Sunday, November 21, 2010

spaghetti squash and pumpkin cookies

heavens to betsy, was this ever a flavorful fall meal! my kitchen smelled so good while the spaghetti squash and pumpkin cookies were baking, it may have even lured a new furry into our family! (more on that to come... don't want to jinx it!) edit: that little furry is named sammy and he already has a family. he still comes to visit!


this was my first time with spaghetti squash. it took a few bites for me to get used to and by leftovers the next day i was hooked! i find it super yummy, warm or cool with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper, and oregano.

sauteed artichoke hearts and organic shelled edamame also went nicely with the strands of squashy goodness. john enjoyed both dishes as well.

for those who haven't tried spaghetti squash, i'd describe it as a sweet winter squash with an interesting texture... almost like zucchini pasta, but cooked. all you do is slice it in half, length-wise, bake it face down at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or so, then go at with a fork. the flesh naturally falls apart into spaghetti-like strands.

...though the name is a bit misleading, as it doesn't taste at all like spaghetti. think yummy, slightly crunchy, healthy pasta alternative... a nice seasonal sub for kelp noodles and other gluten-free pastas!

for those who have tried it, do you like spaghetti squash? how do you prepare it?

on to dessert...

though i prefer to make raw sweets, john loves baked goodies and is so appreciative when i bake him something, it almost makes the burnt fingertips and messy counter tops worthwhile. i also kind of feel bad i didn't make him zucchini brownies once this summer.

with homemade pumpkin puree in the fridge ready to expire, i searched for an easy pumpkin cookie recipe that included ingredients i had on hand. (i love the man but wasn't about to knock myself out running around!=)

these vegan old-fashioned soft pumpkin cookies were outstanding! more like little pumpkin cakes or pumpkin roll - so moist and flavorful! i bet the recipe could even be used for vegan pumpkin roll - i'll have to try it, though i'm not sure how it will compete with my mom's famous pumpkin roll...

mine may stand a chance since i add a deliciously unique fall flavor with asian five spice powder (a mix of cinnamon, anise, fennel, ginger, clover, and licorice root... hmmm, shouldn't it be called six spice?)  have you tried five spice powder? are you in love with it, too?

i wrote down my alterations but lost the paper. i remember using more cinnamon (maybe 2 tsp?) and a heaping tsp five spice. i cut back on the nutmeg and ginger and didn't add any cloves - only what was in the five spice powder. with no applesauce in the house, i substituted one ener-g egg replacer.

the recipe made 27 large cookies. thinking of pumpkin rolls, john thought they would taste great with cream cheese icing. i've made this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe before with vegan carrot cupcakes and everyone (including me) loved it. i'm not usually a big fan of cream-cheesy desserts.

so out we went for vegan cream cheese. (i'll run around if he's willing to keep me company!=) it was a total impulse purchase and i didn't read the ingredients until i got home. next time i'd like to try raw cream cheese, but with rejuvelac and cashews. i may even take a stab at an uncooked pumpkin roll rawl!=)


  1. I love spaghetti squash, too! It amazes me, to be exact. I awesome is it that you eat it like pasta, and get to roast the seeds, too? It's the simple things in life, you know...
    Oh, and those cookies look so yummy!

  2. Looks great! I love using spaghetti squash in place of pasta! :) And wow, those cookies..yum!

  3. kelly - great idea to roast the seeds! i decided to dry mine to see if i can grow some of my own spaghetti squash next year...

    thanks lauren! i'm so happy john brought the squash home one. can't believe it's taken me 29 years to try it!=)

  4. I love spaghetti squash!!!

    Ideally, I slice it in half and roast it in the oven for 45 min. at 400 degrees F.

    But... in a hurry I will use the microwave... 9 minutes total, turning it every 3 min. (with holes poked in it, of course.)

  5. I do like spaghetti squash but have not had one this year. Mine all became victims of the garden destroying ground hog. I must go get one now. And five spice powder in cookies, why I learn something new everyday.

