Lemon – Sage Spaghetti Squash

Last week while shopping at Trader Joe’s I bought several different types of squash. They had a huge bin of them and I kind of went squash crazy! One was a spaghetti squash – something I hadn’t purchased in a long time. My thoughts immediately went to this old recipe that I use to make years ago. Think fresh lemon zest, a little melted butter – it makes everything better – fresh sage, sauteed onion, garlic and some good quality Parmesan cheese! I know so yummy right? Fabulous! This is the best spaghetti squash you will ever eat. I promise – pinky swear!

Lemon Sage Spaghetti Squash

 Meyers lemons from my backyard – I am a proud momma of my lemons! Trader Joe’s is carrying more herbs and I was delighted that they had organic fresh sage. The dish in the photograph is one my Great Grandmother’s. She moved to Nebraska from England and she never got to go back and visit her family. Can you imagine that? I love old dishes and family heirlooms. We also have one of her steamer trunks that she used to bring her possessions with her and we lovingly use it as an end table in our game room. I love to mix old antiques with new furniture.

Spaghetti Squash

This my friends is a spaghetti squash. I know that many of you are experienced cooks and have a broad knowledge of food in general. From the emails I get I also know that some of you are new to cooking and find it helpful if I show photos of foods that might be new to you. It sure makes it easier to go to the store when you know what you are looking for. Wash the squash well before cooking it. I like to use a fruit and vegetable wash that I buy at Trader Joe’s. Most grocery stores also carry it in the produce department – or use good ole soap and water. Then using a long tined fork – like a meat fork or if you don’t have one, a sharp knife works – pierce the squash all over multiple times. This allows the steam to escape while you cook this in the microwave for a few minutes to soften it up enough to cut it open. What happens if you don’t do this? Well I can tell you from first hand experience that it will explode all over your microwave! Yep – been there and had that happen. It isn’t pretty.

Spaghetti Squash

After a few minutes in the microwave it will be soft enough to cut in half without causing harm. I like to use a sharp knife to score around the inside as it seems to make it easier to remove the seeds with a soup spoon. Just an FYI – I use this same pre- cooking microwave technique with Butternut, Acorn or Kabocha squash to make it easier to cut into them prior to oven roasting.

Lemon Sage Spaghetti Squash

 This particular spaghetti squash was very watery and it didn’t come out in long strands like most do. Instead it came out more like short grains of rice but that didn’t alter the taste one bit. Serve this up as a side dish with fish, poultry, beef or pork. It’s truly amazing. Sometimes the best recipes contain simple ingredients and this is one of those recipes. It’s so low calorie you can go ahead and have a double serving. Enjoy.

Lemon – Sage Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 (2-pound) spaghetti squash – if yours is bigger just set aside some of the cooked squash for another use
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light stick butter – I have no idea what this is but you can sub whipped butter or regular or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh Parmesan cheese – the good stuff – not in a can
  • 2 teaspoons small fresh sage leaves – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind or more is you wish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Pierce squash several times with a fork; place in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Microwave, uncovered, at HIGH 6 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Place squash, cut sides up, in baking dish; add water. Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, turning back 1 corner to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool 15 minutes.

2. While squash cools, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender.

3. Using a fork, remove spaghetti-like strands from squash. Add strands (about 3 cups) to pan; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Transfer to a bowl; add Parmesan cheese and remaining ingredients, and toss well.

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Estimated Nutritional Information*

Per Serving: Calories: 58, Fat: 3g, Saturated fat: 1.6g, Protein: 1.4g, Carbohydrate: 8g, Fiber: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 270mg, Calcium: 48mg WWPP 2

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light 2006

*The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given, using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.

Nutmeg Notes

Hi everyone! I just can’t seem to stick with a blogging schedule right now so my posts are randomly appearing as time allows. You won’t miss when I post if you click “Like” on my Nutmeg Notebook facebook page you will get an update in your  facebook news feed when I post or sign up to be on my mailing list using the envelope icon located on the right hand side near the top of the home page. If you subscribe to Google reader or one of the other reader options you can get updates by clicking on the RSS icon and adding Nutmeg Notebook to it.

Foot Notes

Since I am gaining more mobility post foot surgery, I’m doing a lot more chores around the house and getting out to do errands. Yesterday I finally made it over 10,000 steps with a whopping 10,729 steps! It helps that I can get on my treadmill and go for gentle walks. I over did it on Sunday trying to go too fast for too long and ended up couched the rest of the day with my foot propped. It’s a learning curve. I have cut back on the speed and as a result doing just fine. I so want to break a sweat and really feel like I am burning calories but I just can’t yet and so it is what it is. At least I can walk right? It’s not without some discomfort and swelling but that is part of the healing process. I’m grateful that I am making progress. I really look forward to resuming walking outside on my regular route but I’m just not ready for that challenge yet.

