Healthy Pasta Substitute: Spaghetti Squash!

I love experimenting with produce that’s in season; it’s cheap, I’m supporting local farmers, and it’s a great way to expand my repetoire of healthy, easy, yummy recipes. I find if I don’t push myself to cook with new ingredients I get stuck in a cooking rutt.

I recently bought a Spaghetti Squash from the market, and it was awesome. I used it as a substitute for whole-wheat pasta in one of my favorite recipes: Tomato & Chick Pea Pasta, and it worked out so well (for the sauce, I didn’t have bell pepper, but used mushrooms instead, and I would do that again next time!)

Even though I consider whole-wheat pasta a healthy choice; I would recommend trying spaghetti squash in your next pasta dish. It’s:

Low in Cals
If you’re watching your waist-line it’s a great way to enjoy pasta, but with less calories. Spaghetti squash is only 42 calories for 1 cup cooked whereas whole-wheat spaghetti is 174 calories for 1 cup cooked.

Good for you!
Like other yellow & orange produce; it’s a great source of beta-carotene, which is a major antioxidant (cancer-fighting & prevents premature aging), and converts into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, hair, teeth & bones.

Easy to Prepare
Preheat oven to 375 F

Using a large very sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise (this is the only difficult part – you’ll need the help of someone with big muscles)

After cutting the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp.

Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet (no need to grease the pan or add water) and bake for 30 minutes (this will yield an “al dente” texture – cook longer if you want it softer).

Remove from the oven, and turn right side up. Use two forks: one to hold the squash in place, and the other to pull out your spaghetti (it’s kind of fun).

Place stands into a big bowl, add a teaspoon or two of butter, sprinkle with sea salt, and top with your favorite pasta sauce – enjoy!

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3 Responses to Healthy Pasta Substitute: Spaghetti Squash!

  1. dad October 27, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    This was amazing. This recipe should be on TV!

    • Lauren October 27, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      haha thanks papa! xoxo

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