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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

8 Tips to Make Your Pasta Healthy, According to Dietitians



  • Pasta can be healthy when paired with vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.
  • Healthy pasta like whole wheat, chickpeas, or zoodles can add more nutrition to your meal.
  • Make sure you have a healthy serving of pasta and go easy on the sauce and cheese.
  • Please refer to Insider’s Insider Reference Library for more information.

Whether you have an entire kitchen cabinet for storing boxes of Farfalle, Rigatoni and Ziti or you decide to eat pasta every now and then, knowing how to eat pasta is important – the healthy way.

Let’s get straight to the point: is pasta healthy? It has been said that too many carbs are a no-go, but whipping up your favorite dish can be nutritious if done right.

For the 411 on all pasta, Insider spoke to Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN and Mia Syn, MS, RDN to share their top 8 tips for making any type of pasta healthy – from portion control to down to different ways of cooking it and what to look for when shopping.

1. Pack protein, vegetables, and healthy fats

The great thing about pasta is its versatility. While the traditional marinara sauce and parmesan cheese are a hearty option, balancing your dish with enough protein, a vegetable for fiber and nutrients, and some healthy fat to help maintain stable blood sugar levels is especially good, says Jones.

“The balance of all of these components makes pasta dishes more nutritious and satisfying, eliminating the ‘bottomless pit’ feeling that some people describe when they just eat pasta and sauce,” she says.

Here are some recipes Jones recommends:

  • Nut or avocado based pesto with sauteed spinach and chicken
  • Pasta salad with mixed vegetables and tuna
  • White beans, broccoli raven, and garlic oil for a vegetarian option

Additionally, Syn recommends the same trio for balanced plates, suggesting that cooking vegetables and egg whites with unsaturated oil – like avocado or olive oil – is a practice to incorporate healthy fats into your homemade meal. She added that homemade kale pesto, which combines both the vegetarian and fatty ingredients, also adds a lot of depth to your pasta dish.

2. Choose servings that suit your lifestyle

In general, a standard 2 ounce serving as stated on the nutrition label is roughly equal to one cup of cooked pasta. Syn recommends following the guidelines for ¼ pasta or carbohydrates, ¼ protein, and ½ vegetables for a portioned, healthy plate.

how to build a healthy plate

About 1/4 of a healthy plate should consist of carbohydrates like pasta – ideally whole grains.

Shayanne Gal / Insider

“It’s important to note that serving sizes are standardized to provide nutritional information – not to assume that everyone needs to eat the same amount,” says Jones. “For example, my athlete customers may need two or three times that amount to meet their energy needs in one meal.”

A 2018 study found that consuming around 150 kcal for a 160-pound athlete – roughly the equivalent of a cup of pasta – every 30 minutes for two to four hours can boost your metabolism, which is a key factor in daily or weekly strenuous exercise is.

Athletes should consume 65% more carbohydrates than is normally recommended for the average adult because they burn off their energy stores quickly during intense exercise. A high-carbohydrate diet helps athletes avoid burnout and fatigue, Syn adds. And while you can cook pasta several times a day, Jones recommends switching the carbohydrates in your diet for more variety.

3. Take pasta substitutions to add variety to your diet

Pasta offers more than just white and whole wheat wheat when you are in the supermarket aisle. Now you can choose between lentils, chickpeas, white beans, and even zoodle options for a herbal alternative.

Here’s how different types of pasta stack up for a standard 2 ounce serving:

“Zoodles are a fun option to add to your pasta to add nutrient levels and help you feel full if you feel like you are overeating frequently,” says Jones. “If you’re looking for a more filling alternative, start with chickpea or red lentil noodles, as these have a tastier texture than other bean noodles, especially if you’re used to white noodles.”

Syn adds that these alternatives are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and have fewer calories per serving compared to regular pasta, even though zoodles – and spaghetti squash – have minimal carbohydrates and protein. However, you can add grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, tomato, or extra vegetables for a more balanced meal.

