Pasta isn't necessarily the healthiest food you can eat, particularly if you are following a low-carb diet. Rich, creamy sauces pile on the pounds and contain sometimes huge numbers of hidden calories. But can you eat pasta and diet - the answer is yes!
If you choose a pasta with a healthy, low fat sauce, they can be an indulgence that's also good for you. Just don't overdo it and you can still enjoy your diet pasta, without the guilty conscience. And a gold star, if you choose wholewheat pasta!
Here are my delicious low fat diet pasta sauces for weight loss:
(Bear in mind, I'm a 'throw it in the pan' kinda cook, so measures are approximate â be creative and find your own balance! Each sauce serves 4 people.)
1. Good old tomato.
Take some chopped onion and garlic, and soften in a little water in a pan. Once soft, add a can of chopped tomatoes, a pinch of dried oregano, a dash of balsamic vinegar (it helps bring out the tomato flavour), a little salt and a lot of black pepper and heat through. Add some fresh basil just before serving. If you're going to indulge, go easy on the Parmesan.
Good old tomato variations: Mix things up by adding chopped capsicum, using red onion instead of white, or adding some dried chilli flakes to the mix for added spice.
2. Deliciously decadent mushroom diet pasta.
Take 3 or 4 large flat mushrooms and dry fry in a pan until soft and the liquid from the mushrooms has been extracted. Add some finely chopped shallots and soften these in the liquid (with the mushrooms) over a gentle heat. Take a handful of fresh tarragon, chives or parsley (just choose one) and add it to the mix. Finally, add a small (250ml) pot of low fat crÃ¨me fraiche, season with salt and pepper and gently heat through. It tastes wickedly indulgent!
3. Vegetable and feta cheese diet pasta.
Slice a red onion and sautÃ© in a little olive oil. Add a finely chopped yellow pepper and some finely diced zucchini. Season, and add 1 clove of crushed garlic. Add a handful of cherry tomatoes. Cover and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes. Mix with the pasta (fettuccine or tagliatelle are my choices) and, at the last minute, add 60g cubed low-fat feta cheese and a good handful of fresh basil. We eat this at home at least once a week.
4: Low-carb lasagne.
If you make your own lasagne, this is a must for cutting down those calories, whilst increasing your veg intake. Replace all but the top pasta layer with your choice of grilled zucchini or eggplant (brush lightly with olive oil while grilling), or with red capsicum from a jar (stored in water or brine only). It's a really simple way to 'hide' vegetables, which makes it great for kids too!
5. Lemon chicken diet pasta.
Take some grilled chicken breast and shred into small pieces. Soften some garlic and chilli flakes (optional) in a few tablespoons of chicken stock. Add the shredded chicken and the juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste). Season and add a handful of chopped, fresh parsley right at the end. This is great with tagliatelle. If you like your diet pasta sauces creamy (but still slimming), you can also add a few tablespoons of low fat crÃ¨me fraiche right at the end, but this does boost the calories.
Enjoy with some healthy diet drinks and watch the pounds ease away!
Other weight loss articles you may be interested in:
- Weight loss for idiots - follow a healthy weight loss diet
- How can I stop overeating?
- Eating out diet tips
- Smart drink choices for smart weight loss