  6. I don't know why I've never had spaghetti squash. It looks good.

    I made ginger cookies today. No pumpkin, but that could be next. :-)

  7. I have never tried spaghetti squash before, but when I find one, I definitely will.

    I love cookies! Yours look really delicious1

  8. raw pumpkin roll? if you make it, i'll drive across state to buy/eat it :P

  9. forgot about spaghetti squash - i posted a pic on my site where we literally used it as a the "pasta" base for a meal w/ spaghetti squash smothered in homemade marinara sauce and topped with crumbled tomatoey tempeh...amazing stuff!

  10. Spaghetti squash is great! My favorite way to have it is with Parmesan cheese, fresh minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and butter! I haven't eaten it in a long time since I'm not sure how to substitute all that dairy! Maybe I should try it with my House seasoning.

    I just found organic edamame at a local grocery store. It's my new favorite food! I just like to eat it steamed with a little salt. YUM YUM YUM!

    Boy I wish I could get my husband to eat healthier! : )

  11. Yum!!! spaghetti squash is super delish!!
    I love it with a great sauce..tomato or otherwise!
    As for those cookies..amazing! Especially with the frosting:)
    I have 5 spice but I've never used it lol! Good to know I can use it for cookies!

  12. I forgot the preparation part! LOL
    I've cooked it several ways.

    1. Microwave. Cut in half and put a few TB of margarine or butter in the center. Cover with plastic wrap and cook until sides are soft. (I don't like to microwave plastic wrap anymore, so this is no longer my preferred method.)

    2. Oven #1: Cut in half and follow the above directions, except use aluminum foil instead of plastic wrap. Bake until soft at 350 F.

    3. Oven #2: My preferred method is now to poke a hole in the squash with a knife (only in the top), then bake for a longer time at 350 F. When the sides get soft, I cut a hole in the top and scoop the yummy strands out, discarding the seeds. I suppose they would be yummy roasted though!

  13. YUmmm, those pumpkin cookies with frosting look soooo yummmy Kell! I love all squashes - have you tried kabocha squash? It's my fave! xoxoxo

  14. elle - i like the oven #1 method!=)

    jane and melissa - five spice powder is made for cookies! (not really, but it's great for baking.=)

    bitt - ginger cookies? yum!

    thank you lela! xoxo

    rick, let's see how it tastes first! i've never had raw pumpkin... have you?

    thanks heathy! i tried my first kabocha squash this fall and love it!


  15. I love spaghetti squash, but it was definitely an acquired taste ... I didn't like it the first few times I tried it. It's really easy to grow and, yes, it's amazing. The pumpkin cookies look awesome ... I'm definitely going to try some five spice powder!

  16. I love spaghetti squash. It's a great gluten-free alternative to "regular" pasta. It's great with a nut-based sauce or pesto-style dressing.

  17. lisa - yeah, i liked it much better the second and third time. now i'm love!

    veronica - that it is! thanks for the ideas.

  18. I love love love spaghetti squash! I make a mean spaghetti squash recipe from the Skinny Bitch in the kitch book, but lookey here, they have it online too!

    Those cookies are looking pretty darn fine too.

  19. Wow these cookies look gorgeous! I love how simple the recipe is. No eggs. No xanthan gum. Yay. So on that for Christmas, or maybe sooner.

    Spaghetti squash is my newest love... don't know why I just got around to trying it this fall... LOVE IT. I've been eating it COMPLETELY plain... because I think it's AMAZING that way!!! :) When it's organic and fresh, there's no need for spices or sauce.

  20. robyn - that recipe = YUM! thanks so much for sharing.

    farty - the cookie recipe calls for wheat flour. maybe you could use bob's red mill gluten-free flour instead?

    i don't know why i haven't tried spag squash plain! i think i was a bit afraid that we wouldn't like it, and now i REALLY like it with olive oil and spices. but you're right, no need for additives when it's organic and fresh!


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