It wasn’t long after I first started Weigh Watchers that I first tried spaghetti squash. For those of you haven’t heard of it, allow me to explain. On the outside, spaghetti squash just looks like your average squash – yellow, oblong, oval-shaped. But after it’s been cut in half and cooked (I typically do it in the microwave for about 10 minutes on high), take a fork and it separates into strands – just like spaghetti. Since its flavour is fairly mild, it makes a great low carb, low calorie substitute for pasta. Now, as you have seen before, I do love to eat pasta. I certainly would never cut it out of my diet completely. But if you ever just want a giant bowl of a pasta-type dish minus all the calories, spaghetti squash does the trick. The picture at the left is a whole cooked spaghetti sqaush, the half on the right has been separated into strands with a fork.
I cooked an entire spaghetti squash on the weekend and made a delicious lunch – then doubled it so I’d have one of my weekday lunches taken care of. Here’s what I did for the topping. I made an easy homemade tomato sauce. In two tsp of olive oil, I sauteed one chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and some chili flakes. Then I added most of a can of the tomatoes I bought at Costco (I crushed them by hand), seasoned with salt and pepper, and let simmer for almost an hour. For extra veggies, I blanched some broccoli rabe in the microwave and grilled a portabello mushroom and part of a red pepper inder the broiler. I added them to the “pasta” dish and topped it all off with some goat cheese (for the packed lunch version, I used Parmesan). The result? A filling, fibre-rich but calorie-light Itlian lunch. All of the flavour I love, but far fewer calories than it would have been with pasta.
The whole spaghetti squash, which I would consider about average size, gave me enough for two large lunch servings, with a bit left over. I also find that cooked spaghetti squash is yummy in salads. if you haven’t tried it…you should!