When I think of sesame noodles, my first thought is of Pan Chancho in Kingston. They make a tasty sesame noodle salad! As it turns out, so do I. Except mine uses spaghetti squash instead of noodles, which means that it is delicious and incredibly healthy. It’s basically a big bowl full of vegetables with exceptional flavour. And it’s pretty easy to make.

Want the recipe?

This recipe actually started out as an idea. I wanted to make a sesame noodle dish with spaghetti squash. I’m not really into low carb or Paleo eating, but I am into eating more vegetables. So I went to Google to see what I could find. I found nothing. So I looked at several sesame noodle recipes until this one from Martha Stewart caught my attention. I liked the sauce ingredients but didn’t really like that the vegetables were boiled with the noodles. And since I wasn’t making noodles, that part definitely needed to be changed. So here goes:

Sesame spaghetti squash salad recipe:

1 Spaghetti squash
1 cup shredded zucchini*
dash of salt
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
5-10 mushrooms, sliced*
1 red pepper, sliced
1-2 tbsp sesame oil or vegetable oil for cooking the vegetables

For a larger squash:
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1.5 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 tsp red-pepper flakes (this gives it kick. Use less or omit if kick isn’t your thing.)

For a smaller squash:
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sesame oil
1 and a half cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced (Ya, I know. 1.5 cloves is lame. Go for 2 or 1 if you prefer. It’s not going to kill the recipe either way)
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes (this gives it kick. Use less or omit if kick isn’t your thing.)

1. Preheat your oven to 350, cut your spaghetti squash in half, and place the halved squash on either a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet with parchment paper on it (You can also cook the squash by poking many holes in it and cut it once it is cooked). Cook for 30-35 minutes.

2. While the squash is cooking, chop the vegetables and garlic. This is where a food processor comes in handy. Soooo much faster. Start with the zucchini. Once it is chopped, shake a bit of salt on it to get some of the water out of it, and then either let it sit in a strainer or lay it between paper towels or clean tea towels. Once chopped, keep each vegetable in little piles on your cutting board.

3. Place a skillet (that’s fancy talk for frying pan) on the stove on medium-high heat and add about a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook it, stirring regularly for several minutes, until it is translucent and slightly browned (people often undercook onion – unlike most other vegetables, it tastes better if you let it cook longer). Remove from the skillet and return to the cutting board. Top up the oil in the pan if it looks too dry. This time add the garlic. The garlic only needs 30s to a minute, and should be stirred frequently. Remove it and return it to the cutting board. Repeat this process with each of the vegetables you used. I found each of the zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers each only needed about 2 minutes – maybe a bit less for the red peppers. This part is really not an exact science – as long as you don’t really, really overcook it, it will taste great.

4. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili peppers and garlic in a large bowl.

5. After you take the spaghetti squash out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and then use a fork to separate the “spaghetti” from the squash. To do this, pull the fork through the squash and you’ll see that it separates into strands (almost spaghetti-like!). Once this is done, use the fork (I like to use two forks actually) to pull the spaghetti squash strands out of its skin and put it into the large bowl with the (delicious) sauce. Pile the other vegetables in there as well and then use the fork(s) to mix it all together.

6. Serve and enjoy.

I’d suggest that this provides 3-6 servings as a side dish, although let’s face it, a “serving” is very different from person to person!

Wondering about the nutritional info?

Assuming it’s 4 servings and using a smaller squash:
Calories: 190
Carbohydrate:90 g (45%)
Fat:40 g (45%)
Protein: 19 g (10%)

Here’s a pic of the end result, served with sesame beef. Great combination! I didn’t time it, but I think the Fridge to Fork time for the entire meal was about 45 minutes. Not quite as quick and easy as some of the other foods I make, but not bad.

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