TSDA Cookbook: Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash and Asparagus Carbonara

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Spaghetti squash might be one of the best hidden veggies out there. I had never even heard of one much less the awesome things you can do with it until not too long ago. What’s the hidden secret?

You can turn this vegetable into pasta, which I thought was pretty darn cool. The first time I ever saw it made in a recipe was on Pinterest along with most recipes I’m sure we all find to cook. After researching spaghetti squash, I went to the store to buy my newly discovered vegetable, and then the cooking adventures began.

Oh boy, I was shocked when I took my first bite into this dish. This veggie is amazing, and there are an endless amount of things you can do with it. Thinking about that just sends my mind to a million different places trying to think of what all dishes I can use spaghetti squash in. Every time I bring up spaghetti squash to a friend or tell them I am cooking with it, I always get a funny look back. However, after they take a bite of a meal I make with spaghetti squash, I always get the same reaction. “Oh my goodness this stuff is actually really good!”

squash one.jpgThe two vegetables in this picture were never introduced into my life until I came to college which shocks me now because I eat asparagus at least once a week now, if not more. You can bake asparagus, steam, grill, fry it or anything your heart desires. Where ever your mind takes you just go with it because that is the best part about cooking. You can do anything!

Anyway, growing up we ate meat and potatoes in my house, and the only vegetable I thought I liked was green beans. I was so picky that I told myself I didn’t like a majority of foods, therefore, I did not eat the best variety of foods, specifically vegetables. Pretty much all I ate growing up was green beans, mac and cheese and anything on the grill which is so crazy to think about now. I will say though that you can never go wrong with a meal when mac and cheese is involved. It is and always will be one of my favorite foods, and I don’t think that will ever change.

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I like cooking veggies in a variety of ways every time to keep things fresh in the
kitchen. I never see anyone use vegetable peelers to make pasta, so I thought I could try asparagus as a pasta. If you aren’t already cooking your asparagus like this or have never tried it, please go to your kitchen right now and make this! I could not stop eating this and especially when the asparagus and spaghetti squash were mixed together it was like the icing on the cake. Also, it’s a different option to try if you don’t have a spiralizer in your kitchen like me.

My favorite part would have to be this sauce. It it yummy in my tummy good because it tastes so much like Alfredo sauce. Alfredo sauce is one my weaknesses, so to find something not as heavy a
s Alfredo but just as appetizing made me one happy girl. When I was in high school, one of my best friends and I would go to Olive Garden about once every other week and get the same exact thing every time. We would order grilled chicken Alfredo, salad and bread sticks with a side of Alfredo sauce. I’m serious when I say Alfredo sauce is one of my weaknesses!

Have any plans for your Friday night? Well, I just gave
you the perfect reason to stay in and have an adventurous night experimenting in the kitchen with spaghetti squash and a vegetable peeler if you have never used one of these items or even if you have. Let the fun begin!

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash and Asparagus Carbonara

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely peeled asparagus
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and rub in one teaspoon of olive oil on each side of the squash. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the squash and turn upside down on a greased pan. Roast spaghetti squash for 45 minutes.
  3. Cut off the ends of asparagus and peel the asparagus using a vegetable peeler. Put into a medium sized skillet along with one teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Sauté on medium heat for 5-7 minutes tossing occasionally.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmesan cheese until thoroughly mixed. Then, set aside until squash has cooled
  5. Let the squash cool for 10 minutes. Then, use a fork to scrape the squash out into spaghetti like strands. You should be able to lightly scrape the squash to produce the spaghetti like strands. Scrape the squash out getting as much of the squash out of the boat as you can. Put the spaghetti squash onto a large bowl with a paper towel on the bottom.
  6. Put a few paper towels on top of the spaghetti squash in the bowl and press down firmly. You can want to soak up as much water as you can from the pasta.
  7. Once the pasta is dry, quickly mix in the egg and Parmesan mixture with the spaghetti squash. Constantly stir to prevent the egg from cooking and until everything is mixed well.
  8. Stir in the sautéed asparagus, oregano and parsley with the spaghetti squash. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

About the Author:

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My name is Cortney O’Rear, and I am Nutritional Science major at Texas A&M University. I am currently applying for dietetic internships for the fall in hopes of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. After graduating college and becoming a dietitian, my goal is to work with eating disorder recovery.

My passion lies in helping others overcome their eating disorders by helping them to fall in love with who they are again and develop a healthy relationship with food. I also plan to continue working with my personal food blog A Baker’s Cousin. Through my food blog, I want to show everyone the adventures I have in my kitchen developing homemade recipes and photographing food.

I also want to take others with me as I travel the world and adventure with foods from all different cultures. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my family, boyfriend and friends as well as baking. Baking is my go to stress relief.

 

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