4. Pay attention to fiber content to control blood sugar levels

If you have diabetes or are concerned about your blood sugar levels, Syn recommends avoiding refined pasta and choosing whole wheat or other high fiber option instead.

Although refined noodles have been fortified with vitamins and minerals – and therefore tend to be high in iron and B vitamins – they don’t contain nearly as much fiber, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels.

A 2018 study found that dietary fiber intake significantly reduced the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Men should aim for around 38 grams of fiber per day while women should aim for around 25 grams.

Jones says it’s hard to pinpoint the amount of fiber in pasta because whole wheat pasta contains seven grams and chickpea pasta contains five grams. However, it is recommended that you aim for a balanced serving of pasta and vegetables with a total of around 10 grams of fiber.

If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, don’t fret. Syn has a solution: opt for bean noodles such as lemon parmesan and kale chickpeas or roasted red chickpeas with red peppers or zoodles with added protein.

5. Add cheese in moderation

There is a healthy way to add cheese to your pasta so that you can enjoy the taste without deprivation or guilt.

Syn recommends switching from whole milk mozzarella to skimmed milk and from regular Parmesan to fat-free cheese to cut down on calories and saturated fats, as is common with cheeses like cheddar.

The following cheeses contain less saturated fats:

  • Parmesan
  • Feta
  • Partially skimmed mozzarella
  • ricotta

“Parmigiano Reggiano has 11 grams of protein per ounce serving, so when you pair it with a cup of pasta and a green veggie, your meal can easily reach 20 grams,” adds Jones. “However, the salt content tends to be higher, so people with high blood pressure want to be sure they are sticking to one serving.”

Note: Use a measuring spoon or cup to portion the cheese accordingly, preferably a lot of streusel or a teaspoon per serving.

6. Try a cheese alternative

For a healthier, yet creamy alternative, consider replacing creamy alfredo sauces with cashew cream sauces instead, says Jones.

To prepare the dish, she soaks cashews in water overnight before draining and mixing in a food processor, adding a pinch of lemon, a pinch of salt, black pepper and enough non-dairy milk until you get the texture you want.

Syn recommends combining one part olive oil and two parts soy milk to replace a cream. She loves to prepare a puree from cauliflower, almond milk, olive oil and her favorite spices (e.g. garlic, salt, pepper, onion) for a tasty mixture.

7. Try making sauces at home

While Bolognese and Harvest Mix jars look so good in the grocery store, Jones and Syn recommend making your own at home. Cream-based sauces can contain many unhealthy additives and stabilizers, while others can be high in sodium or fat and added sugars.

Syn recommends conjuring up a simple blend of oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic herbs instead of adding heavy salt to the sauce of your choice. Puree vegetables is also a wonderful option.

If you’re in dire straits and don’t have time to stir up a saucepan of sauce, check the nutrition labels for sodium and sugar, and reach for pesto in the refrigerator section to ensure freshness.

8. Don’t overcook your pasta

Pasta is healthiest when you stick to the recommended cooking time on the box – after all, it’s there for a reason.

“When it boils over, the starch component of pasta absorbs too much water, which leads to swelling and the nutrients of which are eventually released into the cooking water,” says Syn.

According to Jones, it’s important to avoid the al dente (slightly undercooked) texture as the pasta’s folate content – a nutrient that aids metabolism and digestion – is absent from your final plate.

Insider to take away

While some associate pasta with a “bad carbohydrate,” it is not at all unhealthy when consumed in RD-recommended ways.

Jones concludes that cutting pasta from your diet, especially if it is one of your favorite meals, can lead to increased cravings and a greater chance of overeating the next time you collapse.

This can also lead to dangerous binge eating. She therefore recommends enjoying a homemade meal of semolina pasta with a marinara sauce every now and then – just like your grandmother might have done.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

The hunt for New Zealand’s best meal kit delivery service



Jihee Junn analyzes the numbers from a recent study comparing the greatest players in the Meal Pack game.

