Spaghetti Squash - Healthy, delicious, and easy

The veggie craze is not new. But, it is still worth talking about. I've tried a variety of vegetables as noodles - zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes. I was indifferent about all of them. I didn't love them, but didn't hate them. So, when I bought Elizabeth Rider's book, "The Health Habit" and saw that she had spaghetti squash noodles as a sample recipe, I was a little skeptical about spending my time on them.


But, as life happens, my parents literally dropped off a spaghetti squash (out of the blue) at my house from my aunt Sharon. I wasn't going to let it go bad and I'm happy that I didn't. Elizabeth's recipe was so simple that I decided to give it a whirl.



Let's get to it:


Ingredients:

- Spaghetti squash

- 1 tsp. Olive oil

- Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean up.

3. Cut the top and bottom off of the squash (make sure you have a very sharp knife, this will take some muscle.)

4. Cut the squash in half and remove the inside seeds.

5. Drizzle olive oil on top of the squash and season with salt and pepper.

6. Place in oven and roast squash for 30 to 40 minutes (or until soft). Mine took almost 45 minutes.

7. Remove when soft and let cool on the counter for at least 20 minutes.

8. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, take a fork and start at one end pulling towards you to create "noodles."


9. Have fun with your toppings and make it your own. I topped mine with marinara sauce and ground sausage! Yum!

10. Store in an airtight container in fridge for up to two days.




Now, you may be looking at the instructions and thinking - it would be a lot easier to just boil some noodles and be on your way. I hear you. But, lets look at the numbers! A little extra time is so worth it when you see the added nutrition and calorie savings!


Traditional pasta (1 cup):

Calories 221 Carbs: 43.2g Fat 1.3g Fiber 2.5g Protein 8.1g


Spaghetti Squash (1 cup):

Calories: 42 Carbs: 10 grams Fiber: 2.2 grams Protein: 1 gram Fat: 0.5 grams


Summary: For a quarter of the calories and the carbs, you can get the same amount of protein, plus a bunch of essential vitamins and minerals! By saving on all of those calories and carbs, you can be a bit indulgent with your toppings! Enjoy and let me know how it turns outs!

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