It can be very difficult to eat healthy when you have a full-time job and live in a city where you are surrounded by tons of tempting treats. Trust me, there are many days I give in the tantalizing scent of a cheesy slice (or 3) of NY Pizza. When we are busy we tend to consume carbs, carbs and more carbs! This is because some of the quickest foods to make or buy are in between slices of bread (burritos, deli sandwiches, gyros, street vendor hot-dogs etc.). Trust me, as an Italian woman I cannot live without my pasta and bread, but what if I told you there is a vegetable out there that tastes and looks just like spaghetti! This magical veggie is called Spaghetti Squash, and it is full of wonderful nutrients and delicious flavor. One cup of regular spaghetti has about 220 calories and 42 grams of carbohydrates, whereas one cup of Spaghetti Squash only has 41 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates! What a huge difference! Spaghetti squash can be made a million different ways such as, plain with butter, sautéed with olive oil, garlic and Parmesan, tossed with mixed vegetables and feta cheese, or with traditional marinara sauce (my favorite). If I want a healthy but hearty meal that is easy to prepare, I like to make spaghetti squash with marinara, paired with a flaky, delicious tilapia or flounder filet. This year, “squash” those extra pounds by finding some healthy substitutes for your favorite foods. Start here…
Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce
(Feeds 2-3 People)
- 1 Whole Spaghetti Squash
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Cups of Marinara sauce (homemade or jarred)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Split the squash in half vertically and scrape out the seeds.
- Line a cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Season the inside flesh of the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place flesh side down and roast for about 45 minutes until fully cooked (until you can stick a fork in it easily).
- Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile heat the marinara sauce in a medium size pot.
- When squash is cool enough to handle, using a fork, scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin into a bowl. Pour the hot tomato sauce over the squash.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve the squash by itself, or with a piece of grilled or broiled fish or chicken. ENJOY!
The picture above is another delicious way to make Spaghetti Squash! All you do is sauté some shallots and garlic in olive oil, throw in some chopped Portobello mushrooms, frozen peas and a touch of chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Toss the mixture with the spaghetti squash, salt and pepper and some grated Parmegiano Reggiano and you have another delicious “faux pasta” dish!