Lynne

Don't Fret, You Can Still Eat Pasta

If pasta is one of your favorites, don't fret! It can still be eaten without worry. We just need to switch things up a bit, so we are not eating empty calories. Instead of white overly processed pastas, which are made from refined wheat flour and has had most of its fiber and other nutrients removed, use whole-grain pastas. They have their fiber intact and will consequently help keep you feeling full longer. Today there are many varieties of healthy whole-wheat, whole-grain, or spelt pastas, or one of the newer gluten-free varieties made from brown rice, corn, or quinoa to try.

Here are some delicious ways to prepare your favorite pasta dishes the True Healthy Happy Living way:

On the South Beach Diet, they suggest on Phase 1, which is a very low carb to no carb phase, is to have a non carb spaghetti meal. They do a "friendly" swap. Exchange pasta for a small spaghetti squash. Cut it in half, remove the seeds, microwave or bake it, then use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti-like” strands. Serve with tomato sauce or steamed vegetables and a little freshly grated Parmesan. I love to use my veggetti and spiralize zucchini and do the same as above or I make a shrimp scampi over zoodles (spiraled zucchini). So delicious and my significant other even raved about it. 

If you are not fully voiding carbs, go for healthy pastas. Purchase a whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta and the other above suggestions at the supermarket. You can find many styles of whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta, including penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, lasagna, linguine, fettuccine, and elbow macaroni in most supermarkets. Look for brands with 3 grams or more of fiber per serving and stick with 1/2 cup cooked as a healthy portion. If you are a homemade sort of person feel free to make your own whole grain pastas. There are many recipes on the internet. Check this whole-wheat spinach pasta recipe. http://www.blendtec.com/recipes/whole-wheat-spinach-pasta

Choose the right add-ins and your healthy pasta can be even more nutritious. Toss in some tasty vegetables. Choose what’s freshest at the market. Low fat cheeses, such as part-skim mozzarella or reduced-fat goat, or use freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago. You can also mix a a tablespoon of part-skim ricotta into your sauce for a creamier texture. Or a lean protein, such as turkey meatballs, shrimp or other shellfish, or grilled chicken or turkey breast, are all healthy choices.

Stick with tomato, pesto, or other vegetable or herb-based sauces. Make your own tomato sauce, using fresh tomatoes or tomato purée, tomato paste, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh or dried basil, oregano, and freshly ground black pepper. Maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes. Or, if you prefer to purchase canned or jarred tomato sauce or the other suggested sauces at the supermarket, be sure to choose reduced-sodium varieties with a minimum amount of added sugar (ideally 3 grams of sugar, or less, per serving). And as always, go for products without artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.



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