With a busy family of five, pasta is one of the “go to” meals that we tend to put on our dinner calendar almost every week.  It’s simple to make.  It’s a relatively cheap dinner to make.  And it’s a meal all three of our kids with eat without any arm twisting or negotiations.  But the trick is finding a pasta ande pasta sauce that is going to be good for you as well.

 

Now I’m sure you are already thinking, “Isn’t pasta off limits if you are trying to lose weight?”

The answer is that we limit the amount of extra sugar and extra carbs that most people consume with pasta by making a few adjustments.  The first is the type off noodle that we use.  While we tend to give the kids a standard gluten free (meaning the wheat protein, gluten, is removed in processing) noodle, Danielle and I almost never have these.  Instead we will either opt to have an edamame noodle or we substitute the pasta for spaghetti squash.

Honestly, when you put sauce over it, you can’t tell much difference with if you are using the squash or the pasta noodle.  But in the big picture, we are trying to eat as many whole foods as possible and the pasta noodles are highly processed which takes away much of the nutrients found in the original ingredients.

So let’s take about the sauce.

When you go down the aisle of your local grocery store there are a wide variety of pasta sauces available to you.  And when you look at the ingredients you will see a lot of variety as well.  One of the specific things I look at is how much sugar is in the sauce, and specifically, is sugar an ingredient that is added.

But instead of again dealing with foods that have been highly processed we have found a great recipe in our Fixate cookbook that we use to make a batch of pasta sauce.  And then after dinner we can save the rest in mason jars in the refrigerator and use it on leftovers for the rest of the week.  The following recipe will make 12 servings that are about 0.5 cups each.  By the way, measuring out your pasta and sauce is another way to control your calorie intake.  When you double your portion size, you also double the number of calories you are consuming also.

Grandma’s Tomato Sauce (from the Fixate cookbook)

The first step is to heat your olive oil over medium-high heat before cooking a white, chopped onion.  Next you add your garlic and tomato paste, stirring it constantly for 2 to 3 minutes to make sure the tomato paste does not burn.  You add your 1/4 cup of red wine and again stir it in for 2 to 3 minutes before adding your tomatoes, agave nectar, salt, and pepper.  You bring this to a boil stirring frequently before reducing the heat to low and letting it cook.  After adding your parmesan cheese, you let it continue to cook on low, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.  The final step before plating it over your pasta is to add you basil and mix well.

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I know this might seem like a lot of steps, but it is very simple.  In fact, we get our kids to help us out and they love being part of the process.  It’s also great because we are teaching them that their food doesn’t come from cans, jars, or packages, but instead from real ingredients without a bunch of chemical additives.

If you have any questions about the recipe of would like to know how you can get the Fixate cookbook for 25% off, send me a message at mark@fitteachernetwork.com and I’ll be happy to get back to you.

To your health,

Mark