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Monday, February 22, 2021

Filling Pasta Meals for a Healthier You

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What does a pasta lover do when everyone throws criticisms into their favourite dish? The advent of the low-carbohydrate craze basically demonized all kinds of pastas and somehow convinced people that these are “bad” food. But is the pasta perception entirely true? Apparently not. Below are some reasons why pasta can be beneficial to your health:

Not many people realize this, but pasta can be a perfect foundation of a filling and healthy meal. It is generally consumed with food partners that are also loaded with nutrients such as beans and veggies, fish, monounsaturated oils, tomato sauce that are rich in anti-oxidants, cheeses that are packed with protein, not to mention lean meat and eggs. With pasta, you stand to gain the following benefits:

1. Energy boost.
Pasta is big on carbs—it provides glucose that fuels your muscles and brain. The complex carbohydrates found in pasta offer slow energy release. Unlike sugars that gives you a sudden, yet fleeting amount of energy, pasta helps you sustain it. So if you ever wonder why athletes go carbo-loading before a big game or fight, it is because of that reason; because carbohydrates can be a source of sustained energy.

2. Low in sodium and cholesterol content.

3. It’s got folic acid content.
Folic acid is great especially for women at child-bearing age. Folate helps prevent neural tube deficiencies in babies while they are still inside the womb.

4. Pasta can be a part of a well-balanced diet. Today’s dietary guidelines recommend that about 65% of each person’s daily caloric count to come from carbohydrates such as pasta.

5. Pasta has low glycemic index, meaning it will now cause a person’s blood sugar to spike after consuming it.

Some Healthy Pasta Recipes to Try:

Farfalle with Zucchini and Parsley-Almond Pesto

Ingredients:
Farfalle (1 pound)
Garlic (1 clove)
Roasted almonds (1/3 cup; unsalted)
Flat-leaf parsley leaves (1 ½ cups)
Extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
Parmigiano-reggiano cheese (1/4 cup; freshly grated)
Extra virgin oil (1 tbsp.)
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt
Zucchini ( 1 pound; 2 pcs. Medium, sliced lengthwise and crosswise, about 1/8 inch thick)
Pinch of crushed red pepper

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Preparation:

1. Get a large pot and place some water then bring it to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook it al dente. Drain afterwards.
2. Place the garlic clove in the food processer and pulse it until finely chopped. Add half a cup of olive oil and parsley into the mix and pulse it again until the parsley is chopped finely too. Next comes the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pulse until it combines with the pesto. Add salt and pepper then place entire mix into a large, but shallow bowl.
3. Get a large skillet and heat it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the zucchini in it and place over high heat until it becomes browned and tender. Season with crushed red pepper and salt. Add the zucchini into the bowl with the pesto in it.
4. Add the farfalle. Toss well, then serve.

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Spaghetti with Lemon, Chile and Creamy Spinach

Ingredients:

Whole wheat spag (1/2 lb)
Low-fat yogurt (1 ½ cups; plain)
All purpose flour (1 tbsp)
Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp)
4 minced garlic cloves
1 Thai Chile (red, minced)
Baby spinach (10 oz)
Zest of 2 lemons, grated finely
Fresh lemon juice (1 tbsp)
Salt
Fresh ground pepper
Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup; freshly grated)

Preparation:

1. Boil water in a large saucepan and put a bit of salt in it. Once done, cook the spaghetti noodles al dente. Drain then set aside.
2. Place yogurt and flour in a bowl and whisk it until smooth. Start heating the olive oil in a large skillet. Place both garlic and chile and cook over low heat with occasional stirring until it produces a fragrant aroma. Add the yogurt mix and bring to a simmer, stir. Add the spinach and cook until it becomes wilted. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest then season with salt and pepper.
3. Once the sauce is ready, add it to the spaghetti noodles and toss until well coated. Place in bowls and top with parmesan cheese. Serve.

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