So you know those forty-or-so extra points that Weight Watchers gives you for treats and stuff throughout the week? Well, yesterday I used A LOT of them. Twenty-two to be exact.
To give you some perspective, my daily points target is twenty-nine.
It was just one of those days. First, I burned off an outstanding amount of my body’s fuel in cycling class. My hunger then became violently enhanced by menstrual cravings and an immediate need for sugar and Mexican food. Naturally, Kenzie came to my aid and suggested just the thing: dinner at Nuevo Vallarta followed by forty-five minutes of thoroughly browsing the Christmas section at Fred Meyer. After returning home, I was somehow still inclined to eat. I did not resist a helping of my mom’s Berry Streusel Pie, nor did I regret it. The pie, along with half a cup of vanilla ice cream, cost me 12 points.
But this is all okay because WW is designed for days like these. Weight Watchers wants me to use my extra points on days like these.
After such days I find it’s smart to plan ahead and begin to manage my points for the rest of the week. Since I have already used so many PointsPlus, I need to look for meals that are lower in point values, but that will also keep me satisfied. And that’s where my new recipe comes in. Namely, it’s Spaghetti Squash.
The recipe I’m going to share with you isn’t really a recipe. It’s more like I’m just telling you how to cook and prepare spaghetti squash on a very basic level.
I first heard of spaghetti squash when my friend Sarah, knowing how much I love pasta dishes, told me that it’s a great substitute for pasta that she often serves with meat sauce and parmesan. She even bought me a squash that I, regretably, let go to waste. It wasn’t until my friend Jordynn invited me over for dinner that I got to try it, but I was sold after the first bite. The texture is quite different than that of pasta; it’s a bit crunchy. But the flavor is mild enough that it’s vegetable-ness is disguised under a light coating of olive oil, a pool of red sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It was indeed an agreeable replacement for pasta that I have and will continue to incorporate into my regular-basis-recipes.
Spaghetti Squash with Marinara – 7 Points
The dish, as I prepare it, is worth very few points and is thus very good when you need to make up for indulgent eating that happened earlier in the week. Since fruits and vegetables are worth zero points in the PointsPlus program (yay!!!), you don’t need to worry about tracking the squash. You need only track what you use to season and garnish it. As I mentioned earlier, spaghetti – like squash – is great with meat sauce, but is just as good with plain marinara. (I would share a meat sauce recipe with you, but do not yet have experience in making one). I should also add that spaghetti squash stores just fine after it’s been cooked. Put the remaining squash into a bowl covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container and store up to 2 days.
- 1 small spaghetti squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup marinara
- 1/4 cup Kroger parmesan cheese, shredded
- basil (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° and position oven rack to center position. Place whole squash in a shallow baking pan. Prick the squash on all sides with a fork or skewer to prevent from exploding. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until flesh is tender.
Meanwhile, heat marinara in a small sauce pan over low heat, stirring frequently.
Once cool enough to handle, cut squash in half lengthwise with a knife and remove seeds. Using a fork, gently comb out the strands from the squash and transfer to a large bowl.
Place the desired amount of squash into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Stir in salt pepper to preference. Pour warm sauce over the top of the squash. Garnish with parmesan and basil.
Enjoy the rest of your week!