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Spaghetti Squash as a low carb alternative

sueatmo Apr 18, 2011 11:29 AM

[Note: This thread was split from the Chains board at[ http://chowhound.chow.com/opics/778777 ]. -- The Chowhound Team

How do you fix it, mcf?

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  1. mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 18, 2011 12:08 PM

    I pierce the spaghetti squash (the smaller organic ones really taste remarkably better than others) several times with a skewer, and nuke it til it's soft. Once I can handle it, I cut it open and use a fork to scrape out the strands. I drain it in a strainer very well so it won't be watery and soggy. I like it with sauces, pesto, or just EVOO, butter and parmesan. I also use it as a bed for my baked shrimp with feta and tomatoes. You might like it better sauteed with onions and garlic, dries it out more.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mcf
      sueatmo RE: mcf Apr 18, 2011 04:59 PM

      Ooh! Light bulb going blink! I could use it as a base for stir fries and other sorts of things. I just won't consider it pasta. Hmm. With a little parm and EVOO or butter, it should be pretty good. I'll have to mess around with this.

      I'd never fix this for DH as a sub for pasta. It wouldn't pass muster at all. It doesn't pass muster with me either, if I think of it as a sub for pasta.

      Funny how I don't miss pasta or potatoes.

      1. re: sueatmo
        mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 18, 2011 06:29 PM

        Isn't it amazing how you stop missing starches at all? All the colors and flavors are in the other stuff. My husband hates squash in general, this is no exception, but he is a low carber for health and weight maintenance anyway, so I make the squash for me and he has other sides.

        1. re: mcf
          sueatmo RE: mcf Apr 18, 2011 06:45 PM

          In the past eating carbs gave me a happy feeling. (There is a term for this but I can't remember it right now.) When I have indulged (very rarely) in the last few months, eating carbs has not given me that happy feeling. It fails to manifest itself. Sweets are still tempting though.

          I still have a journey ahead of me to find the perfect eating plan. But I know that low carb is the way to go for me.

          And, I don't care if I never eat another bite of rice, potato or pasta.

          1. re: sueatmo
            Hazeleyes3923 RE: sueatmo Nov 17, 2011 05:18 AM

            Good books on the subject of carbs and health are GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES, WHEAT BELLY, and PROTEIN POWER LIFEPLAN.
            I've lost 50 pounds in a year. I never crave carbs anymore, still have about 15 pounds to go but am fit and well for the first time ever, without much real effort. I just eat fresh basic foods, very little that's processed in any way, no "low-carb" stuff made from starches or non-gluten grains -- I just don't require breads. Like romaine wraps more than I ever liked bread, and chips now make me sick. Stay on your program; if you're burning fat, it's right for your body.

      2. re: mcf
        chicgail RE: mcf Apr 24, 2011 03:42 PM

        I generally like spaghetti squash sauteed with garlic, onions, mushrooms and topped with Parmesan cheese. If you're going low carb, it's a really special treat with a carbonara sauce.

        1. re: mcf
          Hazeleyes3923 RE: mcf Nov 17, 2011 05:11 AM

          Great idea(s). There's a recipe for Greek shrimp bake that I love; would be nice to have the buttered and cheesed squash under or on the side. And this is a wonderful way to have pesto without too many carbs. We have used shirataki noodles and found them okay but they're hard to get here. I don't drain my spaghetti squash very diligently; the "water" adds flavor if "reduced" by sauteeting, though meanwhile the squash and other ingredients might be overcooking. (The water could be drained off and reduced separately, then added to the other sauteed ingredients)

          Thanks mcf for posting this.

        2. biondanonima RE: sueatmo Apr 19, 2011 09:01 AM

          I'm with you guys - I like spaghetti squash, but not as a sub for pasta - it has to be fixed as its own thing. I generally cut them in half then bake until the strands shred easily, then pull out the seeds. Scrape out the meat in shreds and you can do whatever you like. It's great mixed with butter and parmesan and baked a second time as a casserole. You can also leave it intact and stuff it like you would zucchini, with various meats/cheese/vegetables.

