Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Simply Spaghetti Squash

Mmmmmm, pasta. A delicious comfort food so many people love, including myself! However, a huge plate of carb-filled pasta isn't exactly beneficial towards nutrition goals. So, I found an alternative:

Spaghetti Squash!
Spaghetti Squash
Called "Nature's Fat-Burner," this natural vegetable is packed with vitamins and health benefits! The best part? There are only 10 CARBS in a cup, where normal spaghetti hosts upwards of 40 carbs. This squash is a great source of Manganese (for healthy bones and tissues, metabolism, sex hormones.), Fiber (aids in digestion, reduces heart disease, and keeps you fuller for longer), Potassium (benefits the heart and muscles), Vitamin C (immune system, antioxidant), and many more! Not to mention this vegetable is SO EASY to prepare and tastes exactly like spaghetti!

So, lets cook! Find spaghetti squash at your local grocery store or supermarket in the produce section. I found mine near the butternut squash and carrots, etc. It looks like this:
kinda cute like a little pumpkin :)
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash in half:
Next, scoop out the seeds. This is fun- I felt like I was a kid carving pumpkins again :)
Wasn't that preparation just grueling? ..... Just kidding! Now all you have to do is put the squash face-down in a pan. I used a metal circular pan and covered the bottom with tin foil for easy clean up!
Now, bake the spaghetti squash for about 35-45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce it with a knife or fork! It should be stringy and easy to pull apart.
This baby is done! Can you see the stringy texture? Now, all you need to do is take a fork and pull out the "meat" of the squash. You'll see it looks just like spaghetti:
It is as easy as that! Spaghetti squash: get in my belly! If you would like, get creative with toppings! I used "pasta" toppings to go along with my spaghetti craving, so I used dried oregano and basil with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese! Here are some other topping ideas:

-olive oil          -chopped garlic cloves          -chopped onion        -tomatoes
-Parmesan cheese          -basil          -oregano          -Italian seasoning          -pasta sauce
(for my size squash, 1 cup ended up being 1/2 the squash, so I was able to get 2 servings out of this!)
Calories: 42
Fat: 0.5g
Carbs: 10g
Fiber: 2.2g
Sugar: 3.9g
Protein: 1g
I tried it with Pizza Sauce as well! 30 cals in 1/4c.
There you have it, simply spaghetti squash! Easy, healthy, and delicious. Just the way I like it! It also tastes great as leftovers, and I can't imagine it would 'go bad' when packing it for lunch... that is what I did today! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Morgan :)