With winter upon us(and it doesn’t seem like it wants to leave anytime soon), it is a great time for comfort meals. Pasta is a staple of our menu plans, but isn’t always the healthiest option. I have read Jo-Lynne’s many posts on eating healthier, and asked her if she would share some of her best advice for incorporating healthy pasta into our meals. After all, she knows what she is talking about, she won a spot on DoctorOz.com for making the Philly Cheese steak healthy. She is also writing a gluten-free cookbook as well! So read on.
Simple Steps For Incorporating Healthy Pasta Into Your Meals
I’m so happy to be guest posting for Jennifer today! She said that her family eats a lot of pasta in their meals, and she is looking to revamp her recipes to incorporate more healthy options for the pasta so she was hoping I could help.
Everyone loves pasta, right? It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods. I eat gluten-free, so finding pasta that I can eat and enjoy has become a bit of a sport. While gluten-free living has its challenges, I do appreciate that it has introduced me to different types of grains that I wouldn’t otherwise discover. I don’t necessarily thing that eating gluten-free is overall a healthier lifestyle, but it definitely can broaden your horizons if you allow it to do so. Even if you don’t eat gluten-free, trying out some other grains can be fun and the more variety we eat, the healthier we are overall.
If you love pasta and are seeking some healthier options, give whole wheat pasta a try. You may have to try a few different brands until you find one that is palatable. Or you can do half-and-half — cook a dish with half your favorite old white pasta and half whole wheat.
But try other grains too. There is brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and corn pasta. Many gluten-free pastas are blends of those three grains. I think the pastas that use a blend of grains have a better taste and texture than those that use a single grain. Unless, of course, it is good old durum wheat. Ha.
Incorporating grains other than wheat into your diet is beneficial because our bodies start to reject ingredients that we eat too much of. This is probably why so many of us discover that we feel better eating gluten-free. We’ve simply overdone it, and our bodies are crying, Enough!!
Our culture, unfortunately, is pretty heavy on grains of all kinds, and that can wreak havoc on our digestive systems. Grain-free living is growing in popularity, and not without good reason. While I still enjoy eating grains, I try to limit them. You might be surprised that some vegetables can be fabulous pasta substitutes.
Case in point: spaghetti squash. Even my kids love this stuff! Spaghetti squash is a great option to grain-based pastas, and much healthier for your family. All you do is slice the squash in half, brush it with olive oil and roast it in the oven. When it’s done, you use a fork to scrape out the insides, and it looks like spaghetti. It has such a mild flavor that you can top it with marinara or cheese sauce and it serves as a pasta substitute. See how I topped spaghetti sauce with roasted tomatoes and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. YUM.
Also, here’s a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pie! It uses spaghetti squash as the “crust” and the filling is a turkey sausage marinara. Low carb but filling and delicious.
You can also do the same thing with zucchini if you have a Julienne Peeler. Here’s a dish I made with “zucchini noodles” and a bacon cream sauce.
There are a lot of options for healthier pasta — both with and without grains. It takes some trial and error to figure out what your family will tolerate, especially if you have kids. But I find that my kids are fascinated when I turn different types of vegetables into a pasta substitute. Let them help! Make it fun, and you might be surprised what they’ll eat.
Jo-Lynne Shane is a wife, mom, Christ follower, runner, style watcher, foodie and hopeless coffee addict. She writes the personal lifestyle blog, Musings of a Housewife, where she covers fashion, food and family travel. She also facilitates the vibrant networking group, Philly Social Media Moms. She likes to say she’s the most outgoing introvert you will ever meet. She loves spinning a story and meeting new people. In her spare time, you can usually find her curled up with her Kindle and a glass of red wine.
Make sure you stop in at Jo-Lynne’s Blog: Musings Of A Housewife