Whether you’ve already jumped on a healthy eating routine or are planning to- you might know how it might be time to say goodbye to that bowl of pasta until your next cheat day. But wait! What if we told you you could actually make your favorite pasta healthier, and even make a meal out of it?
Read on to discover how to do just that and more!
Add in the Veggies: The best way to make your pasta bowls a lot healthier is to bulk them up with some fresh veggies! In fact, the veggies should be the star of your bowl- the pasta should just be the co-star. Carrots, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach etc are all great options to consider adding. These veggies also give you a lot of fiber which keeps your digestive system working at its best.
Choose Wholegrain: You’ll find several varieties of pasta available today, and that means you can quickly say goodbye to the processed, white flour ones and opt for healthier ones while whole grain pasta. In some specialty stores, you might also come across pasta’s made using beans and chickpeas or even quinoa pasta and buckwheat pasta- give them a try if you’re up for it.
Switching to whole grain pasta doesn’t mean you’re eating the healthiest meal on the planet, but it does mean you’ll be getting more nutrients and health benefits through that bowl!
Pick a Protein: Another excellent way to take that bowl of pasta up a notch is to add some lean protein into the mix. You can always opt for chicken or turkey (or beans if you’re a vegetarian), but don’t hesitate to experiment a bit. For example, you could swap ground meat for crumbled tempeh or add salmon instead of sausages. The protein will not just make your pasta taste ‘wow’ but also keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
Keep it Homemade: The basic rule when it comes to eating healthy is to cut down on processed foods as much as you can, and that holds true even when you’re looking for a pasta sauce. Ditch those bottled pasta sauces and whip up a simple sauce yourself using healthy ingredients like tomato sauce, greek yogurt, homemade pesto, fresh herbs, garlic, goat cheese, and chilies. If you’re a pasta lover, you might even want to consider making your homemade pasta sauce in large batches on a weekend and storing it for future use.
Get Fat Smart: Healthy eating doesn’t mean letting go of any and all the fat in your diet- it means being smart about it. Choose healthier oils while cooking your pasta- think olive oil or avocado oil. Healthier oils take much longer to digest, which means they’ll help you feel satiated. Some of them also work wonderfully in reducing blood cholesterol levels and even slash your risk of type 2 diabetes.