Fit February – Pazzo for Pasta

February 2, 2011

You can be a fit foody and still be pazzo for Pasta.

Pazzo for Pasta

You gave white flour and carbs the boot, but you pine away for heaping plates of pasta like a lovelorn teenager.  Now, you can twirl your noodles and eat them too.  There are about as many options that deliver sound nutrition as there are Italian handbags that I covet.  Plus, whole grain pasta is economical, filling, quick to make and easy to feed a crowd.  Sure, it may take you a few times before you get the texture you like from these alternatives but don’t give up – it takes 8 times before you decide if you like a food or not.

So stick a fork in it and say, ciao bella!  

–         Quinoa Pasta – Made from the super protein ancient grain, pasta made with quinoa has a great, nutty flavor and a nice, firm al dente bite.  Ancient Harvest is a great option for a variety of pasta shapes (good for kids) that are gluten free, non-gmo.

–         Brown Rice Pasta – No empty carbs here – just good pure nutrition.  This pasta cooks up great and holds up to any of your favorite sauces.  The Trader Joe’s brand is wheat, sodium, gluten and cholesterol-free.

–         Protein Plus Pasta from Barilla – When my all time favorite pasta brand, Barilla, launched this line, I jumped up and down at the grocery store and yelled ‘bravo!’  One serving gives you 10 grams of protein (same as a chicken thigh) and it’s packed with Omega-3s and Fiber. www.

–         Spelt and Kamut Pasta – Two other protein-packed ancient grains, these are good options for people who have gluten or wheat intolerance.  Eden Organics makes a good, organic gmo-free variety.


Quinoa Pasta is packed with protein and a good option for gluten-free diets.

Feeling saucy?  Here’s what you can put on top.

– Grape sized tomatoes, basil and garlic and a dash of freshly grated Pecorino (goat milk) cheese

– A variety of sauteed veggies and beans, including spinach, zucchini, asparagus and white cannellini beans with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

– Thai style, with shrimp, cilantro, shredded carrots and peanuts

– Ground turkey sauteed with fresh tomatoes, garlic, parsley and red wine

– Chicken breast cubed and sauteed with kale, onions, peas and lean turkey bacon bits

– Puttanesca, made with crushed tomato, anchovy, red pepper flakes and Kalamata olives

Eat Cleaner, Get Cleaner.  Join us for Fit February on Facebook every day for cleaner eating tips.


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