What a delicious alternative to spaghetti. You don’t even have to be a vegetable lover to really enjoy this dish. Spaghetti squash is a bright yellow, football shaped vegetable with pale yellow, stringy flesh, that resembles spaghetti when cooked. It has a slightly sweet flavor. I’ve topped it with a yummy tomato sauce. The skinny for each serving, 97 calories, 3 grams of fat and 2 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. Works perfect as a vegetarian meal or as a side dish for beef, chicken or fish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes-for the spaghetti squash
Cook Time: 15 minutes for the spaghetti squash, if cooked in microwave
1 (~3½ lbs) spaghetti squash
1½ cups onions, chopped
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 medium tomatoes, (2½ cups) chopped or 2½ cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 medium zucchini (about 3 cups) sliced into ¼ inch pieces
¼ cup fresh snipped basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil.
2. To cook spaghetti squash in the oven: Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the squash in several places. Place on baking pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until tender. To cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave: Pierce the squash in several places with a fork. Place in microwave and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, until soft. Let stand for 5 minutes or so afterward, to finish steaming.
3. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan, cook the onions in olive oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring often or until the zucchini is crisp-tender. Keep warm.
4. Once squash is cooked, cool slightly and carefully slice in half. Remove the seeds and discard. Use a fork to shred the squash into long strands in a bowl.
5. To serve: Place the spaghetti squash on a serving platter or individual plates. Pour the sauce over the squash. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Makes 8 servings (each serving, ⅛ of recipe)
Spaghetti squash, also called vegetable spaghetti, is so named because of its flesh, which when cooked, separates into yellow-gold spaghetti-like strands. They’re available year round with the peak season from fall though winter. Spaghetti squash originated in Mexico.
Spaghetti squash is a healthy alternative to pasta. It is praised for containing few calories, no fat or sodium. It’s low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. It makes a wonderful choice if you’re on a low carb diet. Topped with tomato sauce boosts the levels of vitamin C.
Choose spaghetti squash that are hard and smooth with an even pale yellow color. Avoid greenish squash which is still immature or those with bruised or damaged spots. Store un-cut spaghetti squash for up to 3 weeks at room temperature.
It’s easier to shred the spaghetti squash if you use an oven mitt or dish towel to hold the halved squash at an angle. Use a fork to rake the stringy pulp from the warm shell into a bowl.
Weight Watchers (old points) 1
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 2
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (each serving, 1/8 of recipe, not including Parmesan cheese)
97 calories, 3g fat, 2g protein, 17g carbs, 4g fiber, 140mg sodium, 4g sugar
|FAT FACTS: The skinny and fat facts are the same for this recipe|