          3 Replies
          1. re: biondanonima
            katecm RE: biondanonima Apr 19, 2011 09:55 AM

            Agreed. It's not spaghetti, it's just delicious food. Try this recipe with a maple sauce. I don' t usually get into most of Pioneer Woman's foods, but this was awesome. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

            1. re: katecm
              mcf RE: katecm Apr 19, 2011 10:25 AM

              The maple syrup adds 54 grams of sugar to an otherwise healthy, low carb vegetable.

              1. re: mcf
                katecm RE: mcf Apr 19, 2011 10:35 AM

                As I just said, I don't see it as a low-carb alternative to spaghetti. I just think it's delicious and thought I'd pass along the recipe.

          2. LorenM RE: sueatmo Apr 19, 2011 01:24 PM

            I have used spaghetti squash as a base to put a stir fry on as an alternative to rice and it turned out great. Like mcf, I find the best way to cook it is in the microwave but I cut it in half, take out the seeds, smear it with butter and season. Then I wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap and nuke for about 15 mins or so. It blows up like a big baloon but comes out great. I have also used it with smoked sausage and peppers instead of potatoes. I haven't tried it but I bet it would also be good toosed with some olive oil, fresh herbs and maybe some olives and sun dried tomatoes.

            14 Replies
            1. re: LorenM
              magiesmom RE: LorenM Apr 19, 2011 04:29 PM

              II don't feel comfortable using plastic wrap in the microwave due to carcinogens, Another method, anyone?

              1. re: magiesmom
                LorenM RE: magiesmom Apr 19, 2011 04:51 PM

                I have used plastic wrap in the nuker for years as have most of my family. I try not to be fearful of everything unless I know something IS harmful. If it makes a difference, the steam itself seperates the plastic from the food by about 3 or 4 inches once it baloons up.This is from the Glad website:

                Is it okay to use GLAD Cling Wrap when reheating food in a microwave oven?

                GLAD Cling Wrap has been tested extensively for microwave cooking by our technical staff. We have found that the product is an excellent moisture barrier when used as a cover for casseroles. It also promotes uniform cooking and prevents splattering.

                As a result of its molecular structure, however, GLAD Cling Wrap has a tendency to tighten during the cooking process. This can cause the wrap to split. To reduce the chance of such occurrences we recommend that consumers vent the cover at a corner or side of the dish. This will allow a small amount of steam to escape.

                GLAD Cling Wrap is not heated by microwave energy, but it will become heated by contact with extremely hot foods. Normally, foods in a microwave oven do not become hot enough to bring the wrap to its melting point. However, certain foods with high fat content (such as butter or bacon) or with high sugar content can become very hot in a microwave oven and should not come in contact with our wrap. If you wish to use our wrap when heating such foods, we recommend that at least an inch of air space be left between the food and the wrap covering the dish.

                1. re: LorenM
                  Hazeleyes3923 RE: LorenM Nov 17, 2011 05:32 AM

                  Loren, the pastics in foods DO get transferred, no matter what anyone in the plastics industry says. The condition of the plastic sheet before vs after you heat it should tell you that it has broken down to some degree, and where's the stuff going that is vaporized or whatever it is that happens? Of course if you drink from plastic water bottles you're getting elements of the plastics too.

                  Some things are handy to use and others can be switched for something else. I bought oneof the non-BPA water bottles but don't use it because I don't like the taste of our well water but DO like the taste of the Great Value water from Walmart that has magnesium in it (great for my bones).

                  We we pick and choose. I try to do that from a base of knowledge rather than fright. It seems better not to be hysterical all the time about everything -- as I used to choose to be but now don't. I'm late in my 6th decade and not only still alive but amazingly healthy. Have been exposed to lots of crap including above-ground atomic explosions in the west in the 50s and decades of fluoride (and am hypothyroid but probably not from nuclear testing or fluoride, but they didn't help) but changing my diet is the ONLY thing that completely changed my poor health. No more high blood sugar from what I eat changed everything. (protein power lifeplan and very restricted carbs)

                  Find what really works for you based not on someone else's theories but on your actual health. You know when you're feeling great day after week after month.

                2. re: magiesmom
                  mcf RE: magiesmom Apr 19, 2011 05:02 PM

                  I just pierce it several times, put it in whole on a paper towel and nuke til soft. I don't use any plastic in the microwave, either. Chemicals leach under heat. Much easier to cut when soft, too.

