Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pasta Trick

I L-O-V-E pasta.

I do. But I'm not very good at controlling my portions and often end up consuming a calorie-laden meal that leaves me feeling heavy. Instead, I use a great trick for getting the mouth-feel and satisfaction of a bowl of pasta without the food coma and expanding waist.

Baked spaghetti squash + fire-roasted tomatoes + seared shrimp + basil pesto + parmigiano reggiano = Pasta deliciousness!

Spaghetti Squash is one of my little diet secrets. Nutritious (high in folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene) and very low in calories (8 ounces cooked has about 75), it satisfies my craving for a big bowl of spaghetti. My mouth can't tell the difference between this combination and the real thing. I can fork-twirl away and my brain is completely fooled. I also prefer to be heavy-handed with adding cheese, and the calories saved give me more leeway.
Sissy pasta toppings don't go here- the robustness of the tomato sauce and pesto assist in the deception. For other toppings, try roasted red peppers, a spicy arrabiatta, some capers, or a cilantro pesto.
Spaghetti Squash come with a convenient little sticker with baking instructions. To cook, slice in half first. (This can be a little difficult- slice down longways, doing your best to stay in the middle. Use a mallet to get through it if you need to.) Scrape out the seeds in the middle and place that side down on a baking sheet.

I like to roast mine at 375 for 45 minutes or so depending on the size and how soft I want it to be. A medium-sized squash will give me about two dinners (I told you, you can eat a lot of it!).



LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I LOOOOVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH!! Great flavor - especially as a pasta :0)

Sharon said...

I'm a little bit (ok, a lot) of a carb-a-holic so alternatives are always good for me. The first time I cooked spaghetti squash I was amazed!