In the low carb/no carb era of dieting, pasta has definitely become a no-no. As someone who grew up in an Italian family, I will never give up my pasta! Although I could happily eat pasta and a load of fresh bread every night of the week, I realize that is not the best idea. High carb meals spike your blood sugar levels and they don't have the long satiating effect of more protein based meals. For me I have always given into my love of pasta by choosing healthy additions, like adding lots of veges and staying away from the cream based sauces and of course portion control.
However, there are some healthier pasta options. One I recently discovered and that I am a true fan of is mung bean pasta. Mung bean has a very neutral taste so it easily takes on the flavor of the sauce. It cooks quickly, easily made to be al dente, gluten free and chock full of protein!
1 serving of mung bean pasta equals:
Only 17 carbs per serving
Rich in iron - 36% daily recommended dose
Although I have eaten mung pasta with a variety of sauces, even just plain marinara, one of my favorites is with avocado basil pesto - yum! Here is the recipe:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups tightly packed basil
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3/4 cup mashed avocado
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 to 2 cloves raw garlic ( I love garlic and always use 2 cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons water, if needed
Blend all ingredients together in a blender of food processor adding water as needed to reach your desired consistency. I usually add additional olive oil to thin it out. Adjust lemon juice and salt according to your tastes as well.
This is not my recipe and unfortunately I could not find the original link, but it is so delicious and super simple to make, that I had to share it! Lasts in the fridge for several days. Its also good on sandwiches or toast - I could eat it all day!