                  1. re: mcf
                    sueatmo RE: mcf Apr 19, 2011 08:26 PM

                    I remember your description mcf. You said you pierced the squash with a skewer. What kind of skewer pierces the skin of a squash? Surely not bamboo.

                    I'd probably cut it in half and nuke it with a plate over it, or some such.

                    1. re: sueatmo
                      mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 20, 2011 06:20 AM

                      I use either a metal kebab skewer or the double pointy end of a lobster pick, but in a pinch, a sharply pointed bamboo skewer has worked, as has a two tined meat fork.

                  2. re: magiesmom
                    biondanonima RE: magiesmom Apr 20, 2011 09:06 AM

                    I don't worry about plastic in the microwave but my microwave is small and crappy, so I always use the oven for spaghetti squash. I just cut it in half and roast it at 350 until it's done to my desired doneness, usually 30 mins-ish depending on size and how I'm planning to use it. You can actually roast it whole, too, if it's too hard to get a knife through it - even if you just stick in the oven for 10 mins, it will make it easier to cut through.

                    1. re: biondanonima
                      sueatmo RE: biondanonima Apr 20, 2011 09:37 AM

                      I had forgotten that! I believe you can nuke the squash for a few minutes before stabbing it with a sharp implement.

                    2. re: magiesmom
                      plantainchips RE: magiesmom Apr 23, 2011 05:50 PM

                      I don't like using the microwave a lot for cooking, and my oven takes ages. So I put the whole squash, unpierced, in a large pot and boil it. I usually pick a small squash for this. Then let it cool, halve and scoop out the insides discarding seeds. This seems to be the least work for me.

                      1. re: magiesmom
                        Hazeleyes3923 RE: magiesmom Nov 17, 2011 05:22 AM

                        Buy one of those covers (Walmart has them) and use that. Or use waxed paper.

                      2. re: LorenM
                        sueatmo RE: LorenM Apr 19, 2011 04:41 PM

                        You take out the seeds, and then you put the 2 halves together again before wrapping?

                        Just so I can visualize it.

                        1. re: sueatmo
                          LorenM RE: sueatmo Apr 19, 2011 04:57 PM

                          I usually will cook one half at a time, flat side up. I have done 2 before but it takes about 20-25 mins and do not put the 2 halves back together again. Seriously, I did not invent this and they come out better than the oven in my opinion.

                          1. re: LorenM
                            chicgail RE: LorenM Apr 24, 2011 03:44 PM

                            Or you can put the two sides - cut-side-down on a plate, and cover it with plastic wrap (which never touches anything you eat when you nuke it.

                        2. re: LorenM
                          Hazeleyes3923 RE: LorenM Nov 17, 2011 05:21 AM

                          Love your smoked sausage/peppers idea! That could become our favorite dinner. Thanks.

                        3. s
                          sueatmo RE: sueatmo Apr 19, 2011 04:44 PM

                          Cool! We got our own thread. I am enjoying reading the recipes and methods of cooking. This should be way better as a base for stir fry than shredded lettuce!

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: sueatmo
                            Neta RE: sueatmo Apr 19, 2011 09:08 PM

                            I don't know how limited your carb intake is daily but as a couple of other alternatives to high carb pastas, there is Dreamfields spaghetti, penne, linguine and others. They are all about 4 to 5 carbs per serving. Then there are the shitaki noodles which I think (not certain) are carb free or almost. They are a much softer noodle and no bite to them but they can substitute okay in say a stir fry.

                            1. re: Neta
                              mcf RE: Neta Apr 20, 2011 06:21 AM

                              Dreamfields has as much carb as any other pasta, and causes a later blood glucose rise that lasts for hours. There was a recent study of metabolic response to Dreamfields and there was no difference in that small group. Among diabetics, we've noticed the delayed and very long glucose spike. I don't have the same reaction to Carba Nada though, or the new Atkins low carb pasta. I pretty much avoid using them, though, preferring to avoid starches entirely for the most part.

                              Shirataki are lower, but I hate the rubber band texture. This thread isn't about pasta substitutes, though, it's about spaghetti squash.

                              1. re: mcf
                                Neta RE: mcf Apr 20, 2011 09:02 AM

                                Sorry, I thought the word "alternative" could mean there are others than spaghetti squash. Dreamfields has 5 grams of digestible carbs For myself, when I do indulge, I don't notice any big glucose spike. It works better than the whole wheat pastas for me and taste a helluva lot better. I'll bow out and let the spaghetti squasher continue with their subject mcf!

