Spaghetti Squash “Spaghetti”

So this recipe was inspired by my MFP friend Meaghan, who made a much more complicated spaghetti squash recipe, but suggested for my first time trying it to make it like traditional spaghetti and just serve it with my favorite pasta sauce.  So that’s what I did, I made spaghetti with a spaghetti squash.

First preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Then (carefully) cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

The place the squash on a baking sheet, spray the cut side with non-stick spray (or if not staying low cal, brush with butter, oil etc so it doesn’t stick) and place the squash cut side on the pan.  Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until softened and a little browned.

Now that the squash is roasting away, time to get the sauce going.  I whipped up a very simple sauce, I used Bertolli Marinara with Burgandy Wine (was on sale, turned out to be really good) and I added some browned ground turkey to it.  Of course you can keep it veggie and add something like mushrooms.  I hemmed and hawed about the mushrooms and decided not to get any, but then later wished I would have. Ah well.. live and learn.

Once the squash is good and roasted, pull it out and let it cool a little bit until you can handle it.  Using a fork, scrape the insides of the squash and the flesh will automatically break apart into ribbons or “noodles”.  (It’s hard to see, but here is in progress).

Toss your squash “noodles” in a bowl, top with your sauce and some Parmesan cheese and you are ready to eat!

(The squash is hiding under there somewhere).

Price:  Well, at first I balked a little at the squash being two dollars a pound, and my very small (but hefty) 2 pound squash would be 4$.  I thought this was a bit much, but as I went to the pasta aisle to get the sauce, I noticed most of the pasta was between $1.50 and $3.00 for a 1 pound box.  (I’m used to super sales and getting pasta for 50 cents a box, but you can’t always get that).  So, it was pretty much a push on the price.  Not more, not less.

Nutrition: This is where the squash shines, depending on what you are looking for.  If you need low calorie, low carb, no gluten (like my friend Meaghan) then this is perfect for you.  1 cup of roasted spaghetti squash has 84 calories, 20 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.  A similar serving of pasta has 210 calories, 42 grams of carb and 7 grams protein (some, if not all of that is gluten).

Verdict: Well.. Like most of the sites I read about spaghetti squash, it’s basically flavorless.  So it was pretty much like eating a bowl of spaghetti sauce.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing.  I think next time I make it I will surely gussy it up a bit more fancy with some mushrooms and veggies and feta cheese the way Meaghan did.  But it was worth trying.  Always cool to try something new.

Weekly Recap 4-23-12 to 4-29-12

Well, another successful week culminating in a fantastic 5K race Saturday morning and then some much needed yoga stretching this afternoon.  I also tried an interesting new thing for dinner tonight, which I will blog about tomorrow.  My mileage was a little lower this week since the race was only a 3 miler.  I’ll be bumping up my mileage the next two weeks in preparation for my 10K on May 12.  Here’s a look at the numbers.

Starting weight: 263
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Race – 5K
Sunday – Yoga – 70 minutes
Ending Weight –  261.2 (1.8 pounds loss)

Kinda surprised to see another solid weight loss this week, as I’ve mentioned before my 4 pound loss weeks always seem to be followed by a gain, but that big loss was also coming off a month long plateau, so maybe that helped keep the downward trend going.  I should hit 255 (100 pounds lost) right around my birthday at the end of May.  That will be a nice birthday present to myself.

2012 Forsyth County Law Enforcement Memorial 5K

This morning I ran the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Memorial 5K.  The race benefited the Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation which is a group that helps families of slain officers and helps pay for funerals and memorials for officers killed in the line of duty.  This was my first race in over a month, so it was nice to be running again in a race.  There’s something special about pinning that number on your chest.  This race is also my blog entry for the Automattic World Wide Word Press 5K.  

One is the loneliest number……

The course for this race wound around the campus of Wake Forest University here in Winston Salem.  It was a nice course, but not a very well marked one.  Thankfully there were police at the intersections but several times I had to ask which way to go.  I talked to the overall female winner and her and some of the other top 4 actually missed a turn on the course, she ended up with an impossibly fast time of 16 minutes and change, but they still gave her the award (which I feel she deserved, it wasn’t her fault).

I took this from my car as I was leaving, but we passed this library very early in the course, probably about a half mile.   Shortly after this point we hit a wicked fast downhill, I could actually feel myself holding myself back.  I looked down at the Garmin shortly before one mile and was shocked to see my pace at 10:20.  I ended up finishing the first mile in 10:34, which is my fastest one mile time by nearly a minute.  I did throttle back a little at this point so as not to burn myself out, but the course helped as well with some uphills on the back half.  I don’t know if it’s good mentally, but I was running the math in my head, and I’m like I have 27 minutes to finish 2 miles and PR, so that’s 13:30 per mile.  So now I’m psyching myself up for a PR, and then I would be disappointed if I didn’t.  My second and third miles were slower, but not excessively slow.  11:34 and 11:40.

