It’s past time for a new project . . . a new challenge . . .I think I’ll call it . . .
What makes Mondays better? Certainly not getting up for work! Mondays are better because I’ll be sharing recipes that I’ve healthified. I realize the word “healthified” can’t be found in the dictionary, however, it can be found all over the web and refers to improving the nutrition in a dish.
The recipes posted here may not necessarily be lower in calories, but will have improvements that I consider to be healthier for myself and those I love.
When I was raising a family, spaghetti was often on the list. It was cheap and fed a crowd. What kid won’t eat a bowl of spaghetti?
In those days I used the cheapest ground beef I could find – high in fat and calories. The ground beef (27%) I’ve used in the past contained 1360 calories per pound with 120g of fat, and 72g of protein. One pound of Laura’s Lean Beef (8%) has 640 calories, 36g of fat and 84g of protein. Even better, Laura’s beef is antibiotic and hormone free.
Add a whole grain pasta, in this case 100% whole wheat, and I’ve made significant improvements with the pasta I’m using. Look for whole grains in the ingredients list, not “blends” and you’ll boost the fiber in your meal and add lots of energy boosting B vitamins.
Kick in some extra veggies and a good jarred sauce (for convenience sake), and I feel pretty good about the improvements I’ve made to my original spaghetti recipe. Be sure to read the ingredients on the jar of sauce. You are looking for whole ingredients, no added sugar and minimal sodium.
In the end, the recipe I served my kids all those years ago weighed in at 478 calories per cup, 43g carbs, 24g fat and 22g of protein. My new recipes has 330 calories per cup, 43g carbs, 11g of fat, and 23g of protein.
Am I happy? You bet! My spaghetti is nutritionally sound and tastes just as good.
If you have a recipe you’d like me to healthify for you, leave it in the comments section and I’d be happy to give it a shot. Keep in mind, I’m a home cook, not a chef. 🙂
Happy, healthy cooking!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell (capsicum) peppers, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 1 pinch red pepper
- 2 tsp thyme, fresh minced
- 2 tsp oregano, fresh minced
- 32 ounces spaghetti sauce, jarred, Prego Veggie Smart
- 1 cup water
- 8 ounces whole grain spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes until softened. Add ground beef and cook another 5 - 8 minutes until beef is cooked through.
- 2. Add spaghetti sauce, water, red pepper, thyme, and oregano. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 - 30 minutes until sauce thickens and vegetables are tender.
- 3. In the meantime cook pasta according to package directions. I bring a big pot of water to a boil over high heat and add pasta, cooking about 15 minutes until a string of pasta, when tasted is just tender. Drain the pasta in a colander.
- 4. Top pasta with sauce with basil and Parmesan cheese.
What’s good for me in this dish?
Lean beef is also a terrific source of protein. Protein is a fundamental part of every cell in your body. We use it for growth and also to repair our organs, skin, hair, and nails. In addition, protein is involved in the building of our bones, muscles and blood. Pretty important stuff! Just 3 or 4 ounces can provide a person with half a day’s requirement of this macronutrient.
Whole grains lower triglycerides which slows the build up of plaque in the arteries. They also contain folate, or folic acid. This also helps reduce cardiovascular disease. Whole grains like 100% whole wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, and quinoa are low on the glycemic index.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 330, Old Weight Watchers Points 7, Weight Watchers Points Plus 10
Total Fat: 11g
Total Carbs: 43g
Dietary Fiber: 0.96g
Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com. The statement made here are strictly my opinion and are not meant to replace medical advice from your physician. Please see disclaimer for further details. Nutrition information is compiled with MacGourmet. If you find discrepancies, please let me know. It’s important to me that I provide you with accurate information.