Spaghetti Squash with parsley garlic butter

Spaghetti squashThis big yellow squash is heavy, hard to peel and hard to cut (careful of your fingers).  Yet it will be one of the easiest vegetable dishes you can make. Just place it on a baking tray and pierce a few times all around with a sharp knife or skewer. No cutting, or peeling, no marinating or massaging, just put it in a medium oven whole (gas mark 5/180C/375F) for one hour.

spaghetti squash 2If you haven’t got the time, cut it in half and place face down on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when you can pierce it easily without resistance with a knife. Let it cool, then slice open and rake out the seeds. Then use your fork and scrape away at the amazing spaghetti strands that appear! If it seems really hard to scrape out the squash, return to the oven for another 10 minutes. One squash feeds lots of people and it’s really filling.

Spaghetti squash with parsley garlic butterIn a saucepan fry lots of garlic in a little butter or olive oil and throw in a bunch of parsley or sage (or any other herbs you have to hand or even better growing in the garden?!?). Add the spaghetti squash strands and season with salt and pepper. If you have any strong cheese handy like Parmesan, grate a small sprinkling on top. Serve with salad leaves, or for an even more frugal accompaniment freshly picked dandelion leaves, which are spicy and peppery just like rocket.

How are we doing on the Nutritional content?

You’ll get small amounts of almost every essential vitamin from eating spaghetti squash. Vitamin C, A ( in the form of beta-carotene) and B-6 are the vitamins found in highest concentration of which you’ll find 100% of the RDA in just 1 cup of baked spaghetti squash. Vitamin C plays a role in the growth and repair of body proteins, aids in wound healing and supports your immune system. It’s also an antioxidant that helps defend your body against harmful free radicals. Vitamin B-6 is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions in your body, including energy metabolism and haemoglobin production, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth.

Every essential mineral is found in the flesh of spaghetti squash. The mineral potassium plays a part in building muscle, metabolising carbohydrates and maintaining proper muscle function, and blood pressure. It also helps to regulate fluid balance and the acidity, or pH, of your blood. Spaghetti squash also contains the minerals calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium.

1 cup of fresh Dandelion leaves supply over 100% of the RDA of Vitamin A and K and a large proportion of the RDA of folic acid. Best of all they’re considered a weed and so grow abundantly every where and are absolutely FREE!!!

How’s the Budget?
Spaghetti squash – £1
Garlic, butter, herbs – 20p
Dandelion leaves – free
50g Parmesan cheese – 50p

Total = £1.70 for a family of 4

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