I remember the good ole days when I only had preschoolers and there was never any discussion about what was for lunch. If it was lunch time, I was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not only was life very simple, but I was also thinner and healthier!
But somehow, as the kids got older, lunch became a topic of discussion each day, and became much less healthy as well. I often give in to really unhealthy junk. Like frozen pizza rolls. Really? WHY? They are totally, completely bad for my children. They are expensive. They take a while. There is a pan to scrub. And still, we eat them. Ugh.
Although I give in to that fun food sometimes, I do put my foot down every now and again. Spaghetti Squash has become one of the favorite healthy options. While spaghetti squash is not a super food or anything, they do have vitamins C and B6, and trace amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral. They have over 90% water content, so they are low in calories, although they have a decent amount of fiber, so they are filling.
AND THEY ARE EASY!
The most difficult part of having spaghetti squash for lunch is cutting these babies open.
I get one squash for every two people.
Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds.
Brush a little olive oil on the insides, along with any other seasonings you would like. I mostly use oil and garlic.
Place them on a cookie sheet, inside facing up, and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and scrape with a fork to make the spaghetti-like strands. We like to leave the squash right in the skin and eat it from there.
Some of my kids like it this way the best, with nothing added. Just the garlic and oil, then maybe a bit of salt and pepper.
Some like to add parmesan cheese.
It’s great to make this the day after you have made an Italian dinner and have left-over spaghetti sauce.
My favorite is to have this after nacho night, when I have left-over taco meat.
It’s really a good, hardy lunch.
The squash can also be microwaved, although I have never tried that.
Get creative with your toppings. Although it is great to leave the squash in the skin for lunch, you can scoop several squash into a casserole dish and add meats and vegetables to make a fantastic dinner.
If you don’t think your kids will like it – just start out making some for yourself and don’t offer them any. It works every time;)