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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto & Parmesan (Plus a New Category!)

February 26, 2013

It seems I’ve taken quite an interest in healthy, low-calorie recipes lately.  That isn’t to say I’ve lost my love for butter-laden, sugar-filled, decadent delights like these.  Quite the contrary, I “pin” them constantlybut for special occasions.  That is the key.

For everyday living, I think it’s time we all faced a few facts.

FACT:  None of us is free from concern about eating nutritiously.  You may live your life as though you are… but in truth, you are accountable to someone.  SOMEone counts on you to take care of yourself and your health.   (And I’ll bet in most cases, a few someones.)

FACT:  Even if you weigh 90 lbs soaking wet, you may very well have a family history of high cholesterol.  Or maybe you struggle to gain weight! (I hear this is a real problem for some.  Not this girl!)  Whatever your specific set of health stats looks like, it is critical to be mindful of how you fuel your body.   Are you fueling it to accomplish great things?  Or are you eating yourself straight into an early grave?

FACT:  Eating healthfully is only boring if you are lazy.

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And here’s another fact for ya.  Never before in our nation’s history have we had this much access to a good “food-education.”  Here’s a great site to start with!   Here’s another!  All the information you need is literally at your fingertips.

Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Source: Harvard School of Public Health

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So we are without excuse.  We have every tool we need to empower ourselves to adopt a healthful way of eating.  The only thing we seem to lack… is discipline.

Eeek!  I’ll need to go back and read that to myself the next time I have a moment of weakness (which, I’ll be honest, will probably hit around 9:00 pm tonight.)  But it’s true!  And one of the best ways we can help ourselves in the area of discipline is to start finding healthy foods we actually like!

Rustic Chicken Pesto Pizzetas    prettyhungrygirl.wordpress.com

Chicken Pesto Pizzetas

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No one has to force-feed my husband his favorite Greek yogurt with honey!  He loves it, AND it’s good for him.  And no one has to twist my arm to get me to eat my steel-cuts oats every morning.  I do it cuz they’re yummy!

Anyway, I’m finding that lately I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with new dishes that will make my husband’s and my healthy lifestyle more exciting!  Today I’m sharing one such recipe with you.

Ever tried spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti Squash~

This gourd, named for it string-like inner flesh, is a great substitute for heavy, carb-laden pastas.  It basically takes on the flavor of whatever you add to it… and only sets you back 40 calories per cup (before add-ins.)    Who doesn’t love a meal they can eat four bowls of and not feel the least bit guilty?!?

Tonight for supper I made a little “Spaghetti Squash Bar”… complete with all sorts of healthy add-ins.  Spinach, pesto, marinara sauce, feta cheese, parmesan, flaked tuna.  It was delicious and everyone could tailor their own bowl to their liking 🙂  I’m a new fan of this amazingly versatile vegetable.  And I think you should be too!

Here are some basic instructions for preparing it…

Basic Spaghetti Squash

Soften the skin of a medium spaghetti squash in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the microwave and use a sharp knife to slice into two halves.  Place halves face-down on a baking sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 40-45 minutes til fork tender.  (Alternatively you can microwave the squash halves face-down in 1/4 inch of water for 7-10 minutes.)  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Use a fork to scrape the stringy inner flesh out.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with vegetables, pasta sauce, cheese, or other desired toppings.

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And speaking of healthy eating, I’ve added a new category to this website!   You’ll notice if you look off to the right that among the usual categories of desserts, main dishes, soups, etc… there now sits a “Healthy” menu as well.  The health-related recipes and posts were starting to add up and I figured it would be useful to have them all in one place for those of you who might want  to find them later.

Categories

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Hope it’s helpful!  Now go get healthy 😉  I highly recommend you start by buying some spaghetti squash.

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