Squash Those Pasta Cravings!

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Olive Oil

Craving pasta, but wishing you didn’t love the starchy stuff? While whole wheat pasta is fine in moderation, it is understandable to wish you were craving something a little healthier. This is where spaghetti squash comes in- tastes like pasta, looks like pasta, but is actually a winter squash that packs in a ton of nutrition with every bite! Spaghetti squash is rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. The healthy fat in the olive oil aids in the absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin. Also, spaghetti squash is a rich source or vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium! Make enough for seconds – you’re going to want them!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)

4 cloves garlic

1 medium zucchini squash

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C grape tomatoes, halved

1 C reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

2 basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise. Remove pulp. Place on baking sheet (skin facing upward) and bake for 45 mins- 1 hour.

3. After spaghetti squash has been cooking for approximately 30 minutes, dice zucchini and mince garlic.

4. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add zucchini and garlic powder. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add minced garlic, chopped basil leaves and halved tomatoes to skillet with zucchini. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat.

6. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pull squash with a fork. It should be easily removed and appear as long, thin, soft strands of spaghetti. If this is not the case, continue to cook squash and resume once squash is finished cooking. Add squash to skillet with vegetables and warm over low-medium heat.

7. Add remaining olive oil, salt and ground black pepper. Add chopped basil leaves to skillet. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Mix in feta cheese and cook 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 312 calories, Fat 26 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 578 mg, Carbohydrates 15 mg, Fiber 3 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 5 g, Calcium 166 mg

A Pasta Dish With Pumped Up Nutrition

Craving pasta? Have no fear! This pasta dish will fill you up without weighing you down! The whole wheat pasta offers fiber and nutrients that aren’t naturally present in refined, white pasta. This will help to pump up the nutrition of this dish and may keep you fuller, longer. Also, this pasta dish isn’t loaded with fat – instead, it contains a ton of veggies, with a modest amount of healthy fat (mostly monounsaturated fat from the olive oil). The fat aids in the absorption of vitamins A and K, both present in this dish from hefty amounts of tomatoes and spinach! The best part about this dish? It can be ready in about 25 minutes! Easy dinners just got a whole lot healthier!

Ingredients (serves 6):

6 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti or angel hair

3 C spinach, raw

1.5 C grape tomatoes

1 container (3.5 oz) low-fat feta cheese, crumbled

2 large cloves garlic

1 small onion

8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Boil water in large pot for pasta.

2. While pasta is boiling, chop onion, and tomatoes and mince garlic. Tomatoes should be cut into quarters.

3. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in medium skillet and heat over medium heat.

4. Place onion in skillet and heat approximately 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir occasionally.

5. Add garlic to skillet. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. If the water is boiling at this point (it most likely will be) then add pasta. If you’d like, break pasta in half before adding to water. Stir pasta occasionally.

7. Add tomatoes to skillet. Continue cooking 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and black pepper. Allow spinach to wilt (about 2-3 minutes).

8. When pasta is done cooking (approximately 7-9 minutes), drain. Place remaining 6 Tbsp olive oil in pot and lower to low-medium heat.

9. Add pasta to large pot with olive oil and mix ingredients. Add veggie mixture from skillet to pasta and stir. Heat approximately 2 minutes.

10. Add feta cheese and stir. Heat approximately 2 minutes. Divide into 6 portions and serve.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 319 calories, Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugars 3 g, Protein 8 g, Sodium 248 mg, Calcium 83 mg