|Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Tomatoes|
If you have been following along on my cooking adventures for the past 2 1/2 years, you will know that I am pretty much of a tough love mom/cook with my family and even friends that come to eat at our dinner table. I feel that many parents label their kids "picky eaters" and basically throw their hands up to exposing them to new foods.
"Billy only eats chicken nuggets and hot dogs."
"Sally refuses to eat anything that is green."
It is easier to serve what the kids think they like then deal with the moaning and groaning of hungry youngsters at the dinner table. If the parents only serve hotdogs and chicken nuggets, then kids will think they only like hotdogs and chicken nuggets.
Now don't get the idea that I am some tyrant and make my kids eat lima beans and liver for dinner, but we may try them one day. I do strongly recommend that everyone tries what has been prepared for dinner. I am not force feeding any kid that dines at our dinner table, but I enthusiastically suggest that they try what is for dinner. They will never know if they like a new food unless they try it. More times than not my own No Thank You Boy has tried to opt out of eating a new food. But if he didn't try roasted green beans he would have never known they are one of his favorite vegetables.
Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Tomatoes is a fantastic recipe for those hot summer days when you don't want to turn on the oven to cook. The squash cooks in the microwave. Enlist the kids to help with the fun part of scraping the "spaghetti" out of the squash. If you get kids to help prepare dinner, they will be proud of their accomplishment and more likely to give new foods a try.
Two of my kids love zucchini so this close squash cousin was enjoyed by them. No Thank You Boy on the other hand tried it and said, "No thank you," to future bites. That's ok. He tried it. I love the fresh garden taste of this dish and the ease of preparation. Serve Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Tomatoes with Java Rubbed Strip Steaks and a loaf of crusty bread and your meal will be complete.
With the bounty waiting at your local farm stands, serve a new food tonight. You will never know if you like it until you try it.
Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Tomatoes
1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 - 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 cup chopped tomatoes
Poke the squash with a metal skewer or sharp paring knife about 6 to 8 times. The holes will allow the steam to escape while the squash cooks. Place the squash in a glass baking dish and microwave at high power (100 percent) for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until it is soft when pressed. Let the squash sit in the microwave for about 5 to 10 additional minutes.
Remove the squash from the microwave and cut in half lengthwise. Gently scrape the "spaghetti strands" into a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and tomatoes and toss to mix. Taste and season with extra Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper if needed.
For a unique presentation, return the squash and Parmesan mixture to the halved squash shells and serve with extra Parmesan sprinkled on top.