Whether you are die hard Paleo or someone just looking to cut back on your carb consumption, this is the number one mistake I see being made time and time again. I have seen hundreds (literally!) of pictures of people making this same mistake. Don’t worry, I’ve cleared out my inbox to make room for all the thank you emails that are about to come my way!
Spaghetti squash is commonly used as a gluten-free replacement for pasta. By roasting this veggie up and pulling apart the strands with a fork, it gives you the sense of satisfaction from eating “pasta” without racking up all those carbs. It’s light flavor goes well with many Italian-style dishes.
But if it’s called “spaghetti” squash, why when you cook it does it come out nothing like spaghetti? Because you are doing it all wrong!
The Perfect Pasta Alternative
There are roughly 43 grams of carbohydrates in one cup of spaghetti pasta. There are just 7 grams of carbs in a cup of spaghetti squash. That is a huge difference! Not to mention, spaghetti squash is a great pasta replacement for those who follow the Paleo diet or who are gluten-free for any reason.
For these two reasons, many people- including myself- have been willing to put up with this sad excuse for pasta, those tiny little strands that kind of lump together on your plate. I just want to twirl some pasta on my fork just like everyone else! Well, this one trick will make that happen.
There Are Two Ways to Skin a Cat- But ONE Way to Cut a Squash!
I have been eating spaghetti squash in place of pasta for several years now and I will admit, I had been making this very same mistake until about 3 months ago when I randomly stumbled upon an image in my google search that changed everything.
The most common way to prepare a spaghetti squash is to cut it in half, long ways, put some olive oil, salt and pepper on it and put it in the oven for a half hour or so. When it comes out, the squash is tender enough to pull apart with a fork and you end up with these short little strands that are- let’s be honest- not going to be mistaken for spaghetti by anyone.
I, like most people, would just take this sad excuse for pasta, throw my Italian fixings on it and pretend I was eating something my grandmother would be proud of. (She’d be appalled by it just for the record!)
Back to the picture I stumbled upon. I was looking for images of spaghetti squash online- because that’s what normal people do with their time, right?- and I saw one image that was very different from the rest. It looked a lot like the image above. See the round shape and the strands of squash running in a circular direction? Eureka!!
The spaghetti-like fibers of the squash don’t run the length of the squash. They actually run in rings. By cutting your spaghetti squash into inch thick rings and roasting those, when you pull it apart with your fork, you are left with these long, fantastically spaghetti-like strands. Trust me, when you haven’t had a piece of real pasta in a year or more, this is EXCITING news! So, grab your fork and get twirling!