GARLIC SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH CHICKEN , MUSHROOMS AND KALE

24 Oct

Okay, So what the heck is SPAGHETTI SQUASH and what do you do with  it?  You may be asking.

Well I’m glad you asked

This is SPAGHETTI SQUASH           

Spaghetti Squash  is a group of cultivars  of Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo. The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content. Its center contains many large seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti .

Spaghetti Squash is related to the pumpkin ,  and  is loaded with potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and other antioxidants.

“The apple of God,” an expression of Ancient American Indians, tells us that as far back as 3,000 BCE squash was elevated to the highest status. The belief was that the squash seeds would increase fertility if they were planted close by, and indeed those with large squash fields did produce large families. With such strong faith in the powers of squash, the early Native Americans made this vegetable an important staple in their diet

The name “squash” is an abbreviation of the word “askutasquash” from the Narragansett Indian language, a tongue the Pilgrims found challenging. Other tribes in the area had similar words that all meant “something that is eaten raw.” The Iroquois called it “isquoutersquash.” The Algonquins’ word, taken from the second syllable, was “askoot.”

Does Spaghetti Squash Really Taste Like Spaghetti?

The number-one question you want answered before heading into this, right? The answer is yes … and also  ,  no.   Once cooked, the yellow flesh of this squash will separate into long strands that you can, indeed, top with marinara sauce and twirl around your fork. The texture is like angel hair pasta — it’s tender and chewy, but a bit fragile.

Now for the “…and also no” news:   Even though a miracle of Mother Nature has given this squash some spaghetti-like attributes, it is still a squash. It looks like pasta and has a texture like pasta, but it’s still probably not going to fool anyone.   The flavor is very mild (you might even call it bland) with none of that sweet, earthy, squash-like flavor we associate with butternut and acorn squash.

Transforming Squash into Spaghetti

Like all winter squash, spaghetti squash requires some time in the oven before it becomes tender enough to eat. The quickest way to get this side dish on the table is to cut the squash in half and cook it face-down in a baking dish. I like to add a little water to the pan or cover it with foil to help things along; the steam helps keep surfaces of the squash from drying out and makes the resulting strands of squash incredibly tender.

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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

What You Need

Ingredients
1 medium spaghetti squash (2 to 3 pounds)

Equipment
Sharp chef’s knife
Cutting board
Soup spoon
Medium-sized roasting pan or baking dish
Fork

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F: Preheat the oven while you prep the squash.
  2. Slice the squash in half: Use a chef’s knife to cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise from stem to tail. Spaghetti squash are really tough and hard, so be cautious and work slowly. You can cradle the squash in a balled-up dish cloth to keep it steady as you cut. Or you can go slowly with a serrated knife.
  3. Scoop out the seeds: Use a soup spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy bits of flesh from inside the squash. Be careful of actually digging into the flesh, though — we want that!   The inside should look clean and fairly smooth. Discard the seeds (or save them and roast them for a snack!).
  4. Place the squash in a roasting pan:  Place the squash halves cut-side down in a roasting pan.
  5. Pour in a little water (optional): Pour a little water in the pan, enough to cover the bottom. Your squash will roast just fine without it, but I find that the water helps the squash steam and become more tender. You can also cover the pan with aluminum foil, if you prefer.
  6. Cook the squash for 30 to 45 minutes: Transfer the squash to the oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Smaller squash will cook more quickly than larger squash. Check the squash after 30 minutes to gauge cooking.
  7. The squash is done when tender: The squash is ready when you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh all the way to the peel. The flesh will also separate easily into spaghetti-like strands. You can also taste it right now — if the noodles are still a bit crunchy for your taste, put the squash back in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Scrape out the squash: Use a fork to gently pull the squash flesh from the peel and to separate the flesh into strands. The strands wrap around the squash horizontally — rake your fork in the same direction as the strands to make the longest “noodles.”
  9. Serve the squash: Serve the squash immediately, tossed with a little butter or olive oil. Spaghetti squash will also keep refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Okay back to our recipe

1  med – sized spaghetti squash – roasted

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

6 large cloves garlic smashed and minced

3 cups Portobello mushrooms – chopped

2 Tsp.  fresh thyme – chopped

1 large chicken breast – sliced into strips

4  cups kale leaves – middle rib removed – then chopped

Zest 1 lemon

1/2 Tsp. salt

1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

in a large frying pan add oil and garlic at the same time and bring to a medium heat .

When garlic is almost golden add mushrooms and sauté for 5 min

Add chicken and cook for 1 min.

Add kale cook for 5 min until chicken is cooked through

Add lemon Zest salt cayenne pepper and stir well for 1 min

Strip spaghetti squash strands and place in large serving bowl

Add chicken/kale mixture  , toss lightly

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Eat and Enjoy !

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