Asian-Inspired Spaghetti Squash

Tired of eating spaghetti squash with pasta sauce and Italian seasonings? Next time, swap that tomato sauce for soy sauce for a unique Asian flavor. Most of the ingredients below can be found in your kitchen cupboards, and the spaghetti squash can be found at your local farmer’s market or grocery store during the fall and winter months.

• 1 spaghetti squash
• 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
• 1/2 cup of white sesame seeds
• 2 teaspoons of honey
• 1/3 cup of vegetable or chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (1 tablespoon if you like it spicy)
• 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
• 1-3 of your favorite veggies – thinly sliced (carrot, red pepper, zucchini, broccoli)
• Salt and pepper – for seasoning
• Olive oil or vegetable oil – for baking squash and stir-frying veggies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking casserole dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to remove seeds on each side. Rub with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash - flesh side down - in the baking dish. Poke a few hours in the skin. Bake for around an hour or until tender.

Next, toast the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium-high heat till golden brown – around 5-7 minutes. Make sure to watch the seeds so they do not burn, they should smell toasty, not burnt. Add 1/3 cup of the sesame seeds to a blender along with the broth, soy sauce, sugar, honey, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce. Blend until mixture is combined – around a minute.

Once tender, take the squash out and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a fork to remove the inside of the squash – it will look like noodles. Place the squash in a large bowl and cover.

Heat a wok or large frying pan and add oil to the bottom until lightly coated. Add veggies and cook for around 5 minutes – keep them a bit crisp. Stir the mixture from the blender into the veggies and cook an additional minute or two. Pour vegetable mixture over the spaghetti squash noodles and add remaining sesame seeds (another great choice is to add some chopped peanuts) and toss well. Feel free to add your favorite cooked protein as well – chicken or pork stripes, salmon or tofu.