Speedy Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is an excellent alternative to reduce intake of simple carbohydrates from pasta without having to completely ditch robust flavors from traditional pasta dishes such as marinara sauce with meatballs and parmesan, chicken and pesto sauce, shrimp primavera, etc.
Simple/refined carbohydrates, like pasta, lack fiber. During digestion, they are converted to sugar and quickly absorbed. This quick absorption leads to fluctuations (swings) in blood sugar levels, which also negatively impacts energy levels and mood.
Due to the lack of fiber, refined carbohydrates often leave you hungry within an hour. If you’re trying to manage blood sugar or are looking to lose a few pounds, subbing your pasta for spaghetti squash is a smart move.
To compare, 1 cup of cooked pasta contains approximately 221 calories and 42g of carbohydrates. For 1 cup of spaghetti squash, you’ll consume approximately 42 calories and 10g of carbohydrates.
On a busy night, it might seem simpler to whip up some spaghetti instead of roasting a squash. Spaghetti squash doesn’t have to take 45 minutes (plus) to prepare.
It can easily be the base of a healthy meal that is ready in 30 minutes or less.
Here’s my method:
- Cut the squash in half horizontally, not vertically, as most roasting recipes require. (This is the width of the squash, not the length).
- Scrape out the seeds. (Set them aside to roast them later just like you roast pumpkin seeds. They’re delicious with a little olive oil, sea salt, paprika and cayenne).
- Place one half of the squash open-side-down on a microwave safe plate/dish.
- Put a little water on the plate. A few tablespoons is enough to coat the bottom.
- Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes. You can stop the microwave at 10 minutes to check for doneness. It should be slightly soft.
- Once done, let cool for approx. 5 minutes. Place it in the freezer for about 1 minute if you really want to speed up the process.
- Scrape out the “noodles” and serve with a protein-filled sauce and more veggies on the side!