For National Spaghetti Day, I’m choosing to forgo my favorite dinner and talk about a unique vegetable (or is it a fruit?): spaghetti squash.
Generally, our family has pasta at least once a week, and we have an entire shelf dedicated to it in our pantry. We are an active family and need our whole grain carbs several times a month.
However, if you want to, or need to lower your calorie intake, reduce your refined carbs and get more vegetables in your diet (let’s face it, most of us need these things), then try spaghetti squash instead of the pasta.
Compare 1 cup cooked Spaghetti noodles vs. Spaghetti squash
Spaghetti noodles (enriched white): 224 calories, 1.3 g fat, 1 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 3 grams fiber, 9 g protein.
Spaghetti noodles (whole wheat): 175 calories, 0.7 g fat, 4 mg sodium, 38 g carbs, 4 grams fiber, 8 g protein.
Spaghetti squash (cooked): 42 calories, 0.5 g fat, 28 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 2 grams fiber, 1 g protein.
What to Look For
Spaghetti squash is yellow most of the time, but sometimes looks white and is oval. Not the peach colored one, since that is butter nut squash. It is solid when it is fresh, and cuts up like most of the other squash, but once cooked it up and it falls apart and looks like spaghetti noodles.
Be careful microwaving it or it could it could make a mess, like what happened to my friend and fellow dietitian, Robin Plotkin, RD, LD.
Need a recipe?
There are many, but the Meal Makeover Mom’s, who are dietitians and wrote the book “No Whine with Dinner” of kid-tested, healthy meals, have this easy recipe to try: Saucy Spaghetti Squash. While kid approved, you don’t have to be a kid to try it.