This week’s menu highlight features another one of my wife’s awesome culinary creations. The dish below combines shrimp, spinach, mushrooms and spaghetti squash in an olive oil, butter sauce to produce a fantastic weekday dinner. Not only does this meal’s caloric breakdown match my desired macronutrient intake (60% fat, 25% carbs, 15% protein), the spaghetti squash produces far less of an insulin response than its similarly named refined carb doppelgänger. I’m not really into counting calories but if you are, spaghetti squash has 20 calories per cup compared to pasta’s 100. It also contains 24 less grams of carbohydrates than pasta and is full of important vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, B and folate (source). It may take a little longer to prepare than pasta, but the end product is much more flavorful and better for you. Even though these fruits, yes they’re fruits, are harvested in the fall, you can still get them at the grocery store into winter and early spring. Grab one on your next trip to the grocery store and send us some pics of your spaghetti squash creations.
Spaghetti and meatballs. I feel like those two have been perpetually linked since the beginning of time, or since pasta has been a thing. Fortunately, we’ve discovered that meatballs don’t always need a refined carb counterpart. This week’s look into Shannon and I’s menu features turkey meatballs paired with garlic sautéed baby bok choy instead of pasta. Bok choy is a great pasta alternative because it’s a cruciferous vegetable that is loaded with vitamins A, K, and C and contains over 70 antioxidants, which is why some researchers believe it can aid in cancer prevention (source). Expanding our food choices, especially when it comes to vegetables, is crucial to optimizing our health and developing as a species (source). The next time you go grocery shopping, forget the box of barilla and go for the bok choy. If you are already a bok choy fan, let us know what dishes you incorporate it into. We’re always looking for new recipes.
One food item that I feel a lot of people have a hard time giving up when trying to eat a more low-carb diet is pasta, specifically the dry variety. It’s cheap, easy to prepare, and can be used in a multitude of different dishes. However, the glycemic response to most pasta, especially those not cooked al dente, can be higher than non-starchy vegetables not to mention possible inflammation due to gluten sensitivity. What’s the solution to keeping your weekly pasta dish while sticking to your low-carb diet? THE SPIRALIZER! This fantastic kitchen gadget can turn any vegetable into noodles. You got a zucchini? BOOM, ZOODLES! You got a carrot? BOOM, COODLES! You got a, ok I think you get the idea. This product is easy to use and usually comes with several different blades and can spiralize pretty much anything. You can see below it has no problem turning a whole sweet potato into shoe string sweet potatoes (FYI – sweet potatoes and pasta have a similar glycemic load). There is a handheld version, but I would recommend the countertop version because it’s much easier to use and is only about $10 more on Amazon. I think this is a great investment for anyone trying to reduce the amount of processed carbs in their diet. If you have a veggie spiralizer, let me know what your go-to recipes are.