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Lose Weight Eating Spaghetti

You think I’m kidding?  Not Spaghetti pasta, spaghetti squash.  I love this vegetable as a seasonal transitional food.  I’m pretty much ready to give up the winter squashes in favor of lighter spring foods, but compared to others this one  has a light and sweet flavor, delicate texture, is incredibly versatile and can actually substitute pasta in many dishes.

Spaghetti squash is low in calories, but high in vitamins and antioxidants.  One cup of cooked spaghetti squash is only 10 grams of carbohydrates and 42 calories compared to regular spaghetti pasta, which is around 43 grams of carbohydrates and 221 calories per cup.  It ranks very low on the glycemic index, so will not cause blood sugar levels to spike and then drop suddenly.  This vegetable is an excellent source of beta carotene, also known as vitamin A which helps to boost the immune system and maintain healthy eye function.  Spaghetti squash also contains significant amounts of niacin, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, fiber and vitamin C.

To cook spaghetti squash cut the whole squash in half and remove all the seeds.  You will need a large sharp knife, as she skin and flesh are tough.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the halves cut side down in a roasting pan, or glass baking dish along with half an inch of water.  Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on size, until it is tender but not mushy.  You can also microwave it, but I have not tried that method.  Take a fork and scrape the stingy squash out onto individual plates and top with the food you would normally place on top of spaghetti or place in a bowl and toss in other ingredients.

Each squash will provide at least 6 servings so make each meal a little different.  Treat it just like pasta and top with a homemade tomato sauce, meat, and sautéed vegetables.  Serve it cold and toss like a salad with lightly steamed vegetables.  Use it as a base for a meal that is a little saucy that you would typically serve over rice.  You can treat it like a side dish and toss with olive oil, a little nutmeg, ground pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Take the components of a Greek salad and cook them (onion, garlic, tomato, olives, feta cheese), replace the greens with spaghetti squash, toss and serve warm