Playing with Pasta: The Quest For Guilt-free Comfort Foods

A big bowl of pasta is high on my personal comfort foods list. Who can resist rich carbs topped with a thick and creamy sauce? Certainly not me.

“Ah, can I have my sauce on the side, and served noodle-less please?”, you might say? Fear not calorie counters, and worried belly bloaters! I have discovered some secrets and tips to making this comfort food a guilt free pleasure.

There are plenty of fun, satisfying, delicious (and yes, even healthy) ways to enjoy a variety of different kinds of pasta’s in a way you may never have considered before.

Choosing the right kind of pasta, sauce and added ingredients may seem simple: Red or white sauce? White or brown noodles? Well, think again! There’s more to pasta than meets the eye. You can choose from a medley of nutritious and delicious pasta ingredients.

Take a look below for some fun ways to play with pasta: Have fun experimenting and find one that suits your palette!

Once you discover different kinds of pastas, share it with your friends: Why not host a Pasta Potluck dinner? Have them guessing what kind of noodles and sauces are used. Blind fold your honey and see if he can tell the difference! Food is fun, so go ahead and play with the abundance of choice.

The Pasta:

When it comes to choosing your pasta – there is so much out there. After the push to go for a whole wheat pasta, most people ended up going back to regular white pasta because it was just too gritty, brown and didn’t satisfy your family. I would like to show you some new options to try out at home:

Spelt & Kamut Pasta: Are both ancient, wholesome varieties of wheat that have a soft, chewy texture. They are also high in protein, fiber and loaded with minerals. There are many companies that make all different shapes of spelt kamut pasta from rotini, to fuscilli, penne and even lasagna noodles.

Brown Rice: Brown rice pasta is definitely reaching its popularity in the market as when it is cooked, it actually resembles white pasta. If cooked correctly, it will have a soft chewy texture that will fool the fussiest eaters. I have proven this time and time again both in my family and in my cooking classes.

Quinoa: Quinoa pasta is very similar to rice pasta, however it is just a bit more delicate and light. It cooks pretty quickly and can get mushy if not done right. But it makes a great gluten free option for spaghetti and macaroni.

Zucchini noodles: Looking for a carb free option for your pasta? (Not that I am into that, but some people are) You’ve got to try spiralizing or shredding your own zucchini noodles. This is a fantastic way to enjoy pasta – it’s light, it’s easy and yes, it is low calorie. That is not the reason I am suggesting it – but rather because you are actually using a vegetable as your noodle, which means you, get even more fiber, water and a very noodle like texture. Whether you decided to top your noodles with warm sauce or at room temperature as a raw dish, you can’t go wrong!

Sauces: Similar to my article on pizza – you can choose a variety of sauces from tomato, pesto or just simple olive oil and garlic. Then adding in a variety of vegetables or even beans to bulk up your pasta may be an option, Using things like chickpeas, white beans or lima beans are great in pasta. You can even opt to top off your pasta with nuts and seeds for a dairy free option. See the Pizza article for other ideas for toppings, cheeses and sauces.

Brown Rice Pesto Pasta


1 package Tinkyada brown rice pasta
3-5 Portobello Mushrooms sliced
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch or 2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon mellow rice miso
1 tablespoon Raw Nude Bee Honey
1/4 cup toasted Walnuts or Pinenuts toasted (optional)
salt and pepper to taste to taste


For the Pesto:

Grind the hemp seeds in food processor; add remaining ingredients and process for a few minutes until

well combined.
For the Pasta:

Boil a pot of water, add sea salt and cook pasta until tender or al dente about 7-10 minutes.
For Mushrooms:

1. Slice mushrooms and toss in a bowl with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

2. Spread on a baking sheet or in a glass dish and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 300F, OR

sauté on the stove for 5-10 minutes.

Putting it together:

1. In a large pot, on a medium or low heat combine the pesto with the cooked pasta, add in the

mushrooms and spinach.

2. Stir a few minutes until the spinach has wilted and is cooked into the pasta.


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