Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Not just another trendy vegetable, this squash makes a tasty substitute for pasta in your favorite recipes.

The flesh of cooked spaghetti squash shreds easily with a fork into thin strands similar to spaghetti or vermicelli.

Use it in place of penne pasta in Tastes & Treasures recipe page 89, Halibut with Penne and Basil Pesto. Or try it with or without sauces, or perhaps in a casserole.

Served with just a bit of butter and salt, spaghetti squash also is a fine substitute for rice or potatoes.

This multi-purpose vegetable has great storage potential. Buy today, then prepare and serve when it fits into your menu plans. Stored in your kitchen, this winter squash keeps for a month, but a cool, dry basement or root cellar will keep it fresh even longer.

Fat and cholesterol-free, it’s much lower in carbohydrates than conventional spaghetti. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, and a good pasta substitute for people on wheat-free diets.

Basic Cooking directions: 
Helpful hint: Microwave entire squash for a few minutes first to soften it before cutting. Cut Spaghetti Squash in half first, then bake in oven.

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Wash the squash, then dry thoroughly for safer handling. Cut in half lengthwise using a large, sharp knife. Use a scoop or spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy pulpy.
3. Place the two halves cut-side down in a shallow tray or baking pan with an inch of water.
4. Bake the squash for 30 to 45 minutes. When the squash is fully cooked, the skin will give easily to the touch, and the flesh will be tender. You can use a fork to confirm that it’s done.
5. Remove squash from oven. Turn the two halves over and let cool until comfortable to handle. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh. Scrape lengthwise for best results. The squash should come out easily in long strands.
6. Add to the recipe you’re preparing, or place in a serving dish to use as a side dish.

Dr Jeremy Rowe Guest Speaker in Feb

Presenting a fascinating program with vintage photos of early Arizona, Dr. Rowe had lots of stories to tell. He has collected, researched and written about 19th and early 20th century photography. I love the story behind this early sketch of Cacti. Before photographs were taken, these sketches conveyed the Wild West to Easteners. They thought the cactus skeleton exploded at the tips.

Dr. Rowe has also written Arizona Photographers 1850-1920: A History and Directory and Arizona Real Photo Post-cards: A History and Portfolio. His most recent book is in the Arcadia Publishers, Images of America series, titled Maricopa County 1871-1920. He has curated exhibitions with many regional museums.

After the presentation, Dee Steen presented Dr. Rowe with a copy of Arizona Recollections and Reflections. Photo below is President Pam Ryan, Margaret Baker, Dr. Rowe and Dee Steen.