Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dinner on the farm - Heart Healthy Spaghetti & Veggie meat sauce

We start this dinner by cooking the whole grain pasta in a stock pot of boiling water. Read your labels! Not all whole grain pasta is made the same. Read the ingredient on the package. Does your pasta start with bleached flour? Then it's not truly a whole grain product. Often times I find that the store brand is much healthier food than a major brand.

While the pasta is cooking we saute 1/2 c diced celery, 1/2 c diced onion, 1/3 c bell pepper and 2 tbl minced garlic and 2 zuchinni's diced and 2-3 tbl dried herb italian seasoning. While this is cooking we add in 1/2 lb. 97/3 or leaner ground beef or ground chicken or turkey. You could also use fresh shrimp, diced chicken breast or not add any meat at all.

If you'd like less calories you can always brown the ground beef first then rinse it by putting it in a colander. Then, return it to the saute pan and add in the vegetables to cook. 

When the vegetables are about half cooked we add in 2 large tomato's diced and continue to saute this mixture until the vegetable are almost done. I like the vegetables to be almost done, not too soft.

Drain the pasta when it's done to your preference. I am a "beyond al dente" fan and cook it until it is a bit softer.

You can also top this with Parmesan cheese if you'd like. Read your labels for serving size.

I love this dish as it is so versatile. With just basic ingredients you are serving a healthier pasta yet introducing vegetables into a traditional meat sauce dinner.

Let me know if you try it and your version of Heart Healthy Spaghetti.

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