Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Swap

Pasta is a topic that comes up frequently when people want to talk nutrition. Most people are terrified of it because they know it is higher in carbohydrates, which it is. The processed white flour makes for an increase in carbs, but that isn't usually the huge issue with pasta. With MANY pasta dishes comes a lot of cheese, cream, butter, and all sorts of high calorie and high fat items that can get scary when you're trying to lose weight. There is also an issue with the fact that most individual pasta dishes served at restaurants could probably feed a small family.

Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta? 2,819 calories, 77 grams of SATURATED fat, (you're supposed to keep that around 10 grams per day) 184 grams of carbohydrates. GROSS. That has bad news written all over it. I don't even want to think about the fact that this dish is also served with a basket of bread and butter...and let's be honest...probably followed with piece of cheesecake. We could be looking at upwards of 3,000 calories IN ONE SITTING.

You get it.
Now, I hope you understand that pasta doesn't have to be one hundred percent terrifying. Would I suggest you order something else at a restaurant. Yes, I would. BUT, there are some healthier whole grain pasta options that even have some added protein, if you are looking to eat pasta at home. Barilla has come out with some great options that taste good too. Don't be afraid of the whole wheat! I would just say don't make it the only thing you eat. Moderation people.

I do have an alternative option for you if you are really serious about your eating. For one cup of regular spaghetti noodles it is about 220 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates. Spaghetti squash is an AWESOME pasta alternative, and it is just easy to make. For one cup of spaghetti squash it is about 41 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates.
All you do is...
Step 1: Cut your spaghetti squash in half.
Step 2: Turn it upside down on a microwave safe plate and cook it for 5 mins. Rotate it 180 degrees and cook it for another 5 minutes. When it has cooked for the full 10 minutes leave it right were it is in the microwave with the door shut, and let it steam for another 5 minutes.
Step 3: Pull the squash away from the skin with a fork. It will resemble noodles.
Step 4: Top it with whatever pasta sauce you like. (I vote something tomato based...just saying)
I topped mine with some light marinara sauce and some edamame for a little added protein. This entire dish is about 180 calories with about 10 grams of protein. It would be GREAT to add some chicken in there to up the protein count, but I was going for quick and easy with the edamame.

November 13th: Today I am grateful for my mom and dad. I got to spend some time with them over the weekend, and I just love them...They are the most incredible people in the world, and I don't know where I would be without them. Well, not here clearly. ;)

A year ago to be a weekend warrior...avoiding the pitfalls that an unhealthy weekend can bring.

Have you ever tried Spaghetti Squash? Do you eat a lot of pasta in your diet? If so, do you eat whole grain pasta?


melonshots said...

yum! great recipe

Elle said...

We do this too and did you know that you can also use the 'noodles' you get from the SS in a ramen-style soup with broth and a few greens thrown in?

The Smith Clan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Smith Clan said...

I love spaghetti squash as pasta! Haven't had it for a long time! It's on my shopping list! Thanks for a great post! And so fun to see you this past weekend!

Rachelle Wardle said...

I really need to try this. And yes I am a pasta addict but I love whole grain pasta. Infact I prefer it over white any day.

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