What’s Cooking

We made an amazing pork tenderloin recipe the other night and I have to get that written up to share with you. It was lick your plate delicious. Last night we had salmon with several different kinds of oven roasted veggies. Salmon is so filling and one of my favorite fish! Remember the Polenta Tamale Pie recipe I posted a while back and how I said I was going to make an Italian version? Well I finally did and we loved it. It was every bit as good as I had imagined. This morning I made Hubby Tom and I a new green smoothie recipe that filled my Blendtec blender! We got in a whole lot of nutrition early in the day with that one drink.

Fruit Plate

We have been snacking on plates of fruit like this. Costco now carries a variety of organic fruit – check it out the next time you are there. I found organic berries and apples last week. The oranges are blood oranges from the local farmer’s mkt. A plate of fruit like this is around 125 calories but it’s a better choice than the 100 calorie snack packs that are full of sugar and leave you wanting more carbs. It packs a lot of nutrition, fiber and is so filling. Hubby Tom takes it in a baggie so he can eat it on the go in the car.

Taking life one step at a time.


I’m glad you are here and hope you will leave a comment!

Have you had spaghetti squash, if so how do you fix it?

What do you like to snack on?

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  1. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds says:

    I don’t hate squash, but am not overly fond of it. Plus it’s a lot of work to get into. (Though your advice to microwave first then cut is genius! I will have to try that next time!) The last time I had spaghetti squash was with a couple wedges of Laughing Cow cheese.

    1. Tami says:

      I know squash can be a bit of a pain to prep but I do love how it taste! Great idea to mix some Laughing Cow cheese with squash. Yummy!

  2. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    So happy you are more mobile but yes, a learning curve – be careful. 🙂 I get it though! 😉

    Lots of good food info so now I need you to cook for me! 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      I do have to be careful not to push myself too much as right now it just makes thing worse!

  3. Lynn P. says:

    Hi Tami- we love spaghetti squash and in fact enjoyed it for dinner this evening with some homemade defrosted homemade Italian meat sauce! Last Summer I was so tired of the squash being watery when I used the microwave method so I found an alternative way to cook it.

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash, cut in half, scrape out inside seeds, brush very lightly with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside both halves, line a roasting pan with parchment paper, place the squash skin side up and oven roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Turns out great every time!

    So glad you are on the mend and getting around with some normalcy in your day.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Lynn
      I cook my other favorite squashes in the oven but have always had good luck with cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave. I will have to give your method a try.

      Happy Cooking!

  4. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Good news on the steps! Definitely a case for slow but steady progress!

    I can’t really offer anything squash-related. I’ve never developed a taste for it. I do, however, have a taste for snacking. I usually go for fruit and/or nuts, with a few dark chocolate kisses here and there for sweetness.

    1. Tami says:

      I like your snack choices Cammy – chocolate is always a good choice in my book!

  5. The Candid RD says:

    I absolutely love spaghetti squash! And, I can’t imagine it tasting bad with butter and parmesan (actually, I always add parm or nutritional yeast to mine!).

    1. Tami says:

      Good idea to add nutritional yeast to squash – I will have to try that!

  6. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I love spaghetti squash and usually make a casserole with it with layers of tomato sauce and a cheesy mushroom layers. I top it with a little more cheese and bake it the oven. Your dish sounds delicious!

    Over 10,000 steps is a lot! Great job! I’m glad you are figuring out what works for your foot though. You don’t want any setbacks…

    1. Tami says:

      Your casserole sounds delicious Andrea! I love reading everyone’s ideas. 🙂

  7. Ann says:

    I’ve never done spaghetti squash. I’ve always wanted to, but my husband is so resistant to squash in general. Maybe I will try this recipe. It is intriguing. Glad your foo is progressing!

  8. Roz@weightingfor50 says:

    Hi Tami, so glad your healing continues to go well. I’m a big squash fan, my husband, less so. I think he’d like this recipe though! It looks delicious. Have a great Thursday.

  9. Biz says:

    I would love this!! Can’t wait to try it. Please ignore the awful photo in this link (from 2008!)

    It was a spaghetti squash/quinoa casserole – so good!


  10. Dr. J says:

    Of course I like spaghetti squash! I can’t not think about the day, however, when I cooked my first one and it exploded in the microwave all over the entire kitchen!!

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