As a single parent, childless person who doesn’t mind eating five bowls of oatmeal a day, I can’t say I’ve ever fully embraced the movement of meal sets. But I know that for many families, having the same meals cooked or taken away every week is not a viable option. For example, my eternally exhausted sister and her busy husband have three young children who don’t eat anything all the time, except chocolate, french fries, and pizza. Eating out – even at McDonald’s – somehow always costs a small fortune.

It is no coincidence that parceled meals have found a lucrative niche in families like hers. When the concept first hit the market in Sweden in the late 2000s, they were exactly with the modern family in mind – one where both parents worked full-time. Created to combine our desire for fresh, healthy home-cooked meals with our increasingly busy, comfortable lives, it wasn’t long before the concept gained momentum and spread across the continent to central Europe and the United States by 2012 .

Around the same time that food parcels were on the rise in the USA, the idea with the introduction of My Food Bag 2013, which was co-founded by star chef Nadia Lim, had also found its way to Aotearoa. A few years later came the slightly more gourmet Woop service (which stands for “world on our plate” in case you’re wondering), followed by the Bargain Box, a cheaper option launched by the My Food Bag team. Then, in 2018, HelloFresh came on the market – the German meal kit juggernaut that managed to capture a large part of the local market in less than three years.

The Hello Fresh empire arrived in New Zealand in 2018. Photo: Hello Fresh

As the Covid-19 lockdowns accelerate the growth in meal set deliveries, My Food Bag, Woop, Bargain Box and HelloFresh have had a lot to celebrate over the past two years. More people than ever are trying these “essential services” instead of the supermarket chaos, and while they all share the same business model, there are important differences, a recent study by consumer-centric research website MoneyHub points out.

Over the course of six months, the team subscribed to the four largest and most popular meal set delivery services in New Zealand and consumed over 100 different meals to directly compare almost every detail you could ask for, including cost, cooking time, and packaging waste ( Unfortunately, taste was deliberately left out because it was perceived as “too subjective”). We have summarized their key insights into which company did well in which areas. To read full details and see photos of each meal, go to MoneyHub website.

Prices and plans

Aside from the Bargain Box, which only offers two types of plans (classic and vegetarian), the remaining three offer meals tailored to a gluten-free or health-conscious diet, as well as a plant-based plan from My Food Bag that is completely vegan in ingredients . All three also have options that instead let you choose from a selection of recipes from different plans, with HelloFresh having the largest selection of recipes (20+) that you can combine and customize each week.

However, if you only want to get the most bang for your buck, the Bargain Box is your best bet, especially if you want to feed a large family or have multiple servings on hand. Designed to accommodate the largest number of people from all four services, a regular five meal plan can only cost $ 6.30 per plate for six people ($ 190 per week), $ 7.30 per plate for four people (140 USD per week). and $ 11.50 per plate for two ($ 115).

Remember: meal sets are designed so that the bigger your order (more servings, more meals), the cheaper it will be per plate.

Bargain box from a bird’s eye view (Photo: MoneyHub)

HelloFresh (including the $ 10 delivery fee) ranks second in the price per platter. But with more than 20 recipes to choose from compared to Bargain Box’s eight recipes, HelloFresh has a far wider choice for just a few more dollars, especially if you have dietary requirements. However, it’s worth noting that there is an additional $ 5 delivery fee in the South Island.

Packaging and ingredients

Woop may be the most expensive of the four, but the comparison found that not only does it contain the highest quality local ingredients, but it also produces the least amount of waste. Its pre-made sauces and precisely portioned ingredients were found to leave the least amount of food waste and unused ingredients, while its recipes also required the fewest and simplest “pantry items” (ingredients not included).

Most of woops The packaging is made from materials that are suitable for roadside recycling, but Woop also gives you the option to return all of your packaging directly to the company (provided it is completely clean, dry, and food-free) that it at yours next order and properly recycled. This includes things like soft plastics as well as gel cold packs that are disinfected, frozen and reused for other woop deliveries.

