Squash Wars: Spaghetti

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Why am I writing about spaghetti squash? Everyone knows it, and knows whether they love it or they bitterly complain that it’s not an adequate substitute for pasta. But I am so into these miniature spaghetti squashes that seem to be all over the place in the past few years. I knew their variety name at one point but I forget right now. I know I talked about the benefits of giant squashes in a previous post, and those hold true. The mini spaghetti squashes taste the same as their large counterparts, though, and the only issue I can see is that they are usually (always?) hybrids unlike most of the large ones, which mostly just matters if you want to grow them and save seed.

So back to the question: why am I writing about them? I love them. They are one of my favourite squashes and it’s nice to have something so readily available and delicious. Also I have a couple of recipes I made up using them. Both are fast, easy, use few ingredients and add protein. Unlike the Blue Banana, Tigerstripe Butternut and other really flavourful squashes, I generally don’t eat spaghetti squash plain, but I also don’t think eating it with tomato sauce is the tastiest option. Lately I’ve been making this stuffing, based on vegan “cheese curds” that someone made for poutine at the RAT House like 15 years ago in Edmonton:

Tahini Stuffing for one mini spaghetti squash

  • ¼ of a package extra firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • Bragg’s (to taste)
  • 1-1.5 tbsp. tahini

Preheat the oven to 450, cut the mini spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the guts, and bake it until almost done.

Crumble the tofu into a bowl, and mix it up with the other ingredients.Mash it a bit with a fork so the tofu is in small but irregular pieces – not a total crumbly mush – leave some bigger chunks. Fill the squash’s cavities with the tofu mixture and put back in to bake at 450 until it’s hot and crusty on top. It would be great with a little miso too, but I feel bad destroying the good stuff in the miso by raising its temperature to 450.

There is also this creamy garlic sauce. I use it on all sorts of things, including spaghetti squash.

Creamy Garlic Sauce

  • ½ a package of silken tofu (I use Mori-Nu Lite silken, in the shelf-stable pack – also works with soft regular tofu)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • oregano or other herbs to taste (optional)

Bake your squash and scoop out all its spaghetti flesh onto a plate. Put the garlic in a food processor, and process until it’s in tiny pieces. Scrape it down, add all the other ingredients and process until smooth. Pour it over the spaghetti squash and bake at 450 until it’s hot and a little brown on top.

For a Creamy Sriracha Sauce: omit herbs and lemon juice and add sriracha sauce to taste. Nutritional yeast is optional in this case.

 

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