Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Sesame Noodles

I am seriously obsessed with the flavor of sesame. I ADORE the Pioneer Woman's sesame noodles, but they call for a completely whackadoodle amount of oil. Like, 7 TABLESPOONS. So, I searched for a lightened up version, and found this recipe from Shrinking Kitchen. But I was pretty sure I could go one step further to make this delightful side dish even healthier, as I had a bright yellow spaghetti squash sitting on the counter, a ripe red pepper in the fridge, and some crispy sugar snap peas just waiting to be tossed into something.

The noodles turned out SO YUMMY! The texture of spaghetti squash is so similar to the cellophane noodles that a lot of Asian restaurants use for their sesame noodles, and it doesn't get soggy even after soaking up the sauce over night. You can also microwave a whole spaghetti squash in just 10-15 minutes, so there are no pots or pans that'll need washing after you make this recipe.

The sauce was delicious - tangy, sweet, salty and rich. Best of all, we reduced the amount of sugar and oil that appear in the Pioneer Woman's admittedly delicious recipe by 50%...and now I don't have to feel as guilty if I go back for seconds! The final result is a fresh tasting Asian-inspired side with only 159 calories per serving, according to sparkpeople's handy recipe calculator - a big difference from the 362 calories per serving in the original Pioneer Woman recipe. 

Spaghetti Squash Sesame Noodles


1 medium spaghetti squash
1 C snap peas, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 parsley, chopped
1/4 C Soy Sauce
3 tsp brown sugar
1/2 inch grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
2 T rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
3 T Sesame Oil

1. Stab several slits into the spaghetti squash with a very sharp thin knife. Microwave for 10-15 minutes, or until a knife can pierce it easily. Let cool.

2. While the squash is microwaving, make the sauce: Whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, Sriracha and sesame oil until the oil and other liquids are blended. Place in fridge until ready to use.

3. Chop snap peas, red pepper and parsley. Set aside.

4. Once the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, remove it from the microwave and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Then, use a fork to remove the strands of squash. Here's a video that shows how. Place the squash in a large bowl.

5. Add the sauce to the squash, stirring until coated. Then, add the chopped veggies and parsley.

6. Refrigerate the spaghetti squash sesame noodles until cold. There may be some extra liquid in the bowl that you can pour out - or, let the noodles sit over night and they will absorb it all (that's what I did). Garnish the noodles with a sprig of fresh parsley and some sesame seeds. 

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