Monday, June 15, 2015

What's the Point of Pasta?

What's a meal without pasta? Healthier.
Thinking back on my pre-low-carb life,  I can't believe how much I used to count on pasta to complete my meals. If I wanted to prepare a recipe that contained sauce, I thought I needed pasta to ferry the savory liquid to my mouth -- an edible mini van, if you will, whose main purpose was to transport something from one place to another.

Who ever heard of meatballs and marinara sauce without spaghetti? Or Chicken Alfredo without fettuccine?

Of course, there was another "vehicle" that sat humbly on my plate all along that could have done the job just as well -- and with far less damage to my fat cells.

Yep. Good ol' vegetables.

Turns out these colorful foods, which spring from the ground instead of being made in a factory, have the same amazing ability to carry sauce as pasta or rice.

And even though vegetables also contain carbohydrates, they have far fewer grams and way more fiber. Not to mention other healthy stuff, like phytonutrients and vitamins that are not first stripped out and then added back.

Last night I was musing on how much my meal composition mindset had changed when I was contemplating what vegetable to serve with my tomatillo chicken, which had slow cooked all day and was now Tindering for a partner.

Sure I could have served this delicious protein dish over rice or noodles. Or wrapped it up in a tortilla.

But I had some fresh baby spinach in my fridge; so I sauteed it a few minutes with some good olive oil and a few grinds of Trader Joe's garlic and sea salt blend. Then I added the chicken and topped the melange with a handful of Italian four cheese blend until the whole thing was melty and gorgeous. The only thing I forgot to do was take a picture; so you will just have to imagine how good it looked.

The point is that these days, instead of figuring out what shape of pasta will go best with my meals, I consider instead which vegetables will best complement them and leave pasta and rice out of the picture altogether.

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