While pasta may be a staple meal in your home, it is important to be mindful of the ingredients included in your favorite dishes. Here are some ways that let you enjoy comfort food while getting some extra nutrients along the way.
Add More Vegetables
Make a meat sauce with lots of fresh vegetables. Instead of using canned pasta sauce, which tends to be loaded with sugar, make a sauce using sautéed and blended vegetables. Bake, roast or grill carrots, leeks, onions, celery, peppers and tomatoes until thoroughly cooked. Use a hand blender to puree the mixture for a sauce that now has a full serving of vegetables, and no sugar!
Choose Whole Grains
When picking from different types of pasta, choose a whole grain option when possible. When compared to the traditional, bleached pastas, whole grains give you more Vitamin B and tons of added fiber.
Try Pasta Substitutions
Spaghetti Squash- Simply using a fork to scrape out the insides of the cooked squash gives it the same appearance as spaghetti. It has vitamins A and C, and magnesium and can protect against some forms of heart disease.
Zucchini Noodle- Using a peeler, zucchini can make the perfect spaghetti substitute. This option is rich in fiber and can even help lower cholesterol.
Soba Noodles- Made from buckwheat and originally from Japan, Soba noodles are high in protein and could lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Find them in the Asian foods aisle of your local grocery store.
Quinoa Pasta- Known as a super grain, quinoa tastes just like regular pasta, but has more potassium, magnesium and calcium for stronger bones and teeth.
Black Bean Spaghetti- Although the dark appearance might be something to get used to, black bean pasta has almost 20.5 grams of protein per serving.
Control Portion Sizes– Determining the correct serving size can be difficult. Keep in mind appropriate portion sizes when eating pasta. Stick to ½ cup or a fist size portion of carbohydrates and pasta.