No, it’s no the latest dance crave… it’s the latest health craze! But I could create a dance to go with it if you would like!
It’s swapping in spinach for pasta in your favorite dish. So you get all the yumminess of the sauce, and less of the calories from the pasta. PLUS you’re adding in vital nutrients from the spinach and the dish tends to be more filling. I hear from some friends out in the LA area that restaurants are even adding this onto their menus (just like restaurants are filling giving the option to get a veggie or turkey burger, instead of the beef one).
I love my pasta (hello, my name is Alisa and I’m a carb-o-holic)! So I can’t do the full swap (no pasta, makes me an angry person), but I’ve been doing a variation of this for years! I can eat an entire box of pasta, if left alone, so here are some of my ways to trick myself into eating less.
- Sometimes I will put so chopped up spinach at the bottom of the bowl, so I add less noodely goodness.
- I like to chop some asparagus and throw it into the pot of pasta in the last few minutes, so when I fill up my bowl with the same amount, I get less pasta. (This works great for the penne shape, since they are similar in size and shape to asparagus)
- Veggie curls! Zucchini works wonderfully, but carrots work too (and there are probably other veggies that I haven’t tried). Again, throw them into the pot of pasta in the last few minutes so they cook up. This is fun with linguine OR even instead of linguine.
- Simple solution: spaghetti squash! Duh. And that’s a boatload of S’s! Sorry.
- And my final one: Cook up some squash (of any kind, I love acorn), mash it up with some milk (or white wine!) and mix with pasta! I love to make this, pour into a baking dish, top with some bread crumbs, and bake it up.
- For my mac and cheese lovers, stir some cheese in the squash and you get the same rich creaminess, with some of the flavor, and a lot less calories!
Now, I know that if you’re really craving pasta-heaven, not all of these ideas will suffice. But they are great ways to “sneak” in more veggies and cut out extra calories. My love handles thank me for this.
What are some of your favorite swaps?
I love making “milkshakes” by combining a bit of almond milk with frozen fruit and blend away. I also like putting berries into the bottom of my bowl before I scoop my coconut milk ice cream!
How much pasta can you eat in one sitting? Favorite way of consuming?
Maybe not a whole box, but probably half a box. I love pasta in any form, but for some reason, plain just sings the loudest to me. No sauce, just noodelicious-ness!