Eating seasonally: herbed spaghetti squash

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Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

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Eating foods in season can help you to save money and shop more sustainably. Food is usually much cheaper when it is in season than when the only varieties you see in the store have been shipped over from the tropics. Luckily for us in Berkeley, California grows a huge variety and quantity of food. To find out what’s in season, check this website, or go directly to a farmers’ market.

We decided to experiment with several in-season veggies for our dinner this week with entirely delicious results. Our idea came from the Student Organic Garden Association, where we were lucky enough to be gardening when the opportunity to take home a spaghetti squash presented itself. Having never cooked one of these before, we decided to consult the wisdom of the Internet. This recipe got us started concocting a plan of delicious action. With cherry tomatoes already on hand from the Gill Tract, we decided to add zucchini and chicken and to call it a meal.

Ingredients:
One spaghetti squash
One large zucchini
One container of cherry tomatoes
Two to three chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mixed soft herbs (we used chives and basil)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

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Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise using a very sharp knife. Place each squash flat side down in a high-sided baking pan, such as a brownie pan, with 1/2 inch of water.

Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, flip, cover with foil again and bake for 15 more minutes. While the squash bakes, dice up your ingredients.

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Melt the butter in a saute pan, then add the chicken and herbs. Cook on medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your pieces, your zucchini should take slightly less time to cook than your chicken. Add the zucchini when the chicken is about halfway done. Wait to add the tomatoes until your spaghetti squash is ready to go in. After removing the squash from the oven, scoop out the seeds, and let it cool.

Use a fork to separate the squash strands from the peel. Then, add the squash and tomatoes to your sauteed chicken and zucchini. Mix together, and heat on low until the tomato skins start puckering.

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Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

This makes about three meals — it serves more if you serve it over rice.

We had a bit of an adventure making this. Here are a few tips to avoid making the mistakes we made:

  • Don’t ignore the part of the directions that say, “Use a sharp knife to cut the squash.” We chose to make do with a dull, serrated Ikea knife and found the process extremely difficult — and we almost broke our knife!.
  • Don’t forget the foil. Once the pans are full of water, they become heavy and difficult to maneuver in and out of the oven.
  • Actually let the squash cool. Trying to take the strands of squash off the peel is hard when it is still hot, although not impossible by any means — your results just won’t be pretty like the Internet will lead you to believe. Also, the strands run lengthwise, not widthwise.
  • Add in whatever you think would taste good! We think that adding onion, more herbs and other vegetables would totally work.
Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

Danielle Petruzzelli/Staff

 

Contact Danielle Petruzzelli at [email protected].

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