Ever since I was little, Nonna (my grandma) used to call me the pasta queen! I would eat it every chance I could, and it drove her crazy when I ate cold pasta leftovers for breakfast. A lot of people think of carbs when pasta comes to mind, but it doesn’t have to be that way! It’s perfectly fine to eat pasta everyday….just make sure you portion it out! Here are some ways to make your pasta craving a healthier one:
- Add lots of vegetables–make it a 1:1 ratio
- Eating plain pasta? Use more olive oil than butter, and add fresh herbs and garlic
- Try eating whole wheat pasta at least half of the time. Yes, it is very different from the original, but it is loaded with protein and fiber
- Making home-made pasta? Try recipes with less egg yolks, and more whole grains and/or vegetables (spinach pasta is awesome)
- If you’re making a sauce with meat, try using a lower fat version, drain the fat when cooked, and/or use less of it
If you’re eating pasta tonight, tomorrow night, or for the rest of your life, remember to add a side dish, or a main course! In Italy, people don’t eat 2 cups of pasta for dinner. They eat their 1/2 cup of pasta as a side dish to the rest of a balanced meal–what a concept!
So if you have dreams of fresh noodles with sage like I do, consider shrinking the portion and adding a side dish or two.
(mmm I’m hungry!)
Confused about portion sizes? One serving of cooked pasta (and other grains/cereals) is equal to 1/2 cup, or the amount of pasta that would fit in a cupped hand (of the average woman…not basketball player!).
–If it helps, use a measuring cup to portion out your pasta at first. After a while, you’ll be able to eye-ball an appropriate serving.
Leftovers are the best! If you have leftover pasta, heat up a skillet on medium-high with a very light coating of olive oil. Add the pasta once the pan heats up. Let the pasta heat through, while turning it once in a while until it gets nice and crispy.
Book an appointment here! Marina Bedrossian, RDN, CDN, CLT is a family holistic dietitian who specializes in nutrition for digestive issues, nutrition for Autism, ADHD, and nutrition for food sensitivities.