I hope you all have been having a wonderful New Year so far! To start your New Year on the right foot, start by celebrating National Spaghetti Day the healthier way. Most people make the same resolution every year- to change their diet and to exercise more. The thing is that most do not end up keeping this promise for more than a few weeks. 2016 is the year to change that for good!
Start your New Year right by revamping one of your favorite foods into a new and improved healthy dish.
Oodles of Zoodles
Classic spaghetti that you are probably familiar with typically consists of simple carbohydrates that are quickly metabolized into sugar in your blood. Instead of eating refined white pasta, vegetables can easily be turned into spaghetti. One of the best new inventions is the spiralizer. The spiralizer is a kitchen device that can turn many different vegetables into long, spiraling noodles. It is sold in different forms- from simple hand tubes to larger stand-up devices with a hand-crank. Either way, it gets the job done. One of my favorite vegetables to spiralize is the zucchini. Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles” are a low calorie vegetable alternative to pasta that and contain no cholesterol or saturated fat! It also is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. With such an array of nutrients, it is the perfect replacement for spaghetti. Zucchini noodles cook very quickly in boiling water so make sure you keep on eye on your pot. Just be careful not to overcook it!
Bring on the Squash!
Not a fan of zucchini? No worries. There are plenty of other options for replacing your carb-laden spaghetti. One of my favorite spaghetti alternatives is spaghetti squash. The best part about this dish is how easy it is to prepare! Take your spaghetti squash and poke a few holes in it with a knife. The microwave the squash for 7-10 minutes, slice it in half, remove the seeds, and scrape the insides with a fork to pull out the spaghetti-like flesh of the squash. If you have a bit more time you can also poke some holes and bake the squash whole until tender. Either way you will get a delicious spaghetti substitute that is loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium!
Don’t forget to finish off your dish with some pasta sauce! I tend to prefer a simple homemade spaghetti sauce with a lot of fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil but you can also take the canned route. Make sure you choose a pasta sauce without too much sodium and no added sugar. These are the best options for your pasta. If you are not a fan of the traditional red sauce, you can mix it up with a light pesto. In a food processor or blender combine bunches of basil, garlic, some pine nuts, a bit of parmesan cheese, and a light drizzle of olive oil. To make things even simpler, you could brown some garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then combine this with your spaghetti of choice. No matter how you choose to dress up your spaghetti, it will be delicious and nutritious!
Your turn to take action: Ease your way into spaghetti replacements by swapping out half the traditional spaghetti with zoodles, spaghetti squash, or any other vegetable replacement you can think of. Let me know how you like it, comment below.