Spaghetti Squashed

Have you ever heard of spaghetti squash? It’s a vegetable that you can eat just like pasta–with less calories.

BY PHILL FELTHAM

Who here is a fan of pasta? I think a better question is: who doesn’t like pasta? If you are a pasta lover, then you will be able to relate to this dilemma: too much pasta equals extra calories. Consequently, extra calories equal extra pounds.

However, solutions are available to solve this dilemma. The first, yet unrealistic, option is to not eat pasta at all. Secondly, you could reduce the amount of pasta consumed, which is a more realistic choice. Lastly, you could consider pasta as a treat and eat it once or twice a month. From a nutritional standpoint, whole wheat pasta is a better alternative. But, there is another choice: spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti, what? That’s right. Spaghetti squash. This vegetable is shaped like an elongated yellow pumpkin. The insides of the squash look similar to that of a pumpkin as well. However, the taste is drastically different and is easy to prepare in a few quick steps.

DIRECTIONS
First, cut the squash in half. Next, scrape out and dispose of the squash guts (seeds). Next, place both halves of the cut squash on a baking sheet (cut side down) with aluminum foil. Then, slide the squash in the oven for about an hour.
When the squash is cooked, scrape out the insides into a bowl. You’ll notice that the contents look like spaghetti noodles.

WATCH THE PASTA INGREDIENTS
At this point, you can add whatever pasta ingredients (that is, tomato sauce, extra lean ground beef or turkey, portioned cheese, among others) you want to complete your healthy pasta alternative.

What I like about spaghetti squash is that you can have a sizeable portion without the extra calories from the pasta noodles. The caveat to this, however, is that you still need to keep the other pasta ingredients under control because of their large caloric value.

There you have it, healthy pasta coming from a vegetable. You can’t beat that. This alternative will keep you satisfied until you have the opportunity to treat yourself to a portioned pasta meal on your cheat night. iT!

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