Thoughts & Tips

Healthy Pasta

I am obsessed with pasta. Between that and pizza, it’s safe to say if I had to choose one cuisine for the rest of my life it would be Italian. I’ve even joked that if I could change my last name to whatever I wanted, it would be Mozzarella. (Actually, I wasn’t joking. I so would.) But I digress!

The sad truth is that too much pasta isn’t the healthiest of diet plans. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a healthy home chef, but it’s nice to have some alternatives. Here’s a countdown of my top three favorites:

Number 3: Spaghetti squash. While delicious, they can be a little daunting. To cook them you have to cut them in half lengthwise (carefully, they can be hard to get through), scoop out the seeds and roast for about 30-45 minutes. It becomes tender enough to scrape the “meat” of the squash into strands that resemble angel hair pasta. Bonus! You can use the shell of the squash as a bowl and top with sauce, cheese and whatever else you like. Easy clean up!

Number 2: Whole wheat pasta. Essentially the same as any boxed pasta you would normally make. The color is a little darker, the texture is a little less tender but dressed up with sauce and veggies the taste is great. A cup of whole wheat pasta can have around 25% of your daily fiber, not to mention more vitamins and less calories than the regular pasta. Bonus! This is as easy as skipping the regular pasta at the grocery and picking up a different box. Same preparation.

Number 1: I think you can guess by the photo. Zoodles! Zucchini noodles are my new obsession. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables as it is. In noodle form, they only take a couple minutes to cook and come out beautifully tender. Zoodles also have like NO calories. OK, about 30 calories per medium zucchini. You can manually cut noodles with a veggie peeler or splurge a bit and get a spiralizer like I did. Bonus! The spiralizer is so fun! Also zoodles can last in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight container. Sometimes when I have leftovers, a couple days later I will make a dish and use less whole wheat pasta than the recipe calls for and add the zoodles for the last two minutes of cook time. Half whole wheat pasta, half zucchini, all delicious.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a recipe using my beloved zoodles. stay tuned!

{follow me on twitter & instagram: @thepickygourmet}

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