Finish line! I made it! And I RAN the entire distance.  No walking breaks! Another first, so not only set a time PR, but my first “running” 5K.  Double PR! What does it mean!

I must have done a great job cutting the corners since the course measured short on my Garmin, but the time at the end matched my Garmin, so I am gonna call it Official and I trust the Twin City Track Club to get the distance right.  Beat my previous best time (37:10) by 3 full minutes, so a minute a mile faster.  Unreal!

Other than the course being poorly marked, it was a great race and for a great cause.  Thank you to the Winston Salem Police Department, Wake Forest University Police and Forsyth County Sheriffs for maintaining the course and also for their service to the community!

Pre-race and New Gear

I had a pretty good race related adventure this afternoon.  First I went to Fleet Feet Sports to pick up my packet and shirt for tomorrow’s race, the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Memorial 5K.  Some of the numbers went up into the 700s so looks like it might be a good crowd tomorrow morning.  The shirt is a standard tshirt, not a tech shirt, so I won’t wear it for the race, but it’s a nice shirt.  The back of the shirt memorializes a list of officers killed in the line of duty in Forsyth County dating back to 1895.  Thankfully it is a short list, only 24 officers over the span of 117 years.

Since I was at Fleet Feet already, I wanted to look around since I had earned a 25$ reward credit and I was looking for a hat.  I found exactly what I was looking for in a Nike Dri Fit hat for 20$ and bought a couple packs of Gu (that I dont really need right now, but they are good for like 4 years) to bring it up to 24 and some change.  I’m not too worried about the 70 cents I didn’t use.

As you can see from the picture, after hitting up Fleet Feet I went to Omega Sports to get my Member Tech shirt for joining the Twin City Track Club, and this shirt was free! It’s a very nice shirt and I look forward to wearing it for some of the group events (you don’t have to, but I probably will).

So the best part of all of my new gear is it didn’t cost me anything!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my race recap, which will be fairly picture heavy since I will be carrying my camera on the course with me to blog this race for the WorldWide WordPress 5K.

Thank You!

I happened to notice last night my blog was sitting at 4,499 views all time.  I know this is probably not a lot for most blogs, certainly not blogs that are 2 and a half years old, but I’ve started posting a lot more frequently since I started training for my half marathon, so a majority of these views are likely from the last 6 months or so.  It amazes me as many people read my blog as they do, so thank you to my readers and followers.  I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.  I waited until I got one more view and then took a screen shot.

So thanks again for reading!  Next up, a very race-blog appropriate, 5K views.

Weekly Recap 4-16-12 to 4-22-12

This was a fairly uneventful week, but not in a bad way.  Getting everything done, doing my homework, didn’t have to skip anything.  Great Saturday morning run with Jen to cap off the running for the week and then a nice yoga practice this afternoon to relax on a rainy, dreary Sunday.  Very nice weight loss this week, tempered somewhat by the fact that some of it is the same couple pounds I’ve been gaining and losing for the last month, but not all of it.. lost some extra on top of that.

Starting weight – 267.2
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Run – 5 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total mileage – 11 miles
Finishing Weight – 263 (4.2 pounds lost)

So the weight loss is huge, and hopefully finally broke out of the 265-267-265-267 cycle I was on there for a couple weeks.  But this is also a significant weight because 265 marks 90 pounds lost.  WOW.  I’ve lost a small child.  Or a big child I guess.  Depending on the age of said child.

I am an Athlete.

Wait, what? When did this happen?  Somewhere along the way I became an athlete without realizing it, and without really trying.  Yesterday I saw this great quote from running legend Jeff Galloway.

“Being an athlete is a state of mind, which is not bound by age, performance or place in the running pack.”

I never did sports as a kid.  I played soccer in elementary school and tried out for the baseball team in high school.  My only regret is I wanted to play catcher so bad (foolishly thinking it was an easy position rather than the hardest) and when I got cut from the battery and offered a position in the outfield, instead of taking it I decided to quit.  The next year that team won the State Championship.  I don’t have shelves full of trophies, my parents don’t keep my old room set up with posters and pennants and medals etc.  But something happened.  As I started running, and finishing races, I began to feel like an athlete.  But then I didn’t feel like one, I became one.  I have trophies now.  Not many, but I have them.  I have a medal from a 5K that is a 2nd place finish in my age group.  I have a finishers medal from my first half marathon.  And to top it off,  I am hungry to add more.

If you participate in any sport, at any level, high school, college, rec league, beer league, adult amateur, semi-pro.. you are an athlete.  And running is a sport.  It’s about finishing, and racing, even if against only yourself and a clock. Each time you do better, you “win”.  My trophy shelf is growing, and I’m ready for more.  Bring it on!

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.