We used to eat a lot of noodles. Asian, Italian, hot, cold, spicy, cheesy, you name it. The children’s favorite dinner was Kraft macaroni and cheese. We used to go through the Sam’s size case of mac and cheese in a month. All of that is pretty much history. I have looked and looked for a low calorie pasta, but they are all about 100 to 180 per 1 ounce serving. And one ounce of regular spaghetti is not really worth the effort.
Even before COMPASS, we ate spaghetti squash. Until the girls found out how “golden spaghetti” was made, they ate it with red sauce and meatballs. Now it is a very healthy and tasty alternative to pasta.
Spaghetti squash has about 42 calories per cup. A cup of spaghetti squash can be pretty filling, especially compared to one ounce of pasta.
You can use almost any sauce you would put on pasta can be used with spaghetti squash. Some of our favorites are at the bottom.
Preparing Spaghetti Squash
Prep time for squash: about 30 minutes. Additional time for heating sauce.
Prepared squash can be refrigerated or frozen.
Spaghetti squash should be solid and yellow in color. They should be smooth, hard, and heavy for their size.
Spaghetti Squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month. After cutting, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Spaghetti squash also freezes well. Pack cooked squash into freezer bags, seal, label and freeze. Partially thaw before re-using, then steam until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place, cut side up in a microwave safe dish. Add a 1/4 cup of water to the dish. Season with salt and pepper.
Microwave loosely covered in 5 to 7 minute intervals until soft. Caution! squash will get very hot! You may need two or three 5 minute blasts.
Once squash is soft, allow to cool until you can hold it without a pot holder. This will take five minutes or so. Scrape flesh long ways with a dinner fork into a bowl. The flesh will peel out in long strands like spaghetti.
Mix with sauce
Of course you can use just about any tomato sauce. You may want to add a little extra spice. There are two favorites in our house.
Dump the squash flesh back into the dish you cooked the squash in. Add one can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies and maybe a dash of hot sauce. stir until combined. Microwave for one minute or until hot. Serve. May be too spicy for children.
Combine one cup of cooked squash with one wedge of Laughing Cow low fat cheese. Microwave until cheese is melted. stir and serve. A filling 70 calorie side dish