Including pasta in your diet won’t lead to weight gain if you limit the amount you eat. To keep your pasta intake down, mix pasta with vegetables.
Many love pasta because it is delicious and satisfying. When eaten in moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet, but when eaten in excess amounts, it may lead to obesity and raise your risk for diabetes. Thanks to some tasty low-calorie vegetables that taste great with pasta, you can create healthy dishes that contain less pasta and healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. Sauté any one of these six vegetables in olive oil, along with some finely chopped garlic, and combine the two ingredients with the pasta of your choice for a tasty treat. Use low-calorie pasta or low carbohydrate pasta if you want to reduce the calorie content of this dish even more.
Juicy and nutty in flavor, cooked asparagus contain only 30 calories per 3/4 cup serving. They are rich in vitamin A, and they contain vitamin C, calcium and iron. Before cooking asparagus, slice off the thick bottom portion of each spear and discard it since this part of the asparagus is usually tough to chew. Rinse the asparagus off and cut the stalks into 1 1/2 inch pieces before sautéing it.
Broccoli contains about 37.5 calories per 3/4 cup serving. It is a low-calorie vegetable that tastes somewhat like cabbage, but it is slightly bitter. Cooking broccoli will take away some of the bitterness. This vibrant green vegetable is a powerhouse of vitamin C, and it contains vitamin A, calcium and iron. If you like your vegetables on the soft side, briefly steam the broccoli prior to sautéing it.
Cauliflower is best described as a bland tasting vegetable. One 3/4 cup serving adds only 22.5 calories to your pasta dish and a significant amount of vitamin C and some iron. Cauliflower, like broccoli, should be steamed first, and then briefly sautéed before mixing it into the pasta.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that tastes like a mildly bitter lettuce, but not iceberg since spinach is not as juicy. Extremely rich in vitamin A and high in iron, this nutritious low-calorie vegetable also contains vitamin C and calcium. One 3/4 cup serving of cooked spinach contains 30 calories. To prepare fresh spinach for your pasta dish, cut off the stems and put the leaves in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Then drain it and sauté it in the oil.
Ripe tomatoes have a sweet flavor, and they are juicy. They contain about 30 calories per 3/4 cup serving and lots of vitamin C. Tomatoes also contain vitamin A and iron. Although there are a wide variety of tomatoes to choose from, you may want to use plum tomatoes since this variety is frequently used to make tomato sauce. Cut your plum tomatoes into bite size cubes before sautéing them in a pan of oil and garlic.
Zucchini is a summer squash that has a mild, fresh flavor. It is juicy when cooked and contains only 30 calories per 3/4 cup serving. This member of the squash family contains vitamins A and C, plus calcium and iron. Slice zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds before sautéing it and mixing it with the pasta. Check to see if it is cooked by sticking it with a fork. The fork should slide into the zucchini with no resistance.