                                1. re: Neta
                                  mcf RE: Neta Apr 20, 2011 09:37 AM

                                  Dreamfields carbs are all digested completely, though sometimes more slowly than regular pasta:


                                  "The result was the same; that is, the curves were essentially identical (Fig. 1). In 10 people without diabetes, the Dreamfields pasta product we purchased did not result in an improved glucose excursion when compared with a commercially available traditional pasta product as would have been expected based upon the company's claim."

                                  Unless you keep testing every hour for many hours, you can miss the spike. It's at 5-7 hours after eating for some folks, but some folks spike faster and worse from DF than regular pasta, too.

                                  1. re: mcf
                                    Neta RE: mcf Apr 20, 2011 12:09 PM

                                    Thank you for this info. Eventhough this is a very once in a while treat, I'll take it to heart. I have tested for the dawn phenonmenon which I did at several different times. My result was negative for dp. The best way I think to deal with carb problems is to limit the daily intake to what the medical profession recommends. So, I will play with the spaghetti squash recommendations when the mood strikes. Sorry to go off track.

                                    1. re: Neta
                                      mcf RE: Neta Apr 20, 2011 12:30 PM

                                      I scrupulously avoid eating the amount of carbs most medical professionals recommend.

                                      1. re: mcf
                                        sueatmo RE: mcf Apr 22, 2011 07:09 AM

                                        mcf, I think you have mentioned what you eat carbwise before. Could you refresh my memory? And, do you space out the carbs that you do eat? I always appreciate your comments.

                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                          mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 22, 2011 07:29 AM

                                          My nutrient breakdown, which I used fitday.com to record for years to arrive at my best diabetic and weight control is mostly 50-55%% fat, 30-35% protein, and 15-20% almost entirely non starch or sugar carbs. I also have to eat low calories, so my carb total is typically around 50 per day, 70 on a very high day. I avoid eating more than 10-15 grams at any one time, typically, and I avoid eating any in the morning, when blood glucose is highest.

                                          1. re: mcf
                                            Hazeleyes3923 RE: mcf Nov 17, 2011 06:14 AM

                                            mcf: thanks for reference to fitday.

                                            1. re: Hazeleyes3923
                                              mcf RE: Hazeleyes3923 Nov 17, 2011 08:41 AM

                                              I hope it works well for you. I've used the free version for many years. A major pain until I had a big data base of my own custom foods loaded in.

                              2. re: Neta
                                sueatmo RE: Neta Apr 20, 2011 09:40 AM

                                Thanks for the suggestion. Dreamfields might be a good alternative for some, but I've decided to simply eliminate the carb. I do like whole wheat pasta very well, but carb is carb, you know?

                                1. re: Neta
                                  Hazeleyes3923 RE: Neta Nov 17, 2011 06:11 AM

                                  Those are made from carbohydrate ingredients.Still high carb and high calorie without much if any nutrition. Best avoided by people with blood sugar problems. If you have the carbohydrate-processing problem, an excellent book on why blood sugar must be strictly controlled (not scary but just the facts of life) is Dr. Richard Bernstein's DIABETES SOLUTION. Customer reviewers recommended his earlier book because of certain important info that wasn't included in later editions, available at the link below:

                                  I'm not diabetic but it's in my family and I was on the brink, so restricting carbs is literally a choice of life and death for me. My approach to diabetes happened over a long period of time during which there was almost no useful information (except from Dr. Atkins), but now information about the cause of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other symptoms of over-consumption of carbs is readily available. If anyone has the problem, they don't require a doctor but simply can read about every facet in recently published books such as WHEAT BELLY by a Milwaukee cardioolgist, or GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES by Gary Taubes, and use the information to change their diets and save their own lives.
                                  Not saying don't eat those products, but anything in a box, other than good quality sea salt, may not be your best choice.

