Recipe for Garlicky Spaghetti (Squash) and Asparagus at the bottom of this post!
So here’s the thing. I make a conscious effort to do what I’ve decided to call eating “smart”. I wish I could say I eat completely healthy foods all of the time… but the truth of the matter is, I love bacon, peanut butter, and cheese way too much to make the healthiest possible choices at all times.
I am, however, a new member of Weight Watchers, and over the past four weeks I have been following the WW program, I have lost a pound to a pound and a half each week. And I had Wendy’s one time. And dessert when I was on vacation last weekend. So go figure. What I’m learning, though the process of looking up and tracking my daily ‘points’, is that eating is a game of give and take. I absolutely can, and will, have bacon every now and then. But when I do eat bacon, I will plan the rest of my daily points accordingly, to allow for the delicious, crispy treat.
My point, which I promise to stick to now, is that food is good, I like it, and I’m happy that with WW I do not have to feel that eating smart is a lifelong sentence of misery. With that said, my biggest obstacle to a life of eating smart is not bacon, or even peanut butter… but PASTA.
Pasta is just so stupid delicious, and I could honestly eat it every night of the week. Now, on WW, I could eat pasta every night- as 1 cup of cooked spaghetti is 5 points (before sauce, meatballs, cheese & garlic bread enter the equation). The problem is not the sauce or the cheese, however, it is the simple fact that no human could possibly eat only one cup of pasta, without returning for seconds. Not this human, anyway. To me, pasta is like a can of Pringles. Once you
pop scoop some delicious pasta onto your plate, you just can’t stop.
Fortunately, for the sake of my waistline and fast-approaching wedding day… I have finally discovered the magical pasta-addicts remedy that is Spaghetti Squash. I heard good things about this vegetable, but was slightly skeptical that a squash could satisfy the way a big plate of pasta does. So, I had to try it out!
The answer to my dinner-time woes
There are a few cons to the cooking and eating of Spaghetti Squash in place of pasta.
a) It doesn’t really taste like pasta. So if you expect a forkful of carb-filled goodness in your first bite, you will be disappointed. But if you try spaghetti squash expecting to taste a yummy vegetable, I believe you will be quite pleased.
b) It is expensive. One spaghetti squash costs around $6.00.
c) It is kind of a pain to cook/prepare. Cooking a SS takes about 45 minutes, so plan ahead.
Cons aside, the spaghetti squash meal I prepared last night had some very big pros.
a) The final meal was, to me, completely delicious, and very filling. (Recipe below!)
b) Spaghetti squash, being a vegetable, is a whopping ZERO POINTS for all you Weight Watchers folks out there. I repeat… ZERO points. Dig in.
c) I felt great after dinner, and can’t wait to cook SS again!
And so, without further ado, I present to you my recipe for Garlicky Spaghetti (Squash) and Asparagus
1 spaghetti squash (find it in the produce section at your local grocery store!)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
2 teaspoons Minced garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cooking the Spaghetti Squash
There are several different ways to cook a Spaghetti Squash. I opted for what seemed to be the easiest route- cooking the squash whole in my oven.
1. Puncture several holes in the squash with a fork.
2. Place the squash in a baking dish close to its size, and add 1 1/2 cups of water
3. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with little resistance.
4. Allow squash to cool, then slice the squash lengthwise with a large, sharp knife.
5. Remove the seeds from the center of each section.
6. Use a fork or a knife to scoop out the insides, creating stringy, spaghetti like pieces!
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned.
2. Add asparagus and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until asparagus can be easily pierced with a fork.
(I have double the oil/asparagus in my saucepan, as I cooked pasta for FH to mix with half. He was not sold on the delicious promise of the spaghetti squash!)
Toss the spaghetti squash & asparagus until evenly coated in the garlic oil sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
WW people- the only cost in this meal is the EVOO (and cheese if you use it). I calculated my meal at a total of 9 points plus!
The verdict- spaghetti squash scores! Have you ever tried it? What creative & healthy meals have you cooked lately?