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Educated Eating: Why Spaghetti Squash is a Superhero

Eating healthy on campus often feels like an ordeal, especially when faced with the daunting task of making the meals yourself. It doesn’t have to be another Mission Impossible sequel though.

My current obsession is spaghetti squash.

If you haven’t tried it, you need to finish reading this, go to the grocery store and grab one (or more!) of these bright, yellow beauties. Don’t be afraid of the word squash. This is nothing like it’s autumnally flavored cousins.

There are two beautiful things about spaghetti squash: it looks like its namesake, and it will absorb whatever flavor you cook it in.

My two favorite ways to prepare spaghetti squash are as spaghetti with marinara sauce and as mac n cheese. Below, you’ll find a simple recipe for spaghetti and marinara.

No kitchen? No problem. There are two variations of this recipe and one of them only requires a microwave, a bowl, and a fork.

To start:

Pierce the skin of one spaghetti squash with a sharp knife a few times along its length.

Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until the skin is soft enough to make cutting the squash in half easier. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

For those with only the microwave:

Place squash face down in a microwave safe dish and add about an inch of water (you will probably have to do one half at a time). Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Cooking time depends on the size of the squash and your microwave.

For those going gourmet:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Brush the cut side of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash face down on a cookie sheet (use aluminum foil for easy clean-up). Cook in oven for about 40 minutes until you can pierce the squash easily with a fork.

Back to the main recipe:

Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.

(Photo credit: Tracy Benjamin, Flickr)

Use a fork to scrape the inside of the squash. It should pull away in beautiful yellow strands and look very much like its namesake. Scrape into a bowl. One squash is usually good for a large bowl of spaghetti and a medium Tupperware container to save for tomorrow’s lunch.

Top with your favorite marinara sauce and enjoy!

(Photo credit: Nicole C. Engard, Flickr)

(1 cup of squash = 42 calories)

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Eliza Roemisch

Cal Lutheran

Writer, designer, adult brace-face, and reluctant healthy eater. Eliza ia a CLU senior excited for graduation and what lays beyond the cap and gown. Check me out at elizaroemisch.com
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