                                2. re: sueatmo
                                  Hazeleyes3923 RE: sueatmo Nov 17, 2011 05:48 AM

                                  sueatmo: spaghetti squash has different vitamins and minerals than dark green lettuces such as romaine. You should eat greens frequently; dark greens are your best source of some very important nutrients. Romaine tastes delicious because it's full of those things. Also chickory, or curly endive, arugula, kale, beet greens, collard greens, red cabbage, radicchio, dandelion greens... all are nutritional stars. To check out the ways in which greens support your metabolism and biochemistry, check out vitamins and minerals at http://whfoods.org/nutrientstoc.php

                                  Remember, though, that it's water, fat, and protein that our bodies make tissues, bones, and organs from as well as repairing them during our resting hours, with help from vitamins and minerals, in a hyper-complicated process that still isn't well understood, so don't avoid any food except low-nutrient starchy carbohydrates and refined sugars.

                                3. d
                                  debrolex RE: sueatmo Apr 19, 2011 10:27 PM

                                  I did low carb for years and LOVED Spaghetti squash nights! The best part is it can morph into two completely different dinners.

                                  For night 1, split in half, remove seeds, sprinkle with salt & pepper and a pat of butter on the insides of each half. Place in baking pan (I use stoneware – not sure if it matters tho) and roast at 350° until insides can be easily flaked away from the skin. (The time it takes will depend on the size of your squash.) This is excellent paired with a lean meat…I usually do boneless skinless chicken pieces cooked on the stove top with a tiny bit of olive oil. I’ve also served these two with a side of ‘Tasty Tomatoes’, but that’s another low-carb recipe…..

                                  For night 2, take the other half, shred the insides IN THE SHELL, add low fat cheese (I usually like a mix of cheddar and mozzarella) and tiny cubes of cooked ham. Pop in micro to heat up (about two minutes) and then top with a little extra of the cheeses and pop in toaster oven to brown the cheese. DELISH!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: debrolex
                                    sueatmo RE: debrolex Apr 20, 2011 09:42 AM

                                    This sounds so good! I am thinking that roasting in a regular oven might make the squash less watery? That is a major beef I have against using it as a pasta sub. I love the idea of getting 2 meals from one squash, after cooking them once.

                                    1. re: sueatmo
                                      Hazeleyes3923 RE: sueatmo Nov 17, 2011 06:19 AM

                                      sueatmo: if you can hack the thing in half or maybe into slices(?), and if the heat of the oven is high enough to dehydrate the very watery squash, that might work. If the oven heat isn't high enough, dehydration may not occur.

                                      1. re: Hazeleyes3923
                                        sueatmo RE: Hazeleyes3923 Nov 17, 2011 11:36 AM

                                        Thanks for the input. I just can't make myself like spaghetti squash no matter how I cook it. I can tolerate it only if masked with cheese or something. That kind of cooking doesn't appeal to me. I tried last spring, I had tried before, but I just don't like the taste.

                                        And, total low carb eating does not agree with me. I seem to need yo limit my fat as well. I know this goes against low carb gurus, but it seems to be true for me. And I don't feel really well on severe low carb. I tried it for over a year. I feel best when I have a little carb. Low carb +high fat makes me feel bloated and awful, and I stopped losing weight after the initial loss.

                                        What works for some does not always work for others. I never want to go no carb again. I didn't enjoy it all.

                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                          mcf RE: sueatmo Nov 17, 2011 02:28 PM

                                          You have to do what makes you feel the best, while maintaining the most level blood glucose pre and post meal. I used fitday to find my best fit, and at 50%, my fat percentage is 50% lower than a lot of Atkins dieters who feel better and lose more weight that way. We each have unique metabolic profiles and life styles, not just diet.

                                  2. p
                                    piccola RE: sueatmo Apr 22, 2011 03:35 AM

                                    It's great with spicy peanut sauce, because of the sweetness of the squash. (Peanut sauce can be low-carb, right? I'm not a low-carber, so I'm not sure.) Pesto is another good option.

                                    I also use it in "noodle" soup, as a filling for summer rolls or in a frittata.

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: piccola
                                      sueatmo RE: piccola Apr 22, 2011 07:12 AM

                                      I eat unsweetened peanut butter. I suppose you could use that as an ingredient for peanut sauce. The prob would be if the sauce had sugar in it.

                                      1. re: sueatmo
                                        mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 22, 2011 07:30 AM

                                        When I make peanut sauce, I use natural, unsweetened peanut butter, a drop or two of liquid sucralose, toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, soy, etc. I don't like it nearly as sweet as it's traditionally made.

                                        1. re: mcf
                                          sueatmo RE: mcf Apr 22, 2011 06:01 PM

                                          That sounds so good!

