Old Ways vs. New Ways

A variety of spaghetti brands and types on a store shelf.

Before I lost weight, my dietary habits in comparison to the way they are now are two completely different animals. Growing up, if it didn’t come from a restaurant, a bag, or a box, it wasn’t worth having or getting. This also included stuff that could’ve been super easy to learn to make at home, and often stuff far cheaper to make on our own.

Spaghetti was one of them, and 9 times out of 10, it was from a restaurant. The remaining time? Well, the less said, the better, but God love ’em for trying, haha.

While we’re on the subject, today is National Spaghetti Day. It’s not an official holiday or observance, but fun nonetheless. Spaghetti was one of the first things I made when I was just learning to cook for myself,. Back then in my culinary quest, I made it the same way my family did. That meant an unholy amount of it, in a saucepan, with half a stick of butter, before half a jar of the sugar-laden store-bought generic stuff. They claimed that kept it from sticking, but I’ve since learned the only things it actually does is keep the sauce from sticking, and adds a ton of calories on top of it.

I tried it one time for the hell of it, with some corn-based spaghetti somewhat recently, in a way smaller amount, and it was inedible. If that was anything to go by when I had the regular wheat-based stuff, it’s little wonder I’d have rather eaten the stuff at the restaurant, eh?

Over the years, it was my go-to, even as I was experimenting with approaches to a sustainable way of eating. I’ve since learned to use a larger pot for a cooking vessel instead of that damn saucepan, plenty of salt for the water, and to cook it to al dente if I’m using it as part of a recipe.

I’ve also learned it works great on its’ own as a make-ahead, but really, that goes for any type of pasta. I saw that on Pasta Grammar, and I was like, “I’m totally trying that hack sometime.” It wasn’t spaghetti, but it was that green pea and garlic pasta I forget the name of right now.

When I first started my weight loss mission back in late 2017, I called a moratorium on pasta altogether, even though what I ate (and still do) is the rice, corn, and chickpea-based varieties. It was around the first year, and maybe about 60-70 pounds in that I started to re-introduce pasta to my repertoire. Only this time around, there was the spiralized veggie fad going around, where you could make any veggie into pasta with this one little doohickey from an infomercial on late-night TV.

Zucchini spaghetti? What is this madness you speak of? Give it here! But in all seriousness, I love zucchini spaghetti, and I’m still bummed that I lost the little tool specifically for making it.

It wasn’t long before I started seeing packages of pre-spiralized veggies in the produce aisle at places like Wally World, and Whole Paycheck, I mean, Whole Foods. Some may view it as lazy, but I actually think it’s a neat business idea. It takes the guesswork out of meal-prepping for some, and a huge time saver for those nights where you got through the last of your meal-prepped stuff, and don’t feel like cooking at the moment. Some places even have deals on Ibotta for it, too. Just sayin’.

Over to you, readers. Is spaghetti, whether it’s the spiralized veggies, wheat, corn, rice, or chickpea variety on the menu for dinner tonight? If so, what are you pairing it with?

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