Category Archives: Uncategorized

Squaghetti

What is squaghetti?  It is one of those things that you do in marriage, COMPROMISE!  See explanation below . . .sq

Squaghetti, or it’s maiden name, spaghetti squash, is completely a gift from the food fairies.  A co-worker of Mr. Solberg, we will call him Blue, has been working on improving his health and suggested we try this UFV in place of pasta.  Of course I needed to start an investigation.  I referred to the vast reference tool library at UFVU, (Unidentified Fruits and Vegetables School of Food Data Technology) and found it had acceptable nutritional facts but how do I use it?  Easy!  Cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and strandy things like a pumpkin, season it, put it face down on a cookie sheet and bake it in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.  Let it cool and then “rake” out the flesh with a fork.  There are many other ways of preparing this UFV for use but I think this was the easiest.  I think I watched a video on U Tube to learn.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know by commenting below!

Squaghetti is a group of cultivars of Cucurbita pepo subsq. pepo.  Now you know?  Interesting facts when I started this investigation, this UFV is both vegetable and fruit.  We can call it a vegetable because it is commonly used as savory but it can also be sued sweet.  Technically, any plant that flowers and has seeds to be replanted is considered a fruit.  Now for the whole cultivar thing, it refers to cultivated variety which means it was selected and cultivated by humans instead of by nature which would be called Variety.  Now you know!

As with every testing method there are successes and failures.  There have been no failures for me, but a few things that I have encountered with squaghetti is cooking time.  If it is not very ripe, it may need to be cooked longer or possibly add some liquid to the pan to help steam it.  You can tell when you try to rake out the flesh that you may not be able to get all of it down to the skin.  Also, the outside skin looks solid but I believe it can be fragile and if it is punctured in transit, it will spoil while sitting on the counter.  You will see mold when you cut into before removing the seeds or it can have a more pungent smell.  One last thing, when you cut it open to scoop out the seeds, I use scissors to cut through the strandy things to make it easier.

Now for the successes!  The strands of flesh that you rake out can be used in place of pasta in dishes that you would normally use spaghetti or Asian noodles.  My recipe for Casseruola di Spaghetti can easily use this UFV in place of the tofu noodles if desired.  I have made many different meals by substituting squaghetti for pasta, I would love to hear what you have done!  I will put together recipes and post my ideas as I can.

Now for the explanation for the name change and a little bit of trivia.  As an adventurous foodie, I am completely open to trying new things but as most of you will admit, if you have an experience that you could only describe as food torture, you may be less likely to try it again.  Squash was like that for me.  I believe the type was acorn squash and I would classify it as a thing that nightmares are made of.  So after probably 43 years, I decided to try this UFV that Blue suggested.  Italian food is not something that I will easily give up so I needed a pasta substitute.  Mr. Solberg is definitely trying to be more open in his trying new things so here is where the COMPROMISE comes in.  We will not call it squash or will we admit to eating squash.

For squaghetti, it is now transferred from the UFV category to AFV (Acceptable Fruit and Veggie)!  If you have a UFV to submit for investigation, let me know and I will hunt down the facts for you.

 

Seabream and prawns with ratatouille and balsamic reduction

This recipe has found a place on the blog very unplanned. I called my friend over to have a lunch together and I planed to prepare something nice because I passed the exam. I wasn’t pl…

Source: Seabream and prawns with ratatouille and balsamic reduction

Off the Rails

When Mr. Solberg was diagnosed with the dreaded “diabetes, type 2” world epidemic, we started experiencing the 5 stages of grief.  We have coined it DABDA.  The first thing that we did was make jokes which immediately landed us dirty looks from the medical professional or how I like to think of her, Pez, to imitate a pill dispensing automaton who has the power to prescribe medications but lacks the ability to cure the patient.

  • DenialDr Pez
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released data in 2014 that shows 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, that is 9.3% of the population.  It is listed as the 7th leading cause of death behind heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Although there is no specific information available from the reputable sites, such as the CDC, American Diabetes Association, Mayo Clinic, etc., stating why some people develop this disease and others don’t, the overwhelming statistics show being overweight and inactive are the common thread.  The pharmaceutical companies have provided many pamphlets on the pills they can provide and the doctor’s can prescribe them.  In the meantime, the insurance companies can decide what they will pay toward these things that only treat the symptoms.
We were handed a pile of prescriptions and told to make appointments with a diabetes education professional which included a meeting with a dietician.  We have asked, “Can this be cured?”  But it falls on deaf ears.
In 5 months from being diagnosed, Mr. Solberg has lost 40 lbs. and his A1C went from a dangerous level of 11.5% to a safer 6.2%.  He still takes his pills and checks his blood, but we have made a big change to following a low carb diet that includes 30-50 carbs per meals and 15-20 carbs per snack as well as at least 30 minutes of activity (walking) per day.
What is your story?  I would love to hear your successes and where you may need improvement.
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