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If you’re dying for a huge bowl of spaghetti but hate that feeling of a giant pasta ball sitting in your stomach, get ready for this: Replace your standard noodles with spaghetti squash.

The humble and often overlooked spaghetti squash is a perfect substitution for the carb-filled pastas many are adverse to. When cooked, it has the consistency of fine hair-like strands and can be topped with a variety of sauces and toppings — plus — it’s rich in folic acid, vitamin A and beta carotene. Best of all, a cup of this delicious vegetable is a mere 42 calories! (Get ready for seconds!)

If the thought of this delicious seasonal vegetable has gotten your stomach growling, here’s how to quickly cook a spaghetti squash in the microwave:

  1. With a knife or fork, pierce the outside of the spaghetti squash.
  2. Place squash on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 8 minutes or until soft (you’ll know it’s soft if the outside feels squishy).
  3. Carefully split the squash in half using a knife and scrape out the seeds with a spoon (if you’re a fan of the seeds, we suggest roasting them with a touch of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper).
  4. Gently loosen the strands with a fork, carefully prying it away from the squash skin.
  5. Top with the sauce or seasonings of your choice and enjoy!

Did you like this quick microwave trick? If so, here’s how you can whip up fluffy scrambled eggs in the microwave every time or a satisfying baked potato in under 10 minutes.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr.