Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Sauce

I've been on Weight Watchers since January. I've gone from a size 26 to a size 20. It blows my mind that this is actually working! This is the first time that I've lost a significant amount of weight in years.

Then...I got lazy. I started eating cheeseburgers and fries, pasta and garlic bread, carbs, carbs, carbs and more carbs. Not surprisingly, the scale started to go up again and those size 20 capris felt a little too tight. So, I joined a gym and started looking for some low-carb recipes to satisfy my cravings while letting me keep wearing my new clothes.

Italian food is my downfall. There is nothing better to me than a large plate of thin pasta swimming in creamy sherry-spiked marinara sauce with chicken draped in provolone served next to a basket full of garlic rolls dripping in oil and butter.

Evil, I tell you.

I kept running across recipes for spaghetti squash. It's a vegetable that, when roasted, can be shredded into spaghetti-like strands. I kept reading about the health benefits (Folic acid! Beta carotene! vitamin A!) and marveled at how an entire squash was only about 50 calories when cooked. After reading a few recipes, I came up with this.

The Stuff

Football sized spaghetti squash
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Half of a zucchini, cubed
3 oz of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 jar of light Prego marinara sauce

The Process

First, you have to cut that sucker in half across the long side. It took some doing! That thing has some thick skin. Then, take a spoon and scrape out all of the seeds and gross stuff. Preheat the oven to 375 and put your halved spaghetti squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the EVOO and sprinkle your seasonings all over it. Then turn it cut side down and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the squash cut side up and bake for another 45 minutes.

The sauce comes together so quickly that I waited until the squash was cooked and let it cool. I put a large skillet over high heat and melted the butter. Add the sliced mushrooms and zucchini and saute until they are soft. I had to add a little extra EVOO to keep things moist. Then I added half a jar of the sauce. While everything simmered on low, I scraped out the squash into long spaghetti-like strings. It all got added to the sauce and sauteed / simmered everything together. A sprinkle of Parmesan and my dinner was done.

An entire skillet of delicious Italian food was about 168 calories. I practically gorged myself on dinner that was about 3 points total and high in all of the vitamins that I've been needing. Do yourself a favor and try this. Don't be afraid of something new!

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