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# I CANNOT get over...

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 KIMMIT326 Posts: 62 5/18/12 9:08 A Yes, spaghetti squash is so so so good! I have not yet tried making the noodles with zucchinni, but I love zucchini just as much if not more than squash.

 ZIMZUMPOGOTWIG SparkPoints: (4,312) Fitness Minutes: (2,154) Posts: 118 5/18/12 8:10 A Spaghetti Squash is a great substitute for pasta and it is a vegetable too! I have also heard of using zucchini noodles. Not too sure how to make them, but I bet you can easily find a recipe for them.

 LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 1,215 5/18/12 3:50 A I weigh out the servings that I want to cook (e.g. 4 servings). Then, after it's cooked, I weigh it again and take out 1 serving for myself (1/4 of whatever the cooked weight is for all 4 servings).

 MSGNOME Posts: 555 5/17/12 8:51 P You might find it easier if you estimate what fraction of the pasta you ate. The pasta I buy has four servings per box, so if I cook the whole thing, I know to take a quarter of the cooked amount. There's no need to cook your own portion separately from your family's food.

 SMERRIMAN7 Posts: 296 5/17/12 8:08 A If I'm making something from a box for the family - I use my kitchen scale. I calculate the calories of the total package. Example a box of store brand mac & cheese is 780 calories for the box (noodles, flavor packet), 20 for the 1/4 cup skim milk, and 400 for the margarine. Total prepared is 1200 calories. I then weigh the finished product - say it comes out to about 600 grams. Meaning each gram is worth 2 calories. I decide how much to put on my plate, weigh it out, and count those calories. 120-180 calories worth of mac & cheese is usually what I take. Note: hubby & I are both watching our calories in, and we keep a small dry erase board in the kitchen. Comes in handy for keeping notes about what we are cooking. My kitchen scale goes up to 5 pounds - some only do 2 pounds and would not work so well for this method as many dishes will weigh more. Edited by: SMERRIMAN7 at: 5/17/2012 (08:09)

 SMERRIMAN7 Posts: 296 5/17/12 8:04 A Dry or cooked makes a big difference. Nutrition info on a package should be read as is: its the nutrition that is in the box. How you cook it will change things. 2 oz dry is a decent amount of pasta, in my opinion. When you're also having 3-4 oz lean protein & a veggie side or two.

 NIRERIN Posts: 10,789 5/17/12 7:53 A oh. and if you live in the us, all nutrition information on packages is for the food as is in the package. it's why the pasta weight is dry, it's why there has to be unpopped info for popcorn, it's why oatmeal, dried beans, dry lentils, uncooked rice all have the info for uncooked/as is on them. frozen veggie servings generally show a serving being 2/3 cup [though once you heat them they shrink down to the standard half cup size]. if you have a package of raw meat with the nutrition info on it, the info is for raw. if you use the info from the spark tracker, all the food there is ready to eat [ie cooked already. though the beans are canned in the spark tracker]. so if you don't want to do trial and error on everything, using the generic info from the spark tracker can be a good way to get cooked nutrition info so that you can just weigh things once cooked.

 ALLISONAZ SparkPoints: (14,543) Fitness Minutes: (7,094) Posts: 409 5/17/12 12:29 A Ok next time I make pasta I will make some separately starting from 2 oz and see how it turns out. Hopefully it's a good deal more! I do have a food scale and I weigh everything! 2 oz cooked was sooo small.

 -LIFEISGOOD- Posts: 18 5/17/12 12:15 A You can bulk up the pasta with lean protein like chicken or seafood, and veggies, if you feel like you're not getting enough to eat. It really does help.

 ANARIE Posts: 11,071 5/16/12 9:56 P Ninety percent of the time it's best to weigh things, but if you're cooking a whole box of pasta, the easiest thing to do is measure volume. Have one of those big glass measuring/mixing bowls handy, and when you drain the pasta, pop it in there to see how many cups it made. Then take out your share. So if it's a 16-oz box and it made 8 cups, you get 1/8 of that, or 1 cup. It won't be as perfectly exact as if you weighed it before cooking, but it's close enough. After a while, you'll probably get to the point where you can dish out 1/8 or 1/6 of the whole dish without needed a measuring cup. One little thing, though: How many people are in your family, and are you the only one with a weight issue? If you're cooking for four people or fewer and none of them are teenage boys, you might want to quietly start leaving some of the pasta in the box and adding more veggies to the sauce to make up the volume. Learning not to cook more than you need can help the whole family if the others aren't thin. If there's extra, somebody always ends up eating it even if they don't really want it.