A typical woop box contains less waste than its competitors. Photo: MoneyHub

Cooking and preparation

With regard to the actual preparation of the meals, the comparison showed that the preparation and cooking (carried out by one person) took significantly longer than all estimates of all four providers. Based on the recipes used during the comparison, the actual time taken to prepare meals averaged between 20 and 30 minutes longer than the average estimated times. Of course, this all depends on the speed and skills of whoever does the job, but if you’re your average home cook, it’s safe to say that it will likely take a little longer than any of these companies think.

However, among the four companies, the recipes were the fastest to prepare thanks to Woop’s pre-made sauces and sometimes pre-cooked vegetables, with an estimated time averaging 23 minutes, or around 40 minutes in reality. My Food Bag and HelloFresh (excluding the “fresh and quick” recipes that only take 15 minutes) were the second and third fastest with an estimated average time of 37 and 40 minutes, in reality around 55 and 60 minutes. The Bargain Box meals lasted the longest, with the 35-minute meals running closer to 65.

Two bargain box meals prepared during the study that, on average, lasted much longer than promised (Photo: MoneyHub)

In the meantime, if you’re the cook who needs all the help you can get, comparing HelloFresh’s recipe cards proved to be the best of the group. Her detailed instructions included pictures of all the ingredients and each step of the cooking process, as well as a list of the utensils you need and suggestions as to whether you should prepare a particular dish earlier than another. The ingredients for each dish are also packaged in individually color-coded paper bags, so you can easily sort what you need each time you cook.

Which one is right for me?

No company does the best at everything, and all have their individual weaknesses. For example, Woop only delivers to certain cities, HelloFresh charges extra for the South Island, Bargain Box has little for those with dietary requirements, while My Food Bag often requires more unusual supplies such as whole grain mustard, rice vinegar and corn starch. It’s up to you to decide what is important and what is not, but here is which service, in MoneyHub’s opinion, is best.


“Best for people in large cities (because of their delivery areas) and plans for one person. Their estimated prep times are consistently shorter than those of the other companies, and while we didn’t necessarily finish the meals in the estimated time, they were faster than the other food companies we tried. All of their plans use high quality ingredients, but we especially liked their ‘Foodie’ plan as it is the only gourmet option on the market that is available for one, two or four people. “

Hello Fresh

“Best for people without much cooking experience, because the recipe cards are very detailed and the app helps too. [It also has the] largest selection of recipes to choose from and you get access to the HelloFresh cookbook with thousands of recipes. They offer a particularly good price-performance ratio for low-calorie and vegetarian recipes. “

My grocery bag

“Best for weight loss plans and herbal recipes, but there are many plans. Wide availability across New Zealand (according to their website, they serve 86% of New Zealanders). We have found that they use more adventurous spices than HelloFresh and Bargain Box, but also require more supplies for their preparation. “

Bargain box

“Best for the budget-conscious, families with more than four members or picky eaters, as the recipes are usually kiwi classics.”

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

10 Kale Pasta Dishes, from Spaghetti to Lasagne!



Kale is a plant in the cabbage family, which also includes favorites like cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, arugula, and Brussels sprouts. Kale was nicknamed King Kale for its excellent nutritional profile and health benefits. It’s also tasty and easy to incorporate into many meals.

Kale is rich in vitamins A, K, C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium. It’s high in chlorophyll and contains 3 grams of protein per cup. In fact, a cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C, an important antioxidant, than an orange and is also one of the most well-known sources of vitamin K. Plus, kale is a good source of fiber and is low in fat and calories. This makes kale one of the most nutritious foods out there.

There are obviously many ways to include kale in your meals, from side dishes to smoothies to desserts. Here we have a list of the best ways to incorporate kale into your favorite pasta dishes.

1. Garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs and orange-miso-tahini dressing

Garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs and orange-miso-tahini dressing

Source: Garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs and orange-miso-tahini dressing / One Green Planet

Kale plays an important role in this garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs, and orange miso tahini dressing from The Whole Foods Diet. Pasta is tossed along with a rainbow of vegetables and topped with a creamy orange-miso-tahini dressing that adds a lemony touch. Here, kale is eaten raw. This is a quick toss-up meal and works wonderfully as leftovers.

2. Creamy kale and zucchini pasta

Creamy kale and zucchini pasta

Source: Creamy kale and zucchini pasta/ A green planet

This is a great recipe for anyone looking for an alternative to wheat noodles. It is also ideal for this time of year when zucchini are in season. In this recipe for Creamy kale and zucchini pasta from Rouxbe, the kale is cooked with caramelized onions and stirred into the zucchini noodles. A creamy tahini sauce brings it all together.

3. A pot of creamy Tuscan kale pasta

Source: One Pot Creamy Tuscan Kale Pasta / One Green Planet

You can put this meal together in under 30 minutes. The creamy sauce of this One Pot Creamy Tuscan Kale Pasta by Shanika Graham-White is made from cashew nuts, which gives you a velvety texture and a protein boost. The kale is sautéed with garlic and tomatoes for a rich hearty taste.

4. Pasta Primavera

Pasta with vegetables

Source: Pasta Primavera / One Green Planet

This is a really simple dish that requires you to add some veggies and, of course, some kale to a jar of tomato sauce. This could be one you had in your pantry waiting for the perfect recipe. This Pasta Primavera recipe from Wholesome LLC is a perfect weekday meal.

5. Vegetable protein pasta salad bowl

Pasta salad with vegetable protein

Source: Plant Protein Pasta Salad Bowl / One Green Planet

This vegetable protein pasta salad bowl from Nikki and Zuzana call for red lentil noodles that add protein power, but you can use any pasta of your choice. You’re still getting plenty of protein from the black lentils and hemp heart-based dressing. Here kale is accompanied by its green friends spinach, rocket and many fresh herbs.

6. Kale Walnut Pesto Noodles

Vegan kale walnut pesto pasta

Source: Kale-Walnut-Pesto-Pasta / One Green Planet

This Mitra Shirmohammadi Kale Walnut Pesto Noodle Recipe couldn’t be easier. Aside from making a pot of pasta, all you need to do is put all of the ingredients in a blender to make a batch of this kale pesto. Kale is added to the pesto along with the traditional basil flavor. Walnuts are used in place of pine nuts and a healthy dose of nutritional yeast gives it that “cheesy” note.

7. Spaghetti a la Caesar

Spaghetti a la Caesar

Source: Spaghetti a la Caesar / One Green Planet

This recipe for Spaghetti a la Caesar by Kim Sujovolsky is also easy to make. Kale is sautéed with garlic and mixed with the spaghetti. Then the dish is served with a serving of almond parmesan, lemon and chilli flakes.

8. Sweet potato noodles with garlic and cashew cream

Vegan sweet potato noodles with garlic cashew cream

Source: Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic Cashew Cream / One Green Planet

Here’s another great gluten-free pasta option. This Garlic Cashew Cream Sweet Potato Noodle Recipe by Christine Zulkosky takes a creamy cashew sauce and serves it with sweet potato noodles, a generous helping of kale, and chunky mushrooms to give it a bite.

9. Soothing kale pesto pasta casserole

Kale pesto pasta casserole [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Source: Soothing Kale Pesto Pasta Casserole / One Green Planet

This soothing kale pesto pasta casserole from Florian Nouh is full of texture and flavor. The crust is made from gluten-free breadcrumbs and the noodles are tossed in a kale-based pesto. The whole dish is then baked for about 15-20 minutes. It’s a nice vegan version of a classic comfort food.

