Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hometown swap-out

The Skyline Chili 3-way might be the most perfect food ever if there were to be a most perfect food. A bed of spaghetti topped with Cincinnati-style chili and a MOUND of Cheddar cheese. It's delicious in every way and also manages to take me back home, even if just for a moment.

The very thought of it also manages to make me gain 10 pounds. As I'm sure you could guess, the 3-way is not necessarily what someone would call healthy. A regular 3-way has 760 calories, 44 grams of fat and 2,850 milligrams of sodium. And to think that I would eat one of these along with a chili-cheese burrito or a cheese coney (or all three).

If you want to do the math, eating all three would be 1,450 calories, 82 grams of fat and 3,970 milligrams of sodium.

Thank goodness I only get a taste when I'm in Cincinnati. However, that doesn't mean I don't want one every now and then. I just have to be smart about it.

Enter my Meatless Monday/lunch for the week idea.

I had made myself a big ole pot of Great Northern White Chili (double the chili powder if you like things spicy) when I thought it would be really nice to serve with some spaghetti. Except spaghetti sometimes feels like empty calories.

"I wonder what it would taste like if I used spaghetti squash," I thought to myself.

Now let's get this straight, I haven't had spaghetti squash in a good five years and I wasn't a huge fan of it then. My food palate has expanded, though, and what's a couple bucks on a spaghetti squash. Right? Right!

I roasted it at 375 degrees for an hour, let it cool and went to work cutting it, cleaning it and pasta-ifying it. Then, into my bowl went 1 cup of spaghetti squash, a serving of chili and 1/4 cup 2% cheddar cheese. (Stats: 342 calories, 8 grams of ft and 1,228 milligrams of Sunday.)

My very own Meatless Monday 3-way! It wasn't quite like the original but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the dish ... twice.

How do you health-ify your favorite meals?

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