Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spaghetti Squash with Thai Peanut Sauce

I know many of you may not be spaghetti squash believers just yet.  I think the problem is the name.  As my mom has said, don't name something a name that makes it try to be something it isn't.  She has often told me that when I try to serve her something like quinoa fried rice ("just call it Asian quinoa!").  And she has a point.  If you go into eating spaghetti squash expecting a perfect substitute for spaghetti, chances are, you are going to be disappointed.  It's not spaghetti.  It's squash.

Now that we have that settled, this spaghetti squash with Thai peanut sauce is so good, it does't matter what you were expecting.  To be honest, the squash strands are noodle-ish, just a bit more crunchy.  They absorb the peanut sauce flavor, and combined with peanuts and fresh cilantro, there is so much flavor, it's ridiculous.  You can decide whether you want this to be a main dish or a side.  Mark and I ate it for dinner and I was happy that we both loved it.

The sauce really makes this dish, and the great part is, the recipe makes way more sauce than you need.  I, sadly, kept it in the fridge for about a month and then threw it out.  I am still mad at myself for that.  I did eat a little bit of it with pretzels, but could never figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it (besides make more spaghetti squash with it, of course).  What do you like to do with peanut sauce?


spaghetti squash with Thai peanut sauce
from Leelalicious
serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side

1 medium spaghetti squash
olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley and cilantro
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
for peanut sauce:
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
2/3 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons red curry paste


1) To cook spaghetti squash, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, make peanut sauce.  Place all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Then turn down to low and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring almost constantly.  Take off heat to cool sauce.

3) When squash is done roasting, take it out from oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Then, using a fork, scrape out spaghetti squash strands.  If your squash is very moist, you might have to place the strands in a colander and pat with a paper towel; I didn't have to.

4) Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add minced garlic, chopped parsley, and 1/4 cup of the peanut sauce.  Combine.  Add spaghetti squash and crushed peanuts, stir to combine, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

5) Plate and garnish with a little more crushed peanuts and chopped parsley.  Serve immediately.

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