With the arctic temperatures this past weekend, and a rainy 8 mile long run on Monday, all I wanted to eat was a big bowl of spaghetti. For me pasta can be a slippery slope. I tend not to be able to stick with the 1/2 cup recommend serving size, and have yet to find anyone who can. My dilemma with pasta is always volume vs calories. When it comes to pasta my stomach is like a bottomless pit!
Now there are some fabulous whole wheat versions of pasta out there like Dreamfields, Ronzoni and 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Pasta. These types of whole-wheat pasta are made from “whole durum wheat” or “whole semolina.” Both described as coarsely ground whole durum wheat, which is rich in protein and gluten and fiber. These whole grain pasta still were not going to solve my desire for a large volume of food at my meal, while keeping my calorie count low. What’s a girl to do?
Well I took a hint from my gluten free eaters out there and gave spaghetti squash a try! It is the prefect solution to my volume vs calorie dilemma. Each cup of the cooked squash contains only 42 calories and 10 grams carbohydrate (3g fiber) compared to my 1 cup of Dreamfields, pasta where 1 cup (2 oz) is about 190 calories and 41g carbohydrate (5g fiber). That is 150 calorie save per cup!
There was a recipe on my Pintrest board that I was dying to try and to “lighten” up from Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom, that goes prefect with spaghetti squash. This has to be one of my favorite creations, comfort food that I can eat larger volumes without going over board on calories, a dream come true! And for all my vegetarians out there, the sauce is so good so just skip the chicken, you could add white beans for a little extra protein.
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium white onion chopped
- 3/4 cup basil chopped
- 1 container of Cherub/grape tomatoes
- 3 boneless chicken breast
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups Baby Spinach
Step 1: Cook Spaghetti Squash
a. cut spaghetti squash in 1/2 length wise (I microwave for 3 minutes prior to soften the skin)
b. place facedown on cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes
c. remove from oven and let cool slightly
d. remove seeds
e. scrape the flesh from the squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place into a small serving bowl
Step 2: Using a mallet/meat tenderizer, pound the chicken breast. Season with salt & pepper. Place in hot skillet with 2 Tbps olive oil. Cook chicken about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.