Healthify your pasta night by swapping in an alternative bean-based pasta and piling on the veggies.
Many brands now offer bean and lentil based pastas, made primarily with ingredients like chickpeas, black beans, or red lentils. These bean based pasta are naturally gluten-free, and typically have much more protein and fiber compared to traditional pasta, which makes them more filling.
When covered in sauce, or vegetables, you probably won’t even tell the difference.
Pile on Veggies
This is meant to be an easy, fuss-free dish, so use copious amounts of whatever vegetables you have on hand. (Shoot for at minimum 2-3 cups veggies). As for cooking them, steam, saute, or roast them. The trick to making the veggies roast quickly is to cut them in small pieces. Also, don’t forget to add flavor – saute with garlic and onions, or sprinkle with herbs and spices after steaming or before roasting. You could try:
- sauteed onions and summer squash
- sauteed baby spinach (or any greens) and garlic
- sauteed garlic and mushrooms
- roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes
- steamed frozen veggies (you could even put the steamer basket over the pot you use to cook the pasta!)
- steamed broccoli and carrots
Genius Cheese Swap
Replace grated cheese with a sprinkle of almond flour and pink himalayan salt. The fat from the almonds mixed with the saltiness from the pink salt makes for a delicious dairy-free alternative. It looks and tastes just like grated cheese!
Here’s the recipe:
Chickpea Pasta Primavera
1 small-medium sweet potato
2 cups broccoli
2 oz. chickpea pasta (dry)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta.
- Chop sweet potato into small, 1-cm cubes. Lay out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss well, and arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer with space in between pieces, so they cook evenly. Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
- Chop the broccoli into bite-size florets, lay out on a second pan, drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss well, arrange in a single layer with space in between, and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- When the water is boiling, add chickpea pasta. Cook for 9 minutes. Drain.
- Put the pasta in a bowl, top with the sweet potato and broccoli once they’re ready.
- Top with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and almond flour (if you wish).
Get the printable recipe here.
Author: Maria Marlowe is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who has helped thousands of people improve their health by optimizing their diet. She has created meal plans and programs to help you lose weight, clear up acne, and spend less time in the kitchen yet still eat healthy.
She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, NBC, Well + Good, and more. Her first book, The Real Food Grocery Guide (to be released June 2017), will teach you how to eat healthy without going broke.