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Spaghetti Squash Made Easy

Spaghetti squash is a darling of the low carb dieters and for good reason. The squash has flesh that, when cooked and pulled with a fork, yields strands that resemble spaghetti. To me, though, neither the flavor nor texture of the squash strands are much like that of spaghetti. Instead, the squash has it's own very light, delicate flavor. Yes, the squash is good beneath a topping of marinara, Alfredo, or other sauce. Nonetheless, spaghetti squash also is quite nice on its own with just a bit of butter or Smart (or Earth) Balance and some snipped chives. The squash is quick and easy to cook in the microwave--no hacking with a big knife and baking for an hour required.

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Squash

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Squash -- Serves 4-6

1 medium spaghetti squash (2-3 pounds)

2-3 teaspoons of butter (or Smart or Earth Balance)

1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives or 1-2 teaspoons of minced dried chives

Wash the squash well and pierce the skin with knife in 5-6 places around the body of the squash. Put the squash on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a paper towel. Cook the squash for 5-6 minutes on high. Turn the squash over and cook it for another 2-3 minutes. It should have softened so that, when squeezed, you feel a definite give on at least one side of the squash. Let the squash cool until you can handle it easily. Using a large knife, split the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and bitter membrane (give the seeds to the chipmunks, birds, etc.). Take a fork and pull the fork along the flesh of the squash to form long strands. Put the strands in a large bowl or dish, add the butter and chives, and toss the squash strands to coat them with the butter and chives. If you'd like you can cover the squash with plastic wrap or waxed paper and rewarm it in the microwave for a few minutes.

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