                                          1. re: sueatmo
                                            mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 22, 2011 06:14 PM

                                            It goes really well on these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/4...

                                            I buy them at an Asian grocery near one of my doc's offices. VERY low carb, not smelly or rubbery like shirataki.

                                            1. re: mcf
                                              piccola RE: mcf Apr 22, 2011 06:47 PM

                                              That's because what you're buying is basically sliced tofu skin, compared with yam starch mixed with soy (in tofu shirataki). I like both tofu noodles and regular (non-tofu) shirataki, but for completely different things.

                                              1. re: mcf
                                                Hazeleyes3923 RE: mcf Nov 17, 2011 06:26 AM

                                                Not carb free - 5 carb grams per 85 grams of noodle (cooked).

                                                1. re: Hazeleyes3923
                                                  chicgail RE: Hazeleyes3923 Nov 17, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                  You don't want "carb-free." Our bodies need carbs. They just doesn't need all the refined carbohydrates most of us put in it. Stick with vegetables and whole (and for the most part, unprocessed) grains. Your body will thank you.

                                                  1. re: chicgail
                                                    mcf RE: chicgail Nov 17, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                    Carb free is unnecessary and almost impossible, unless you cut out all dairy and veggies, too.

                                                    Our bodies have zero "need" for dietary carbohydrates, the only essential nutrients in human biochemistry are fat and protein, without which you will die. We know that humans can thrive without carbs, but die or suffer deficiency diseases without adequate fat and protein.

                                                    Only the brain needs a small amount of glucose daily, preferring to run on ketones mostly when they're present. This small requirement for glucose is often misstated as a need for dietary carbohydrate.

                                                    Protein is a preferred source of glucose because it converts slowly over hours after eating, and only just over half of it turns to glucose at all, rather than causing an excess of post meal glucose and all the ills that brings.

                                                    My body punishes me if I eat grains, period, with high glucose, kidney and nerve damage. I cured those, reversed the damage by eliminating them.

                                                    Also, unless you're eating a grain berry/kernel, you're not eating whole grains. Once it's ground up, it's rapidly digested starch, not a whole grain.

                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                      chicgail RE: mcf Nov 17, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                      <unless you're eating a grain berry/kernel, you're not eating whole grains. Once it's ground up, it's rapidly digested starch, not a whole grain.>>

                                                      That's why I talked about unprocessed grains. I was referring to things like whole wheat berries and brown rice and farro and barley. Thank you for clarifying it.

                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                        mcf RE: chicgail Nov 17, 2011 07:38 PM

                                                        I just want to add that any grain at all spikes my blood glucose, barley and brown rice are two of the worst offenders. I suppose if you didn't cook them to release the starch they might pass without doing damage, though.

                                            2. re: mcf
                                              piccola RE: mcf Apr 22, 2011 06:46 PM

                                              Yeah, that's how I make it, except without the sucralose. I use a tablespoon or two of pure fruit juice instead, which is probably not OK for you guys but works great for me. :)

                                              1. re: mcf
                                                Neta RE: mcf Apr 24, 2011 07:55 PM

                                                Where do you find liquid sucralose? I haven't looked recently but was unable to find in the U.S.

                                                1. re: Neta
                                                  mcf RE: Neta Apr 25, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                  It's available a number of places, but I buy it at sweetzfree.com. I think netrition.com has a version of it, but not as pure a base.

                                            3. re: piccola
                                              Hazeleyes3923 RE: piccola Nov 17, 2011 06:22 AM

                                              piccola: low carbers use non-sugar sweeteners, though some prefer not to use Equal or Splenda. I prefer Splenda but I don't use it often, prefer non-sweet-tasting foods. Actually I've always preferred salty to sweet. The mixture of the two is fabulous, such as in peanut sauce! Peanuts are allowed in moderation on low-carb.

                                              1. re: Hazeleyes3923
                                                piccola RE: Hazeleyes3923 Nov 17, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                Good to know. I feel like peanuts -- like all nuts -- shouldn't be eaten in massive quantities anyway. And I'm more of a salty person too.

                                            4. Emme RE: sueatmo Apr 22, 2011 07:33 PM

                                              i like to nuke it and serve it as a bed for halibut with leeks and tarragon.

