By Kelsie Knerr, RD
I am planting some spaghetti squash seeds in my garden this spring (best in early May for Central Missouri), specifically because this Pad Thai recipe made me fall in love with this winter squash. If you have never eaten spaghetti squash, it is usually around 3 pounds and pale yellow. After it is cooked the inside becomes a bowl of noodle shaped starchy veggies, it is pretty incredible! I enjoy telling my patients about this noodle substitute if they are wanting to find a lower calorie and lower carbohydrate substitute for normal pasta.
Pad Thai is one of my favorite things to order downtown at Bankok Gardens, making your own version at home gives you the freedom to use less of the high sodium fish sauce or added sugars from the brown sugar. There is room in this recipe to adjust in other ways like adding tofu or chicken for more protein if desired. Make it however you want, feel free to use this recipe as a guide, hope you enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
· 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
· 3 tablespoons peanut oil*
· 1 large onion, thinly sliced
· 3 eggs
· 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
· 2 tablespoons brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons fish sauce
· 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
· 2 green onions, chopped
· 4 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped
· Lime wedges
*Peanut oil is split three ways throughout the recipe, see instructions.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Coat lightly with oil (I use a spray can of oil) and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a fork can poke through without much resistance. Once cooled enough to handle, Scoop out spaghetti squash from the thin crispy outer shell and pull apart with forks. Set aside for later.
3. Coat a large sauté pan with 2 teaspoons of peanut oil. Add thinly slice onion and cook until soft and starting to caramelize. Set onions to the side.
4. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the same heated pan and add the eggs making a thin omelet and chopping it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. Set cooked egg aside with the onions.
5. Add the last of the peanut oil (1 tablespoon and a teaspoon) to the hot pan and add garlic and the spaghetti squash.
6. Whisk together brown sugar, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. Add sauce to the spaghetti squash as it begins to caramelize. (This step doesn’t take but a few minutes because the squash is already soft, it just needs to absorb the flavors from the sauce).
7. Add in onions and egg into pan with squash. Stir together as you bring everything back to a warm temperature.
8. Serve topped with peanuts, green onions and lime juice as desired.
Nutrition Facts per serving (serves 4)
Total Fat: 16g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g
Total Carbohydrates: 16g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai from Boone Hospital Center on Vimeo.