Carbs are the best. I love them so much I want to marry 'em. Except they don't love me back quite as much. That is, the simple carbs that taste really really good, they are pretty misbehaved in the body. They break down quickly, leading to fluctuations in blood sugar. They are food for bacteria. They can lead to inflammation. They leave you wanting more, craving more.
Maintaining a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, is part of a healthy lifestyle. Whole grains, beans, legumes, soy, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies are the building blocks of any wholesome diet.
But sometimes you (and by you I mean me) just want a bowl of white pasta with some butter and parm cheese. Before you act on this craving, think about the WHY. Is there an emotional connection and this is simply comfort food? Do you just really dislike the taste of whole wheat pasta? Are you starving and this is the easiest thing to make right now? Rather than limiting yourself to a small portion (2 oz for most pasta), instead try subbing your pasta with veggies!
Spiralized zucchini is my jam, and very trendy right now, but let't not forget about the classic that is spaghetti squash. This squash has only 10 grams of carbohydrate per cup (cooked) - compare that to the 35-50 grams of grain based pasta, depending on the shape and size of the noodle. Rich amounts of vitamins C, B6 and mineral potassium is another great benefit of eating this veggie. What else? Well, it tastes delicious!
Cooking this bad boy can be a little intimidating for a first timer, so follow this guide and you will have perfect spaghetti squash every time!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Poke holes around the diameter of the squash, lengthwise.
3. Place in microwave for 3-6 minutes depending on the size.
4. Using the holes as a guide, cut the squash in half. Scoop out seeds.
5. Liberally coat inner squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
6. Place face down on the baking sheet and cook in oven for 45 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, flip squash halves over. Using two forks, pull at the flesh of the squash and it will separate looking like thin strands of spaghetti.
***See pictures below!
Bright flavors like garlic and lemon go well with this sweet veggie. I recommend preparing this Chicken Piccata with your squash, add a side of steamed broccoli for a pop of color!