Pasta doesn’t always conjure up the healthiest images. Known for being amazingly delicious, pasta has been a staple meal in many homes since forever but it is also full of the unhealthiest ingredients. Loaded with tons of calories and fat, enjoying pasta dishes too often increases the chances of gaining excess weight. Thankfully, there are healthier alternatives so you don’t have to completely eliminate this food from your kitchen table.
All too often vegetarians get left out in the cold when it comes to the most traditional pasta dishes, which are notorious for being chock-full of various meats. Now there are more vegetarian pasta versions available than ever before.
While there are way too many vegetarian recipes to list here, there are a few simple tips for making the transition. The first and perhaps most important to put into practice is using whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta. These types of pasta are loaded with fiber, which is a plus. In the past it wasn’t as easy to find whole-grain and whole-wheat pasta but today this item can be found at virtually any local grocery store.
The beauty of vegetarian pasta dishes is that nearly any type of vegetable will do. With time and practice, it’ll be easy to match up which vegetables go with which pasta and sauces. So whether you’re a fan of traditional red or white sauce, there is a way to add your favorite veggies into the mix.
Choose the Right Meats
Pasta fans that can’t tear themselves away from meaty recipes have the ability to indulge in this type of meal while still remaining in the safe zone, health-wise. In this case, it’s all about knowing which meats to cook with. The two recommended choices are turkey or chicken sausage and ground turkey. These meats are considered lean proteins and provide the body with hearty nutrients without sacrificing flavor.
Skip Jar Sauces and Go for Homemade
Sure, it’s convenient to go to the grocery store and pick up your favorite jar of pasta sauce but even the “healthiest” brands don’t compare to the nutritional value of creating your own sauce from scratch. And you don’t have to be a master chef to pull this off, either. There are a handful of easy pasta sauce recipes that anyone can make right from home. Because homemade pasta sauce calls for fresh ingredients, you’ll be cooking a meal that has its ingredients in their most nutritional state.
There are tons of online homemade pasta sauce recipes to choose from. Over time, you’ll be able to add in your own special touches to truly make it unique.
On a similar note, when it comes to cheese, sometimes this delicious food item is best left as a garnish instead of a main ingredient. Loading a pasta dish with a bunch of cheese may make it taste great but it’s also adding in extra calories and fat, which defeats the purpose of preparing a healthier pasta dish in the first place. Keep your cheese as a garnish and use it to accent the flavor of the meal instead.