Happy Sunday All! (And happy St. Patty’s Day Weekend!)
For this Sunday, I would like to share with you a new kind of pasta showing up on the grocery shelves.
As some of you know, part of our diet helping (somehow… hmm…) to control genetic high cholesterol is the The Link-Balance Method (click the link for a repost of the original blog).
If you’re interested, it’s an easy read. Lots of information… and some good recipes. I highly recommend the book. Anyway…
Part of our daily food intake (i.e. the ‘noun’ “diet”, not the ‘verb’ “to diet”…) is making sure any of the heavy-carb meals are ‘balanced’.
This is how it’s figured on average, based on the book:
At least half (or plus protein in 2 hours) of the carbs is protein (i.e. 30 grams carbs, minus 4 grams fiber, needs a minimum 8 grams of protein to balance…).
Balancing the carb/proteins though, meant a lot of pasta dishes were off-the-menu, unless it was a cheese or meat day… (only 2-3 of those a week).
ENTER AN AMAZING FOOD ADDITION – BEAN PASTA?
But… NOW… there are these wonderful ‘bean pastas’ out now… most are PERFECTLY balanced.
Well, as long as you don’t add any uneven carbs, you’re good. AND, they are super-filling. I was surprised to find the small portions to be perfectly satisfying. Didn’t need any more.
One brand (and this is not a brand plug…) has meal kits for around $6 to $7.00 (sometimes on sale for $5). I add veggies, beans, and with the ‘cheesy’ one… tuna fish, and it makes enough for 4 people.
The following is my Quick, Easy, Bean Pasta, Tuna Casserole. It only takes about 15 minutes to make! And feeds 4!
On this particular day, I had carrots, celery, and (of course) onion… so I chopped and sautéed them in a skillet:
The chopped veggies didn’t seem to be enough. I keep bags of frozen veggies for just this occasion. I also have been known to use various frozen veggie mixes in lieu of fresh.
Today, Broccoli sounded good:
Here’s a short-cut (and pan-saver)… Use just a touch more water than usual in the pasta pan. When the water gets hot, throw in the frozen veggies. Wait for it to start to boil, and then add the pasta in WITH the veggies:
Let the pasta and frozen veggies cook for the 8-9 minutes. Drain them in a wire mesh strainer (don’t want to lose the tiny bits of veggies!).
Now mix all the ingredients together:
This particular bean pasta mix comes with 2 packets… a sauce and a seasoning packet. We forgo the seasoning packet (or put it on the side). The seasoning is very strong, and salty. A little goes a LONG way… we almost always have leftover of the seasoning.
The sauce though, is wonderful. But, don’t mix it until just before you need to add it:
This is because it begins to ‘set’ immediately. Within 2 minutes of being mixed in with the bean pasta, tuna, veggie mix… it’s ready to eat!
Again, it will seem like small portions…. but it is SUPER filling. A small 1.5 to 2 cup serving is all you’ll need.
As always, I hope this helps you be braver in the kitchen and try some new fruit, veggie, or bean pasta you’ve never tried before! Some days are crazier than others, so it is nice to have these ‘quick fix meals’ in the cabinet to make the day run a little bit smoother! 🙂
Also, we don’t eat this meal ‘every’ week… it’s just one of those quick fix meals I like to have on standby… just in case!
*Note: the link-balance method isn’t a ‘fad diet’… it was created by a doctor and dietician, at a clinic, for the sole purpose of helping their diabetic patients control their blood sugar… they can’t help it had the unforeseen and fortunate side effect of also helping the patients lose weight! (By limiting/controlling blood sugar? hmm….)