Spaghetti squash is a yellow winter squash with flesh that, when cooked, separates into spaghetti-like strands. It’s super-low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a good substitute for pasta if you’re watching your weight. But anyone can appreciate the sweet and nutty squash tossed with Parmesan, garlic, parsley and good-quality olive oil.
Here’s the comparison of pasta versus spaghetti squash, per cooked cup:
Spaghetti: 221 calories, 1.3 g fat, 43 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber
Spaghetti squash: 42 calories, 0.4 grams fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 2.2 g fiber
Parmesan-Garlic Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Using a sharp knife, halve the squash lengthwise. Using a sturdy spoon, remove the seeds (as if removing seeds from a pumpkin). Place the halves, cut side down, in a large roasting pan. Add enough water to the pan to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the squash halves. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Flip the squash halves over, cover with foil, cook 15 more minutes, until the flesh is very tender and pulls apart easily when tested with a fork.
3. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the foil and cool slightly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, run a fork through the flesh to separate it into strands. Discard the outer skin. Transfer the squash (which now looks like spaghetti) to a large bowl and set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the squash and Parmesan cheese and cook 1 to 2 minutes to heat through, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Nutrition Info Per Serving
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 18 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Sodium: 156 milligrams
Cholesterol: 52 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
Robin Miller is host of Quick Fix Meals, a nutritionist and author of 10 cookbooks, including “Robin Takes 5” and “Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families.” She is the busy mom of two active boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinmillercooks.com.