Spaghetti Squash and is one of the more intriguing vegetables. It’s related to squash and pumpkins, but when cooked, you can run your fork through the flesh which will turn it into a spaghetti-like consistency. Above all, it’s sweet and creamy – and can be used as a pasta substitute. It contains fewer calories, is lower in carbs but high in protein and fibre.
We come across it from time to time, but it’s rather pricey (easily $6-7
each). However, Steve and Sam Grima have just picked a test patch
(probably one of the few things they’re picking lately, thanks to the heat!)
and we can offer them for $4.75 each. They weight about 1.5kg, and easily
produce enough ‘spaghetti’ for a single meal.
The easiest way to cook Spaghetti Squash:
Cut off the top and bottom
Slice it length-wise and
scoop out the seeds
Sprinkle with olive oil,
salt and pepper – and rub it evenly into the flesh
Put them upside down on
baking paper in an oven tray, and bake for 40-60 minutes in the oven
pre-heated at 190 C
They’re done when the
bottom is golden brown, and you can pierce the skin with a fork
Remove from the oven, put
them the right side up and fluff the inside with a fork until it looks
like Spaghetti. Kids love doing this!
Eggplant or aubergine are low-carb and low GI, which means they are slow to raise blood sugar levels as they are more complex and fibrous, and help improve blood circulation. In other words, it takes longer to digest and that is a good thing.
They are of the nightshade family of vegetables, which also include tomatoes, potatoes and capsicums. Nasunin, an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, is in the skin and has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. So keep the skin on.
On its own you might think yuk but eggplant is a filler that has a flavour when entwined with other vegetables and sauces is magnificent. They love the heat for growing.
They came originally from India and now there are other varieties around the world including Thailand, Japan and Italy.
So what can you make with them? The original from India Bengan Bartha; Baba Ganoush which is Middle Eastern; from Italy eggplant parmesan; the Greeks of course have moussaka; and the French Ratatouille. Plus slicing into stirfry and casseroles. Too easy.
Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the cut sides with the coarse salt. Place in a colander, salted sides against the holes. Drain in the sink for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry.
Place the eggplants in the grill, cut sides up, about 13cm from the heat source.
Grill for 5 minutes, turn, and grill for about 8 minutes more on the skin side, until easily pierced with a fork. Remove and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 205 C and allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the onion, bell pepper, and water in a large nonstick frying pan.
Cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onion is translucent and the green pepper soft. Add the turkey and cook for about 5 minutes longer, stirring and crushing the meat with the back of a wooden spoon until it appears cooked but not browned.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture seems cohesive.
Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
Place the eggplants, cut side up, in a foil lined baking dish. Press down with a spoon to create a shallow well in each, and mound equal amounts of the turkey mixture into the wells. Bake for 15 minutes, then serve immediately.
300g diced eggplant or 150g eggplant and 3 potatoes (cook potatoes for 5 mins to soften but maintain shape)
½ teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for deep frying
1tbspn vegetable oil extra
¼ medium onion finely chopped
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp whole mustard seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
fresh ginger, grated
1 green chilli, chopped (optionally seeded to reduce the heat)
5 fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp malt vinegar or cider vinegar or wine vinegar
⅓ cup coconut milk
¼ tsp brown sugar
Wash the eggplants, remove the stalk, and slice lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter lengthwise wide strips and then crosswise into 2½ cm cubes. Heat oil in a wok or frypan on medium heat and deep-fry the eggplant cubes in batches until golden brown. Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper.
In a medium-sized pan, heat the extra oil stir the onion until golden brown. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and mustard and stir for a couple of seconds before adding the garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves. Stir and saute for 30 seconds. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, salt to taste and the sugar and stir until well mixed. Bring slowly to the boil before adding the deep-fried eggplant cubes (and potatoes if reducing amount of eggplant). Stir, then simmer gently on low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Taste and season with a little more sugar and/or salt as desired. Serve with rice.