More Reasons To Enjoy Pasta This Fall + Tasty Recipes


Let’s be honest, crisp, fall weather doesn’t exactly make you want to eat salad—or anything cold for that matter. But that’s why there are other delicious food options out there, like hearty soups, flavorful pastas and gooey brownies, all of which will keep you feeling full and toasty. Is it just us or are you suddenly in the mood for something warm and chocolatey, too?

So while many fall favorites, like those listed above, have the reputation for being loaded with carbs and calories, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Who says you can’t have scrumptious pasta that’s also healthful and nutritious? And no, we aren’t just talking about spiralized vegetable noodles.

In addition to being affordable and versatile, pasta offers a surprising number of health benefits to enjoy, including:

·         Complex carbs, which help to provide sustained levels of energy
·         Low levels of salt and fat, depending what sauce you put on top
·         Ample fiber (found in whole-grain varieties) which supports digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer
·         Additional nutrients like selenium, manganese, folate and carotenoids, all of which can help support cell health

Now that you’re basically a pasta expert, it’s time to see all of its nutritious perks in action. And what better way is there than doing a taste test with a few yummy recipes?

Spicy Asian Veggie Pasta

Ingredients:
·         8 ounces angel hair rice pasta
·         1/4 cup gluten-free tamari
·         2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
·         2 tablespoons lemon juice
·         2 cloves minced garlic
·         2 teaspoons sesame oil
·         1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot)
·         1 teaspoon peanut oil
·         1 cup chopped red, yellow, or green pepper
·         1 cup sliced sweet onion
·         1 cup broccoli florets
·         1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
·         1 cup grape tomatoes
·         For extra protein, try adding chicken or shrimp

Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Make sauce by combining tamari, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl. While pasta is cooking, heat peanut oil in a wok or large frying pan. Stir-fry peppers and onions. Add broccoli and mushrooms when onion and peppers begin to soften. Stir in tomatoes and sauce. Add noodles and mix well.

Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients:
·         2 ⅔ c. rigatoni pasta (or other tube-shaped pasta)
·         2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
·         ¼ tsp. salt
·         ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
·         12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
·         3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
·         3 c. white button mushrooms, sliced
·         1 medium onion, thinly sliced
·         ½ c. low-sodium chicken broth
·         ¼ c. dry white wine (or chicken broth)
·         1 c. tomatoes, chopped
·         ¼ c. fresh basil, shredded
·         1 tbsp. dried oregano
·         ¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions: Cook pasta, drain, and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper on chicken, then cook for 5 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. Add remainder of the oil to skillet with garlic, mushrooms, and onions. Stir-fry until onions are just tender. Pour in broth and wine, then bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced to about half, stirring occasionally (about 5 to 10 minutes.) Remove skillet from heat. Add the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, basil, and oregano; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Pork Sauté with Vegetables

Ingredients:
·         4 cups cooked angel hair pasta 
·         1 teaspoon peanut oil
·         1 pound boneless pork (about 2 thick-cut chops), cut into 1-inch cubes
·         1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
·         1/4 cup water
·         1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (red wine vinegar is OK)
·         2 tablespoons sugar
·         1 piece fresh ginger (about 1 to 2 inches), peeled and thinly sliced, to make about 1 tablespoon
·         3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
·         3 cups assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, portobello, or ordinary white mushrooms)
·         2 cups snow peas, ends trimmed

Directions: In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep frying pan, big enough so the pork fits on one layer. Brown pork on one side, then turn to brown other side, about 3 minutes in all. Sprinkle ginger and garlic over pork. Mix soy sauce, water, vinegar, and sugar and pour over all. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook 5 minutes and add mushrooms. Cook the pork mixture 5 minutes more and stir to coat meat and mushrooms with sauce. Layer snow peas on top. Cook 2 more minutes, or just until snow peas are bright green. Once the pasta is cooked, strain from the water. Remove the pork mixture from heat and pour over angel hair pasta. 

Bon Appetite.
For more ideas on how to maintain a healthy diet, GMC’s Nutrition & Weight Management experts can provide the resources you need to make better food choices. Start feeling your best today by setting up a nutrition consultation.

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