Who doesn’t crave a good bowl of pasta once in a while? It’s cheap, filling and cooks in less than 10 minutes. Not to mention it is absolutely delicious. An easy pasta dish is certainly good for those nights when you need dinner in a pinch. If only it were lower in calories and carbohydrates, you could eat it all the time.
Ah, but you can have your spaghetti and eat more of it too. My not-so-secret secret is to ditch the pasta all together and use spaghetti squash instead. Spaghetti squash has a mere 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup compared to the 210 calories and 41 grams of carbohydrates in a cup of cooked pasta. Sadly, a cup of pasta isn’t all that much. I’d argue that most people have at least 2 servings in one sitting. Imagine how many cups of squash you could have for the same amount of calories. Somewhere along the lines of 4-5 cups.
Take a look at my lunch from the other day. Looks amazing doesn’t it?
That’s not spaghetti y’all; it’s squash and let me tell you it is just as delicious as it looks. The recipe calls for chicken but you could just as easily make this a vegetarian dish. Between the squash and the kale this meal is loaded with vitamins and minerals; giving your dinner and/or lunch a huge nutritional boost.
Besides having fewer calories, less carbs and more of the good stuff, it is also light on the stomach compared to regular spaghetti. I can’t promise you that the taste will is exactly the same but nonetheless it is as tasty, maybe even more so.
Roasting the squash is the longest part of the process but it couldn’t be any easier to do. Just pop it in the oven, set your timer for 45 minutes and go about your business. Once that is cooked, it takes less than 10 minutes to put this all together. The roasting could also be done ahead of time and then reheated when you are ready to eat.
I used marinara sauce from a jar which cuts down on the prep time significantly. The only downside of the jarred stuff is the high amounts of sodium that come along with it. When I have the extra time I will most certainly put the effort in, dice my own tomatoes and make a fresh sauce that is much lower in sodium. If you also prefer fresh sauce, I have a great pasta recipe with fire roasted tomatoes and goat cheese. That sauce would pair wonderfully with this dish. Simply swap out whole wheat pasta for spaghetti squash, add some kale and you’re golden.
Spaghetti Squash Italian Style
- 1 Spaghetti Squash (sliced in half)
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 pinch Salt & Pepper
- 2 cups Marinara Sauce (pre-made)
- 2 cups Pre-cooked Chicken Breast (diced (or more if desired))
- 4 cups Kale (chopped (or more if desired))
- Parmesan Cheese (grated)
|Preheat the oven to 400. Take the 2 halves of squash, lightly brush them with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast them in the oven for 45 minutes or until you can easily stick a fork through the center. Once fully cooked allow it them to cool for 10 minutes. In the mean time heat the marinara sauce to desired temperature on the stove top. |
Once the squash has cooled a bit, use a fork to scoop out the spaghetti like strands and put them into a large bowl. Add the kale (raw), the chicken and the heated marinara sauce. Toss until well mixed.
To serve, place 4 equal portions into pasta bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.