Foodie News | Spaghetti squash, a good and#8216;Tweenerand#8217; food | SierraSun.com

Foodie News | Spaghetti squash, a good and#8216;Tweenerand#8217; food

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Sun

Photo by Simone GrandmainSpaghetti squash, seen here topped with Puttanesca sauce, is a great, low-cal, low-carb alternative to pasta.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; I am coming up with a list of and#8220;tweenerand#8221; foods, that is foods to eat in between the seasons of over-sized, butt-concealing coats and under-sized lake-side apparel.

and#8220;Tweener foodsand#8221; will help you make the wardrobe transition painlessly and avoid that fan-dance maneuver you do on the docks each year at the beginning of summer. You know the one. You sit down, strategically arranged in your folding chair, sucking in your stomach with a huge magazine covering your winter thighs (white as snow of course).

Unfortunately, you ultimately get too hot, thus prompting the walk of shame from chair to waterand#8217;s edge, which involves some creative sarong draping around the hips, ready for the quick release when you are able to take a fast, furtive jump into the lake.

Getting back to your seat after the brief dip (youand#8217;d stay submerged longer if you could breathe) means the whole fan dance routine again, only in reverse. The problem with this early summer striptease thing you have going on is that, in the end, it is not happy. That is where the tweener foods come in. They will help you get in shape NOW for the hot summer days to come.

So far, my favorite in this new food group is the spaghetti squash. Seriously, this is a case of having your cake and eating it too. It can be utilized like most pastas but with nominal calories (1 cup = 40) and carbohydrates (1 cup = 10) and is delicious hot or cold. Following are a few of my faux pasta faves.

Cooking the Spaghetti Squash

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Preheat oven to 385°. Cut football-sized squash length-wise and scrape out seeds. Rub down squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place face side down in 13×9 inch baking pan and fill pan with water, about 1and#8260;4 inch high. Cover pan/squash with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife can be easily inserted into skin. Remove from oven, uncover and cool. Once able to handle easily, scrape out pulp with large spoon and then toss the spaghetti-like veggie strands with one of the following sauces or your favorite jar of marinara sauce. Heat before serving or enjoy cold.

Spaghetti Squash with Puttanesca Sauce

Prepare squash as described above. For Puttanesca Sauce (pictured) in large skillet saute 1and#8260;2 cup of chopped red onion in three tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon chopped garlic until onions soften. Add one cup of chopped tomatoes, 1and#8260;2 cup capers, 1and#8260;2 cup sliced green olives, salt and pepper to taste and cook over low heat until all is heated through, about fifteen minutes. Stir in desired amount of spaghetti squash (preferably about four cups) and serve topped with crumbled feta cheese.

Spaghetti Squash with Balinese Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

1and#8260;4 cup creamy peanut

butter (crunchy is OK)

14 cup water

2 tbls. soy sauce

2 tbls. lime juice

2 cloves garlic

2 tbls. rice wine vinegar

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan over low heat. (Mixture will become easier to combine as peanut butter melts.) Continue stirring until smooth and creamy, add a little water if too thick for your taste. Serve warm over heated spaghetti squash or toss with squash to keep in refrigerator for a salad or to re-heat and serve at a later date.