Archive | February 21, 2012

Add Variety While Eating More Vegetables: Try Spaghetti Squash

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
Clinical Nutrition Manager

Sometimes it is easy to get in a rut when it comes to eating vegetables. So, why not try something different and in season? How about Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti Squash is a very versatile and easy vegetable to prepare. It can be baked, boiled, or microwaved. Once cooked, throw out the seeds and run a fork through to scrape out the spaghetti-like strands.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a good source of Vitamin C, low in sodium, and contains a modest amount of carotenoids. Its best feature? It is relatively low in calories and carbohydrate making it an excellent substitute for pasta, rice, or potatoes at any meal. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 42 calories, 10g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 2.2 g fiber.

Spaghetti Squash can be served with pasta sauce, tossed with diced plum tomatoes and garlic or a small amount of feta cheese and basil. Anything you toss with spaghetti noodles you can toss with spaghetti squash! Give it a try!

Spaghetti Squash w/Herbs
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

To shorten the preparation time, pierce the spaghetti squash several times with a fork and microwave for 8 – 10 minutes. Slice in half, remove seeds and scrape strands into serving dish.

• 1 (3 lb) spaghetti squash
• 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
• 2 tsp margarine
• ½ tsp dried whole basil
• ¼ tsp salt
• ⅛ tsp pepper
• Dash of dried whole sage
• Fresh basil sprig

Wash squash and cut in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds. Place squash, cut sides down, in a Dutch oven. Add water to pan to depth of 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until squash is tender. Drain squash and let cool. Using fork, remove spaghetti-like strands from squash. Discard shells. Place strands in a serving bowl and add parsley, margarine, and other seasonings. Gently toss and serve.
Serves: 8
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 50
Total Fat: 1.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
% of Calories from Fat: 27%
% Calories from Sat Fat: 0% Protein: 1g
Carbohydrates: 9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sodium: 105mg
Each serving provides: A good source of vitamins C and K.

Recipe courtesy of University of Illinois Extension Family Nutrition Program.