make PASTA your healthiest meal

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healthy SFG pasta

Dear Diary,

I am a pasta fanatic… I have it for dinner at least twice a week, if not more, and I’m not ashamed! That’s because my pasta is always healthy, full of greens and protein, and completely satisfying.  In my opinion, pasta has a horrible rep– it’s always associated with buttery sauces and tons of unnecessary carbs, but it doesn’t have to be.  Here are some tips to make pasta your favorite, and healthiest meal of the week!

SFG DIARY pasta made healthy

1.  Choose the Right Pasta

I use Jovial Organic 100% whole wheat pasta– Jovial is minimally processed, has few ingredients, and is full of protein but low in carbs.  It doesn’t get better than that people!  It’s also all about moderation… pay attention to the serving amount on the box, and stick to it.  (Okay, to be honest, sticking to the serving amount is tough for me… but I’m working on it ;))

2.  Make your own Sauce

By making the sauce yourself, you’re able to have more control over the ingredients you put into it… the fresher the ingredients, the better it is for you.  My sauces are always EVOO based; EVOO has healthy fats that are good for the body and great for the skin… so less butter, and more olive oil will lead to a healthier sauce, guaranteed– add in sauteed garlic or some lemon juice to instantly brighten the flavor of any EVOO sauce base.

3.  Add on the veggies and protein

Any pasta dish can be interesting, delicious and inventive depending on the veggies and proteins you have around.  Chop up some greens, add in some local produce, and viola, you’ve gotten your vegetable servings in!– just add seasoning!  Also, FUN FACT:  did you know that vegetables are richer in nutrient value when they are sauteed or steamed vs. when they are eaten raw?!  … I know, mind blowing!

Switch up the protein– cheese, almond cheese, fish, tofu, poultry, meat… so many options for protein, but add it in there!  It will keep you fuller longer, and lead to a healthier and leaner you… guaranteed!

4.  Experiment with flavors and textures!

Don’t forget to season!  Salt and pepper is sometimes all you need to finish a pasta dish, but other times you need to add some heat (cayenne pepper for instance), or some deep Italian Oregano leaves to make a dish complete.  I often add sweet vinegar to the pasta when serving, it provides a great sweet acidity that I love, especially for my pesto!  I also like to add ground flax seeds to my pasta dishes… I know it sounds crazy, LOL, but I love the texture, it keeps me fuller longer, and flax seeds are full of some extra protein… can’t hurt!  :)

SFG Diary healthy pasta

Tonight I made my famous Pesto– spinach, basil, EVOO, garlic, and pine nuts… on top, sliced baby tomatoes and almond cheese!  Looks good enough to eat, right?!  Well go!  Make it!  It’s healthy and SFG approved!

So there are some tips on how to make Pasta your healthiest meal… Enjoy SFGs!

 

An Ode to Flaxseeds!

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Dear Diary,

Okay SFG’s I know that we’ve been a little “food crazy” this week… but we can’t help it.  With an array of holidays coming up, the best way to celebrate is with good food and good company.  And now that its feeling like fall (even in LA!)  It’s time for the winter hibernation of eating to begin!  But lucky for you all– I have FLAX SEED FEVER.  Yup, you heard right!  I’ve been adding this bad boy to pretty much everything… and it’s healthy effects are helping me feel mentally and physically fit all season long!

A few things you may or may not know about flax seeds:  I’ve heard them be called a “superfood”– but come on!  what does that really mean anyway??  Well while the title is still up for debate, the information I discovered proves that flax seeds are one of the most diverse ingredients with some major health benefits to boot!

Did you know flax seeds may fight heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer?  Now why I don’t usually fall for the hype of “super-food”  (okay, who am I kidding, maybe I do :))… it is full of high omega 3 essential fatty acids that are good for heart health, it also contains lignans (acting antioxidants) as well as fiber, AND it reduces inflammation.  Fwwww… That’s a lot for such a tiny seed!  It’s rich dose of fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer… but that’s not all… what I love most about flax seeds is that they are SO EASY to add to a quick meal or use as a substitute in baking or cooking!  It can take the place of bread crumbs in my favorite meat loaf recipe…

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or in my mama’s Italian meatballs!

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It can also be added to my favorite morning smoothie… or to oatmeal… yogurt… cookies… well, you get the point!  :)

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Flax seeds are better for you than flax oil– so buy the real deal!  It’s accessible almost anywhere!  And if you’re having trouble finding it– seek out your local health food store!  Now remember ladies… everything in moderation!  Even flax seeds too!  But hey– when you’re going to indulge– pick the healthy indulgences when you can… I dedicate this post to the flax seed and flax seed lovers every where!  :) KEEP ON BAKING!

Skinny Fat Girl Diary