It was freezing this weekend in New York, which made me crave something warm and savory. But instead of having a plate of pasta, I made spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and chicken sausage—which was every bit as delicious as the penne I’d originally been thinking of making, but with less than half the calories.
The secret? Spaghetti squash contains just 42 calories a cup, whereas the same amount of pasta contains 221. But the low calorie content is hardly the only reason to try this yellow winter squash, which is in season right now. On top of being chock full of vitamin C and niacin, it’s surprisingly versatile. Yes, you can pair it with tomato sauce or sprinkle the strands with a little salt or parmesan—but if it’s sweet that you seek, top it with a little cinnamon, brown sugar and a little spray butter and you’ve got a delectable, waist-friendly snack.
Bonus: even if you’re kitchen illiterate, spaghetti squash is very easy to make (really). Just cut the squash in two, scoop out the seeds, cover the open halves with tin foil and cook in an oven on 375 for about an hour. When it’s done (you’ll be able to tell because it will be easy to pierce the flesh), pull the strands out of the squash with a fork and put them straight on your plate.