Squash Your Pasta Cravings

Geoff wanted pasta tonight so I whipped up a quick, easy dinner featuring pasta for him and spaghetti squash for myself. Spaghetti squash, when made correctly, is a healthy alternative to pasta. All things in moderation, but pasta, even the whole wheat or rice based varieties, are not going to help you loose weight.

I have substituted spaghetti squash in place of pasta for years. At first you will be like, “What the heck, this doesn’t taste like noodles at all! Give me back my sugar rush from the simple carbs!” Well, I promise that over time you will like it and feel good eating it because it’s so clean and light. If you’ve never prepared it before the first step is choosing the right one at the store. Choose squash that are firm and heavy for their size. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which won’t yield the awesome “spaghetti strings” when cooked.

To cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a fork and lay face down in a baking pan. Fill the pan with with 1/2 cup of water. Bake for 30 minutes. Now, when I bake my squash, the rinds will be slightly brown and crisp on the outside. Do not over-bake or it will be watery and you will never develop a fondness for this gourd.

Once they are out of the oven, flip the halves over and use a fork to scoop out the “spaghetti noodles.” Sometimes I just leave the noodles in the squash so it’s my own personal bowl.

You can serve with pasta sauce (a low sugar version, of course) or with any vegetables. I like to serve mine by mixing in spinach (I just use the chopped frozen kind), Trader Joe’s fat free organic Feta crumbles, a spritz of olive oil from my Misto spritzer, sea salt and cracked pepper.

Here is a picture of our dinner tonight. Spaghetti squash with spinach, olive oil and feta on my plate. Both spaghetti squash and pasta on Geoff's plate.

Here is a picture of our dinner tonight. Spaghetti squash with spinach, olive oil and feta on my plate. Both spaghetti squash and pasta on Geoff’s plate.

Tonight Geoff had both pasta and spaghetti squash (from the recipe above) on his plate. He said that the squash was actually better than the farfalle pasta. True story. – CC

To get these Summer Shape Up tips delivered to your inbox, RSS this blog or sign up for my emails at http://www.chelseacharles.com  . – CC

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