Have Pasta & Keep Your Resolutions, Too!
Pasta isn’t usually something you’d think of when talking about New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier or get fit. But, believe it or not, it is in fact possible to eat pasta and keep your health and fitness goals.
Before I jump right in and tell you how you can eat comfort food while staying healthy, let me give you two simple guidelines to help you maintain your health/fitness resolutions (or maybe other resolutions, for that matter). The first thing I find to be helpful is to write down your goals or, better yet, create a vision board with photos or magazine cutouts of the things you wish to achieve for the year. Want to start jogging? Cut out a photo of someone jogging and paste it to your vision board. If you can see it daily, you’re more likely to keep that goal in the front of your mind and actually work to achieve it. The second thing to consider is moderation. There’s something called the 80/20 rule which works for many people – 80 percent healthy foods and 20 percent not as healthy or slightly indulgent throughout the day/week. Or you can try being a weekday vegetarian, so you eat more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, etc. during the week and then, on the weekends, add some meat dishes to your diet.
For the latter, let’s circle back to the idea of healthy pasta!
Gabriella’s Kitchen is a new discovery of mine that I found to be delicious, convenient, and surprisingly light. It satisfied my craving for pasta without making me feel guilty because I knew how nutrient dense and healthy it was. Gabriella’s Kitchen makes a few microwavable pasta product lines that are gluten-free, including skinnypasta, a high-protein, low calorie option; and gabbypasta, a kid-friendly, smaller portioned option. All their products are made with healthy ingredients like butternut squash, teff flour, sweet potatoes, and pea protein, and are ready in minutes in the microwave, making them convenient for those who are short on time but do not want to compromise their health goals.
They are also free from:
One of my favorites is the Butternut Squash Ravioli. You can try it as is or jazz it up with a little bit of home cooking for an equally delicious meal. Here’s a recipe from Gabriella’s Kitchen that you’ll love:
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Ravioli with Mild Sausage and Sweet Peppers
1 mild gluten free sausage link of choice (we used turkey sausage in ours)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or fine sea salt, to taste
1 Gabriella’s Kitchen skinnypasta™ Gluten Free Butternut Squash Ravioli entrée
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Freshly cracked black pepper, for topping
Spray a small pan or skillet with cooking spray. Add sausage and cook on medium-high, roughly 5 minutes, turning often until exterior is golden browned. Reduce heat to low and carefully add ¼ cup of water to the pan. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Once sausage is cooked, remove from pan and set aside to cool.
While the sausage cooks, slice pepper into matchsticks. Add olive oil to pan and turn to medium heat. Add pepper slices with a pinch of salt and cook for roughly 5 minutes, until peppers soften and brown.
Meanwhile, take the pasta out of the carton packaging. Lift film corners and place in microwave. Heat on high for up to 5 minutes (note that microwave times may vary). Carefully remove from the microwave (the entree will be hot) and stir contents. Microwave for an additional few minutes, if necessary. Once tray has cooled slightly, remove film entirely and transfer the contents to the pepper mixture in the pan. Turn heat to very low – you don’t want the sauce to evaporate.
Slice the sausage into thin slices. Add to the mixture in the pan. Simmer on low for a minute, ensuring all ingredients are combined and heated.
Transfer to a plate and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper for added flavor.