Pasta is always a big hit at my family table.
But let’s speak to healthy vegetable pasta using healthy noodles that prompt your guests to ask “seconds please”.
But first, we must identify these healthy noodles. I am of the opinion that veggie noodles are your best bet for healthy/clean eating. Veggie noodles are gluten-free, thus cutting carbohydrates. They contain Vitamin A, which is great for your vision, and immune system; Vitamin C, which is good for skin and bones; Vitamin E, which helps protect against heart disease; and Vitamin K, which is a great for your blood, bones, fiber, digestion and cardiovascular health.
If you investigate, you can find packaged, ready-to-boil vegetable noodles. But you can also find many recipes to make these beauties at home. There are zucchini, carrot, sweet potato, squash, broccoli, parsnip and turnip noodles.
To top the pasta, we need to find healthy sauce alternatives. I have a few personal favorites you may want to try in your home kitchen. I know you will enjoy the flavors, and when combined together, they provide a delectable, fabulous and healthy meal.
I have found that healthy vegetables and plant-based items have become a way of life for me. Although I still enjoy a splurge once a week, you will find you can feel better along with an exercise regimen that you enjoy.
Have fun in the kitchen! Go vegetable heavy. Reverse your plate by making meat the side dish and vegetables the main course.
With all of this, I could not agree more!
Jacqueline Iannazzo-Corser is a contributing writer to The Monroe News, writing about food and recipes. She is a chef, co-owner of Public House, Culinary Specialist at the Opportunity Center at the Arthur Lesow Community Center, and an adjunct professor of culinary arts at Monroe County Community College. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Veggie Sauce #1
- 2 tbsp. oil of choice (I like olive oil always)
- 1 small yellow, white, or red onion diced
- 2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. italian seasoning
- 4 cups zucchini or yellow squash grated (mixed if desired)
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 bell pepper diced – any color
- 4 cups chopped spinach (if small leaves do not chop)
- 2 – 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes (fresh or can)
- 4 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
- veggie pasta
- In a large sauce pan heat oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and Italian seasoning.
- Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.
- Add zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, and spinach to the pan.
- Sauté the veggies until they are softened 2 to 3 minutes
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock to the pot.
- Stir until combined then cover.
- Once sauce starts to boil, lower heat to low and cook uncover for an additional 15 minutes.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
Note: This sauce is intended to be chunky. If you would like to puree thesauce, do so in a blender. You may also use an immersion blender. Serve with a crisp salad and feature with lemon dressing.
Veggie Sauce #2
Serves 6 to 8
- 12oz. veggie pasta of choice
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions of your choice
- 1 pound of zucchini and yellow squash chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried or fresh oregano
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes-optional
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 – 28oz. can or fresh whole peeled tomatoes –cut
- 5 to 6 cups of spinach
- 1 to 1 ½ cups of fresh mushrooms
- One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces = 1 Cup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
- Dry basil or a handful of fresh
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook stirring occasionally until translucent 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and
- Salt and pepper to taste stir until softened cook al dente.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute.
- Add the roasted red peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.
- Bring to a low simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half approximately 10 minutes.
- Take the sauce off the heat
- Stir in the spinach and basil.
- Add additional salt and pepper for taste.
- Toss in the cooked veggie pasta to absorb sauce.
- Serve with Parmesan mixed throughout pasta and sauce.
Note: I like the versatility of this dish and you can add or change ingredients as you desire. When you thicken no lid allows water to evaporate, serve with a crisp salad and try the homemade lemon dressing recipe.*Cooking times may vary
10 Minute Lemon Dressing
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced fresh or jar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp. honey
- ½ tsp. parsley or another herb of your choice optional
Directions:Whisk contents and serve.