                                              i have also made pancakes, using cooked squash, egg whites, garlic, herbs, just a bit of almond meal to hold them together.... pan fry or bake. can also add cheese, onions, or anything else ya like.

                                              can also cook, mix with cooked onion, roasted garlic, cheese, herbs and stuff endive leaves or tomatoes or mushrooms...

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Emme
                                                Hazeleyes3923 RE: Emme Nov 17, 2011 06:29 AM

                                                Emme ,I love the idea of using as a bed for other foods. Wouldn't have thought of it, but now can think of endless terrific meals.
                                                Love the idea of veggie pancakes using squash, too. Yum. You're a very creative cook. 5 stars.

                                                1. re: Hazeleyes3923
                                                  Emme RE: Hazeleyes3923 Nov 17, 2011 07:12 PM

                                                  given my week so far, i'll take those stars and put them on my wall.

                                                  spaghetti squash will never fool someone into thinking its spaghetti, but it has some great uses.

                                              2. t
                                                twilight goddess RE: sueatmo Apr 23, 2011 08:29 AM

                                                My all-time favorite for spaghetti squash: this amazing casserole (from Moosewood Cookbook). I have made this many times for myself. I have brought it to potlucks, even served it as a vegetarian entree for Thanksgiving --

                                                1 medium spaghetti squash (about 8 inches)
                                                2 tablespoons butter
                                                1 cup chopped onion
                                                2 garlic cloves, minced
                                                1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
                                                1 teaspoon dried basil
                                                1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
                                                salt and pepper
                                                2 medium tomatoes, diced
                                                1 cup ricotta cheese or 1 cup cottage cheese
                                                1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
                                                1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
                                                1 cup dry breadcrumbs
                                                1/4-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese or 1/4-1/3 cup romano cheese

                                                Cut the squash in half and roast, cut-side down, on a cookie sheet at 375 for about 50 minutes. Cool and scoop out the strands.

                                                Meanwhile, sautée up onion, garlic, mushrooms until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until liquid evaporates. Add spaghetti squash, cheeses, bread crumbs, and parsley. In the summer I skip the dried herbs and make this with fresh basil.

                                                Pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish and bake uncovered about 45 minutes at 375, until heated through and golden on top.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: twilight goddess
                                                  mcf RE: twilight goddess Apr 23, 2011 09:17 AM

                                                  Sounds tasty, but definitely not low carb. Could be modified with an almond meal substitution for the bread crumbs, perhaps? Ignoring the dried herbs, garlic and mushrooms, that's at least 140 grams of carbs in the recipe, assuming 3 cups yield from the squash. Not enough fiber to make that low carb friendly.

                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                    twilight goddess RE: mcf Apr 24, 2011 03:22 PM

                                                    I didn't know we were limited to low-carb... I guess I think of this as low-ER carb, LOL. You could totally skip the bread crumbs or modify the recipe as you wish. It is delicious.

                                                    1. re: twilight goddess
                                                      twilight goddess RE: twilight goddess Apr 24, 2011 03:25 PM

                                                      Ooooops just reread the post title! Ha ha ha. I think the words spaghetti squash dazzle me and I couldn't see the rest of that!

                                                      1. re: twilight goddess
                                                        sueatmo RE: twilight goddess Apr 24, 2011 04:33 PM

                                                        I think your recipe sounds delish. We could probably modify it slightly to eliminate some carbs. How many servings is this? Thanks!

                                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                                          twilight goddess RE: sueatmo Apr 25, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                          thanks, sue. This fills a square 8x8 Pyrex, so I guess you could feed six to eight, depending on hunger of your guests? This tastes especially great with a light lemony salad-- something like arugula, tartly setting off the creaminess of the casserole. Let me know if you make it and what you think.

                                                          1. re: twilight goddess
                                                            sueatmo RE: twilight goddess Apr 25, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                            I keep reading these recipe ideas which will help remember to buy a squash tomorrow!

                                                            mcf's point about adding fiber is good. I use a high fiber bread which would be good crumbed. I can have a few tomatoes, but would use canned ones in this I think, because the fresh ones right now are horrid.

                                                            All of the recipes sound good to me.

                                                            1. re: sueatmo
                                                              Emme RE: sueatmo Apr 25, 2011 08:01 PM

                                                              you might also consider replacing some or all of the bread crumbs with almond meal. lowish carb, nice texture and taste.

