I hate wheat and whole grain pasta. I find the texture unappetizing and the taste overwhelming. As a dietitian in the making, one would think I would have enough sense to force myself to like this healthy alternative. Standard pastas are made with refined wheat flour. This process strips the bran shell and inner germ layer of the grain, which has fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients . The main problem with processed or “refined wheat” pasta is that it provides the body with empty calories. In order to counteract this dilemma you could either use 100% whole grain pasta or, in my case, compensate by adding more nutrients to your meal. When I make pasta I love to add some good sources of protein as well as tons of veggies. Since pasta is not very nutrient dense, it is important to moderate portion size. Adding vegetables, which are low in calories and high in nutrients, to your pasta dish will allow you to eat larger portions, keep your tummy full, and add nutrients to your meal. This pasta with avocado cream sauce does just that!
Tip: If you want the recipe to be vegan, just leave out the cheese!
- 1 box pasta of your choice
- 2 large avocados
- 1 large garlic clove
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups whole mushrooms, quartered
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare pasta as instructed on the box
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
- Add broccoli and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 min
- Reduce heat to medium and cover for 5-7 min or until broccoli is tender
- Combine avocados, garlic, parsley, chives, oil, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until creamy
- Pour avocado sauce in a serving bowl. Add pasta and vegetables and mix well. Serve hot.
- Add cheese for a creamy Alfredo sauce!