10. Kale lasagna

Vegan gluten-free kale lasagna with bechamel sauce

Source: Kale Lasagne / One Green Planet

We can hardly make a list of pasta favorites and leave out the lovely lasagna. This kale lasagna from Peffe Stahl is vegan and gluten-free. This is a really simple recipe that requires a soy or oat milk based bechamel sauce layered between sheets of vegan lasagna. The kale is then sautéed with onions before joining the bechamel.

Make your pasta dishes particularly tasty and nutritious with a generous helping of kale.

Learn How To Make Plant-Based Meals At Home!

Vegan creamy ginger-coconut-kale-zucchini-spaghetti [Gluten-Free]

It is known to help reduce meat consumption and eat more plant-based foods chronic inflammation, Heart health, mental wellbeing, Fitness goals, Nutritional needs, Allergies, good health, and more! Milk consumption has also been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, Prostate cancer and has many Side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based foods, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App – With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest herbal recipe source to reduce your ecological footprint, save animals and get healthy! And while you’re at it, we encourage you to find out about the environment and health benefits from a vegetable diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

For more daily published content on animals, earth, life, vegan food, health and recipes, subscribe to One Green Planet newsletter! Finally, public funding gives us a greater chance of continuing to provide you with quality content. Please note support us through donations!

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Types of Chocolate, Explained:



You’ve seen these numbers on fancy candy bar packaging, but what do chocolate percentages mean and which one should you choose? We’ll break it down so you can make the best chocolate choice possible.

When it comes to chocolate, I used to be part of the high cocoa cult. My favorite was 70 percent, with an 82.5 percent shot every now and then. However, the more I learned about chocolate, the more I realized that the percentage had nothing to do with quality: I had greasy 85 percent bars and fantastic 40 percent bars.

That’s because the cocoa percentage is the percentage of the bar that comes straight from cocoa beans. Take my beloved 70 percent bar as an example: 70 percent of this bar is made from refined cocoa beans, and 30 percent is made from all the other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, sea salt, pop rocks, whatever.

Just because you’ve tried a 70 percent bar doesn’t mean you’ve tried them all. Everyone has a unique mouthfeel and taste. (A genius came up with the fancy sounding “mouthfeel” to describe how things feel in the mouth. In practical terms, this means whether the chocolate is grainy or smooth, melts quickly or slowly, etc.) One reason is that one chocolate bar contains significantly more cocoa butter than another. Both cocoa solids and cocoa butter are included in this 70 percent.

As I write in my book, “Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution ”,“ A 70 percent bar could contain 50 percent cocoa mass and 20 percent cocoa butter; another could have 30 percent cocoa mass and 40 percent cocoa butter (that would make a very smooth, buttery bar!). To make it even more complicated, different types of beans naturally contain different amounts of cocoa butter. Some are leaner, others fatter. The natural “butteriness” of a bean changes the consistency of the resulting chocolate. “

Milk chocolate generally has a fairly low percentage, usually around 40 percent or less (Hershey’s is 11 percent). I’m in love with Zotter’s 40 percent bar diluted with “Bio Tiroler Bergmilch” and Frans smoked salt.

Dark chocolate has no legal definition in the United States (it comes under the umbrella term semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate). It’s usually at least 55 percent, but most dark chocolate lovers enjoy 70 percent or more. I’m obsessed with a new variety called dark milk chocolate, a high-proof milk chocolate that combines the best of both worlds: you get the intense flavors of dark chocolate with the creaminess of milk chocolate. My favorite right now? Chocolate Naive’s 62 percent dark milk with porcini mushrooms. (Yes, you read that right: mushrooms!)

Then there are some dark candy bars that stamp in at 100 percent. That said, they only contain ground and refined cocoa beans, and the trick for the chocolate makers is to bring out the natural flavors of these beans to make them not only edible but also enjoyable. The best – like those from Fruition and Pralus – are far from making chocolate. I urge you to try a 100 percent bar for Valentine’s Day: you might find your true love.

But don’t forget the white chocolate either.

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