Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Squash Experiment

We're settling back into some form of normal now that Craig is home from his stint with Team Canada.  It's been a busy week and it's gone mercifully quickly from my perspective.  I'm still undecided about our plans for the weekend, though Jacob has a birthday party Saturday afternoon and the weather isn't going to be that outstanding.  I'd still like to try to squeeze in some fall fun stuff if we can, since so many weekends coming up are going to be super busy, but we'll see how it goes. 

In the meantime, I wanted to share a little snippet from something I tried earlier this week while Craig was still on the road.  On Sunday I bought a spaghetti squash.  I'd never eaten spaghetti squash, let alone cook one, but I was intrigued by them.  I'd pinned some recipes on Pinterest at one point, but never got around to trying them.  But I liked that it can be eaten sort of like spaghetti, but is healthier.  I decided to give it a shot while Craig was gone, because I figured if I could get the kids' approval, perhaps Craig would be more willing to try it another time.

The hard part for me, of course, is that I can't taste anything.  So when I try to feed my kids new things, I truly have no idea how it tastes.  If they complain, I can't validate it or disagree, nor can I adjust flavors to improve things on the fly.  It is very challenging.  Still, I decided it was worth a shot.

I followed the best suggestions on Pinterest, namely to microwave it for three minutes to soften it a bit so it was easier to cut in half, and then rub it with olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting it cut side down for about 40 minutes.  Afterward I shredded it with a fork and split the batch in two.  One set went back in the oven to stay warm and was later covered with marinara, and the other went in a frying pan with garlic powder and garlic salt (sorry, I'm not fancy), a little olive oil, some butter, and a bunch of parmesan.  I sautéed it up, and gave the kids a little of both. 

They didn't really seem to like the marinara, but I think that may have been the sauce.  Unfortunately, I only had a different brand of sauce than we normally use, because Jacob had requested I try something other than the Wegmans sauce I usually use.  Turns out this one was not his thing, either, and even Carter didn't seem to like it.  But they both seemed to like the garlic and butter version.  They both ate their helpings without much prodding.  However, then I gave Jacob a little more and he didn't want to eat that.  Sigh.  I enjoyed it, texture-wise.  I even heated it up for lunch a couple days later and liked it again. 

So...I guess we have a mixed verdict.  It didn't get flat-out rejected, which with kids and new vegetables is sort of a victory.  I would think about trying it again.  I have a recipe pinned that uses it as the base for a pizza casserole, much like the million other spaghetti-pizza dishes I've seen lately.  I would think about trying that.  I would think of using it as a side dish sometime, too.  Oh, and tonight I roasted the seeds, so that's a nice little bonus, too. 

As a whole it was a really interesting experience and I'm happy I tried it.  It definitely went better than my cauliflower pizza crust a few months back.  Someday I'll figure out how to get these kids to eat more veggies!  And Craig, too! 

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