Carbohydrates get a bad rap. Carbohydrates are like the thugs of the food world. They make you sluggish and fat, right? Let’s not be haters. The right carbohydrates have a place in our diets. They are actually beneficial to our health. That’s good news because who really wants to give up pasta? Whole grain pasta is loaded with fiber. Fiber lowers cholesterol, keeps you full, and actually aids in helping you maintain a healthy weight. I threw some things together for dinner the other night and came up with a tasty dish! It’s not that I was feeling creative. In reality, I didn’t want to stand in line at the grocery store. This sort-of-Mediterranean dish was born out of resourcefulness. I just threw together things that I had on hand.
While my whole grain pasta was cooking, I diced some zucchini, sliced some olives, and popped open a can of diced tomatoes from the pantry. I crisped up a few strips of pre-cooked bacon in the microwave. Bacon is one of the few types of meat I’m willing to eat. I have a strange texture thing with pork and beef. It feels like it grows in my mouth when I chew it. I sauteed the zucchini with a little olive oil on medium high heat.
I drained the pasta, then added it to the pan along with the tomatoes, capers, and olives. I stirred it around until it was thoroughly heated. I don’t normally add a lot of seasonings. For this dish, I added Himalayan sea salt, cracked pepper, and a few red pepper flakes. I considered adding a little wine, but decided against it since I knew I was going to splurge calorie-wise by adding cheese. It’s all about making conscious choices and striving for balance!
When eating pasta, make sure to watch the portion size as it is more calorie dense than vegetables. Usually, I consider one cup of cooked pasta a serving. If eye-balling it, one cup is about the size of a fist. If that seems inadequate, add a side salad to the meal. I always eat off of a small plate because it tricks my brain into thinking I am eating more. Even if I eat pasta out, I request a small plate. Pasta was meant to enjoy, so chew slowly and savor every bite!
Serving Size- 2
2 cups of cooked whole-wheat pasta
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 T diced, canned tomatoes
1 T diced olives
2 teas. capers
3 slices of bacon, cooked
Boil 1 cup of whole-wheat pasta according to directions on the box.
Dice the zucchini while the pasta is cooking.
Slice the olives.
Saute the zucchini in a splash of olive oil on medium-high heat until it is tender-crisp.
Drain the pasta.
Add the pasta, tomatoes, capers, and olives to the pan with the zucchini.
Add bacon and grated parmesan cheese before serving.
Do you have any ideas for seasonings or variations? If so, please share in the comments below!