Eating healthy in college is not a simple task. Not only can you get pizza nearly 24 hours a day, but your dorm room is ill equipped to prepare real meals. While it may seem that the only thing you can cook using your microwave is Ramen noodles, there are other more flavorful, healthful options that you can make this semester. One of the easiest healthy meals you can prepare in your dorm room microwave is spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash (sometimes called winter squash) is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep you healthy. This vegetable is a great source of vitamins C and A which will keep your immune system strong and your eyes in good condition for those all-night study-sessions. Eating squash also gives you a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamin B-6, manganese and fiber. To sweeten the deal, spaghetti squash is low in calories, coming in at only 42 per serving.
Preparing a spaghetti squash can be done with a microwave with minimal time and effort. Follow the recipe below to learn how to make spaghetti squash pasta.
- 1 spaghetti squash (also called winter squash)
- 1 sharp, strong knife
- 1 fork
- 1 microwavable plate/dish that has a lip
- Optional (choose one): spaghetti sauce; olive oil, salt and pepper; maple syrup
- Wash your spaghetti squash.
- Cut the squash in half, width-wise using your strong knife.
- Scrape the insides and seeds out of the squash (as you would when preparing to carve a pumpkin).
- Place the squash halves face-down on a microwavable dish. (If your microwave or dish can’t handle both halves at the same time, place one on your dish and repeat the following procedure twice).
- Fill the dish with water until it is roughly one inch full of water.
- Place the dish with the water and squash in the microwave and turn it on for 12 minutes. (DDF Tip– If you are microwaving the halves individually, microwave each half for six minutes. If your dish is too big to rotate in the microwave, stop halfway through to flip the dish 180 degrees to ensure an even cook.)
- Test the squash by piercing the skin with a fork. If it goes in easily your squash is ready.
- Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Using the tines of a fork (or any other utensil) scrape the inside of the squash to remove the spaghetti-like strands from the skin.
- Put the spaghetti on your plate and top with whatever sauce or garnishing you prefer to put on pasta. Spaghetti squash tastes great with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese or olive oil and salt and pepper. If you’re looking for a sweeter taste, top your squash with maple syrup!
One spaghetti squash will typically serve 3-4 people (depending on how hungry everyone is). However, if you’re cooking for yourself, cut the squash in half and wrap and refrigerate the uncooked squash half.
This meal is great for anyone into organic growing looking for a healthier, low-carb alternative to pasta. Due to the texture and flavor of the squash you will feel like you’re eating spaghetti, while actually eating a much healthier, lower calorie meal instead. Best of all, the preparation and clean-up are perfect for cooking in a dorm room! So pick up a spaghetti squash on your next shopping trip and reap all the benefits this vegetable has to offer.