Thinking pasta is too heavy for your new diet? Think again. Pasta can provide a healthy meal rich in fiber and vitamins. Follow these steps to make healthier choices for your next pasta dinner.
You Will Need:
• Whole grain or blend pasta
• Light pasta sauce
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Sun-dried tomatoes
• Ground turkey or chicken
• Red pepper flakes
• Reduced-fat cheese
Step 1: Choose whole grain pasta
Buy whole grain or blend pasta. Pastas made from a mixture of whole grain and white flour have a taste and texture similar to traditional pasta but provide much better nutrition.
Step 2: Choose a healthy sauce
Avoid pasta sauces heavy with cream, cheese, or fatty meats. Choose a light, flavorful tomato sauce instead, or add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.
Step 3: Add veggies
Add vitamins and fiber to your sauce with healthy vegetables. Try roasted eggplant, peppers, or zucchini, or mix in ripe olives and mushrooms.
Step 4: Use low-fat meats
Substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef in meat sauces and meatballs, and try Italian sausage made from turkey instead of the traditional pork or veal.
Step 5: Spice it up
Reduce the need for salt in your sauce by adding other herbs and spices. Make a fiery sauce with red pepper flakes, or try adding aromatic sweet basil.
Step 6: Switch to reduced-fat cheese
Use reduced-fat ricotta and mozzarella in lasagna and ravioli. Try low-fat parmesan cheese on spaghetti, and limit yourself to a few sprinkles instead of a mound.
Step 7: Eat less
Enjoy pasta in moderation. The carbohydrates in pasta provide energy, but excessive portions provide too many calories and can raise blood sugar.