 SCTK519 Posts: 2,085 5/16/12 9:29 P But 2 oz cooked seems like not a lot, but when cooked is much more. I always grab more dry than I need cause when I cook it, it's Way too much!

 GIMME! Posts: 96 5/16/12 9:23 P Are you measuring it in a measuring cup? Or weighing it? I'm pretty sure the serving size is 2 oz weight. 2 oz in a measuring cup is 1/4 cup...and you're right, that's not even worth it. 2 oz WEIGHT is probably much more (I've never weighed it myself).

 DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (42,234) Fitness Minutes: (12,476) Posts: 7,916 5/16/12 9:17 P When I cook for myself, I can pre-weigh it, but like you, I can't measure all the time, especially when it's the family. Get yourself a scale, and measure afterwards. 2 oz of cooked comes to about 5-5.7 ounces. You can test yourself with your own portions. :) Believe me, 2 ozs of cooked pasta is almost nothing. It nearly triples in mass and weight when you cook it! It soaks up the water. I eat a lot of pasta... 2 ozs of DRY pasta makes a pretty substantial plate!

 NIRERIN Posts: 10,789 5/16/12 9:03 P you can look around for data on cooked pasta the same shape that you use. that's going to be a little off depending on how well you cook it [water is heavy stuff]. but if you're pretty consistent in cooking your pasta, you'll need to do trials for each kind you buy. in other words, if you buy penne and spaghetti and macaroni, you'd do this for each. measure out 2oz dry. cook it. weight it again once cooked. write down the exchange somewhere where you won't lose it. and repeat so that you have the info for all the stuff you use and don't have to do everything separately again. then you'll have your numbers like the previous poster has. because if you cook the pasta more, your 2oz might become 8oz. if you cook it less, it might be closer to 6oz.

 **RENEE** SparkPoints: (12,792) Fitness Minutes: (10,998) Posts: 612 5/16/12 6:17 P If you cook a whole box, you can estimate what portion of the cooked pasta you had and do some math work. For example, if a single 2 oz. serving is 180 calories, and the whole box has 8 servings, then the whole box is 1,440 calories (180 x 8). If the final cooked pot of pasta makes enough to fill 5 bowls, then you just divide 1,440 by 5 to get 288 calories per bowl. You can also measure how much is in the final cooked pot with a food scale and then measure your portion. That's what I would do, but food scales are limited in how much they can weigh at one time. The last time I made spaghetti for just me, 2 oz. dry ended up being 7 oz. or so cooked (I think). Edited by: **RENEE** at: 5/16/2012 (18:17)

 ALLISONAZ SparkPoints: (14,543) Fitness Minutes: (7,094) Posts: 409 5/16/12 6:02 P I'm measuring it cooked... How do I measure it when it's cooked then? I make a whole box for my family, I'm not going to boil a little bit separately for myself.

 NIRERIN Posts: 10,789 5/16/12 5:44 P are you measuring cooked or dry? because the 180 for 2oz is for dry pasta. so you would measure out the 2oz, then cook it and eat the yield to eat 180 cals of pasta. the serving size of cooked pasta is 1/2 cup. you'd need to find info for cooked pasta of the shape you're using to find out how many calories that would be. for most i think it's about an ounce dry, which is about 90 cals.

 ANARIE Posts: 11,071 5/16/12 5:43 P Are you weighing it dry or cooked? Two ounces dry is one-eighth of a pound package, and that will cook up to over a cup. It's a pretty hefty serving, IMO. It might help to use a smaller plate/dish when you serve it, and to put vegetables with it. I eat a lot of pasta, and 2 ounces with sauce, mushrooms, and zucchini or peppers fills up a cereal bowl pretty much as full as you can handle, for about 300-350 calories.

 ALLISONAZ SparkPoints: (14,543) Fitness Minutes: (7,094) Posts: 409 5/16/12 5:37 P ... How small a serving of pasta is! 180 calories for 2 oz doesn't seem so bad and the whole wheat kind has a lot of fiber... until you measure it out and it is so measly! It's just a waste of calories! Today I tried to measure out 2 oz. and it was so small that I went for 3 oz. It made a big difference in size and calories but oh well. I can see why people say don't eat pasta on a diet. It's just not worth it.

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