                                                              1. re: Emme
                                                                sueatmo RE: Emme Apr 26, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                I have almond meal in the freezer. I don't know about using it as a bread crumb replacement. Do you do that? I might consider using golden flaxseed meal though. Or, just crumbing some low carb bread, although I would have to "count" the carbs in that.

                                                                The flaxseed meal would definitely add fiber. Also, I could use a good high carb cereal, crumbed.

                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                  Emme RE: sueatmo Apr 26, 2011 10:03 PM

                                                                  i use almond meal to replace bread crumbs in my salmon croquettes. if you toss with a little herbs, it's good too. or if you're so inclined, use a mix of flax and almond meal... do report back :)

                                                                  1. re: Emme
                                                                    sueatmo RE: Emme Apr 27, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                    I made this with some changes last night and we liked it. I ate it again today for lunch. I skipped the crumbs! But I think the perfect topping would be sunflower seeds. Also, I added a few bacon bits to the dish. I grated 1 cup of Cabot's jalapeno reduced fat cheese for the cheese ingredient. I forgot to add ricotta!

                                                                    I baked the squash halves on a broiler rack beforehand.

                                                                    I'll do this again, but I have in mind mcf's thought about adding fiber. Haven't decided what fiber to add, beyond what is in sunflower seeds.

                                                                    1. re: sueatmo
                                                                      mcf RE: sueatmo Apr 28, 2011 07:10 AM

                                                                      I think you misunderstood me; I didn't post about *adding* fiber, I posted about there not being enough fiber in that 140 + grams of carbs to reduce the net glycemic impact. I think sunflower seeds mixed with almond meal and parmesan cheese could replace the bread crumb topping. I think bacon never hurt nuthin and that was a great idea.

                                                                      1. re: sueatmo
                                                                        Hazeleyes3923 RE: sueatmo Nov 17, 2011 06:34 AM

                                                                        The Moosewood Cookbook was originally published so long ago that there weren't all the wonderful items we have today, or at least they weren't in stores where I lived. But with a little imagination, you've taken the Moosewood recipe into the stratosphere. Thanks :-) Going to try your much improved version. Yum. 5 stars to you too.

                                                  2. jenscats5 RE: sueatmo Apr 23, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                    Shrimp Scampi

                                                    3/4 - 1 pound shrimp, cleaned, deveined, shell & tails removed
                                                    2-4 tblsp broth
                                                    Olive Oil
                                                    Red pepper flakes
                                                    Black Pepper
                                                    Small slice real butter (this is for flavor only)
                                                    2-6 Cloves Garlic, minced
                                                    I also used Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning....
                                                    2 Tblsp. Parmesan Cheese (optional)

                                                    Cook shrimp in frying pan in cooking spray. When almost cooked thru, add broth, butter, garlic & drizzle olive oil. Season with peppers, tiny bit of salt (the salt will bring out the flavors) & other seasonings. Cook till shrimp done -- fully pink/red, but don't overcook. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

                                                    Serve with sauce over cooked spaghetti squash......

                                                    The above is my favorite "topping" for spaghetti squash. I also like it topped with "sloppy joe" and BBQ shredded chicken.

                                                    I cut mine in half & remove the seeds, then bake in the oven....

                                                    1. a
                                                      arp29 RE: sueatmo Apr 25, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                      I soften the squash in the microwave and then scrape the strands and add to mushrooms and garlic that I saute in olive oil. I mix it with vodka sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and bake until bubbly.

                                                      I also like it cooked with fire roasted tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: arp29
                                                        twilight goddess RE: arp29 Apr 26, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                        Yum and Yum. The first incorporates some of the ingredients in my aforementioned casserole = mushroom, garlic, tomato, cheese. I know that combination is stellar! And I am totally going to try the 2nd idea, too -- reminds me of an orzo salad I make in the summer.

                                                        1. re: twilight goddess
                                                          sueatmo RE: twilight goddess Apr 26, 2011 07:27 AM

                                                          Yes, the fire roasted tomatoes (the tomatoes I use in the winter) and feta cheese, and lots of garlic. Sounds good to me.

                                                      2. alkapal RE: sueatmo Jan 16, 2012 06:06 AM

                                                        i tried this. once. that was enough.

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