Friday, February 28, 2014

Spaghetti squash.... a great alternative!

Good "bitter cold" Morning from Northern Michigan! The ACTUAL temperature right now is -26 degrees! YIKES!  I'm not looking forward to going out in this frigid weather in a little while to go to work, but I'm grateful for my job so I'll just bundle up the best I can. 
When my large extend family gathers frequently for a meal, the menu often includes a family favorite: my Uncle Bob's (previously my grandpa's) famous spaghetti! It seems like everyone in the family....from babies to senior citizens.....find it irresistible, including me. When I started my weight loss journey three years ago I thought that I had eaten my last spaghetti dinner for life, and for the first 18 months of my journey, I avoided this meal altogether. Spaghetti noodles and other pastas just have too many calories for me to justify, even the lower fat or whole wheat versions. Really, I could have just ate a bit, but I was "too compulsive" back then and wouldn't even try it.  

BUT....then I learned a great tip; one that many of you that have belonged to a weight loss group or program for years, probably already knows:  SPAGHETTI SQUASH!!!   It's easy to make, the stringy texture makes it look and taste like spaghetti (well sort of), and it actually tastes great with a bit of sauce on it. I've also tried sauce on green beans or zucchini and it's not bad, but the spaghetti squash is actually my favorite. It's not always easy to find in my rural grocery store, but the big box stores typically have them when they are in season.

I made spaghetti sauce this week using ground turkey and cooked a squash last night. I'm not a great cook by any means, but I thought it was a great alternative. Not only is the squash low in calories, but it has a lot of fiber too. You should try it sometime.

What tips or secrets do you have to reduce the calorie content in other pasta dishes???