout for lower-carbohydrate substitutions in our everyday cooking.  With just 8 net grams of carbohydrates per one cup serving, compared to about 40 grams in a cup of cooked spaghetti pasta, spaghetti squash is a great option for our family. But you'll be surprised to hear, Looly, Bean, and Roo are not huge fans.    

My favorite way to eat spaghetti squash is cold, tossed with some Kalamata olives, feta cheese, garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, artichoke hearts, fresh oregano, and bit of red wine vinaigrette. Fortunately, Mufasa also enjoys this preparation. On such occasions, the kiddos prefer macaroni and cheese from a purple or blue box, exclusively.

For this challenge, I roasted two medium spaghetti squash, scraped out the "noodles" and prepared as follows:

1. Spaghetti squash topped with plenty of butter and Parmesan cheese - my safety net preparation for the 5 and under set
2. Spaghetti squash with Italian sausage, garlic, oregano, marinara, and a little mozzarella cheese
3. A desserty version tossed with maple syrup, butter, and brown sugar
No blue dress this time, but do note the bright orange hair ornament
Since I've attempted spaghetti squash before without much luck, my confidence was wavering on this one. So I made "regular" dinner too and served each child a spaghetti squash sampler plate on the side. I explained that no one had to eat the squash, but that in order to participate in The Family Vote, they must try one bite of each type. After tasting each variety, the kids were allowed to express their opinion in one of three ways: smily face, frown, or comically stoic glare indicating they neither loved nor detested it. Happily, everyone was eager to participate.

To complete the exercise we created a chart. Here are our somewhat surprising results.

The butter-Parmesan version was not the hit with the kids as I'd expected. Instead we were all in agreement that the Marinara-sausage version was the standout. And the maple syrup version? Not making that again. Ever. 

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