Here's my take on Italian food. I am a firm believer that you don't need to give up any foods, just alter how you eat them. By that I mean swapping out items that aren't as healthy for you for a healthier alternative. So maybe it is like giving up certain foods, but you find other options that are really close you almost can't tell the difference!
For last nights dinner, I opted for spaghetti and meatballs. I didn't want to eat that many carbs for my dinner and wanted a leaner protein. When it comes to wanting pasta, I typically look for an alternative like spaghetti squash or zoodles (zucchini noodles) because I like to have a big fat bowl of it. When you have a big bowl of regular spaghetti it can throw off your calories for the day. What I love about spaghetti squash is that I can eat an entire half of squash and not feel disgustingly full, sluggish or bloated from my meal. I feel full, have energy and content that I ate squash vs. straight carbs.
All you need is 1 squash sliced in half. Once you slice it in half, and might I add be careful slicing it open. I find it can be really difficult to cut, so watch your hands! Next you'll want to scoop out the seeds. After that, drizzle olive oil, garlic powder, pepper and salt (optional) over the squash and then place them face down on a baking sheet. I bake them on 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Once they are cooked you can take a fork and instantly the squash will begin to look like spaghetti.
Italian chicken meatballs:
Ground chicken 1lb 90% lean
1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs
1 tsp of oregano
1tsp of salt
1tsp of pepper
1tsp of garlic powder
Parmesan cheese (optional)
You'll begin by mixing all of your ingredients together in a bowl. Once they are all mixed, spoon out your meatball and begin to cook them on a hot skillet with olive oil. Once the meatballs have a nice brown color, transfer them to a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 25 minutes on 350 degrees.
Mixing it all together:
I like to have sauce with my pasta and meatballs, it's just a must. You can make your own "gravy" or do store bought. There are so many great alternatives now like organic tomato sauce, or low calorie, light cream alfredo sauce and so on. My three recommendations for sauces are as follows:
Garlic and olive oil (make yourself)
Alfredo sauce (store bought or make yourself)
Tomato sauce (store bought or make yourself)
I chose Alfredo sauce because it was what I had in the pantry. Since I am eating super healthy, I sometimes let myself splurge on the sauce.
What's your favorite recipe for spaghetti and meatballs?