Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What should a healthy plate look like?

Quinoa pasta with blanched chard, chicken sausage, pesto and parmesan

I think I must eat pasta with blanched greens a lot because I seem to have too many pictures of pasta with kale, pasta with chard, pasta with spinach.  The reason?  Pasta with greens is easily my favorite quick go-to meal.  If I can help it, I only dirty one pot and I get vegetables into the mix.

In my nutrition practice, no two patients are treated exactly the same way and each receives unique dietary counseling based on their specific diet and lifestyle needs.  That being said, I almost always discuss the healthy plate model for eating because everyone needs to and should eat more vegetables.

What should a healthy plate look like you ask?  Simple.  Cover one-third to one-half with veggies and split the remainder of the plate between the starch and protein.  This is fabulously easy if you are eating baked chicken with mashed potatoes and a salad but what do you do for mixed dishes like pasta?

Again, easy.

Put your veggie under the pasta and use it as a base, then place your pasta on top.  Doesn’t that look like more food?  Well, it actually is more food.  Eating veggies provides fiber, along with vitamins and minerals.  The fiber will keep you feeling full longer without the weighed down malaise of consuming too many noodles.

Some veggies to try with pasta:

Green beans
Snap peas
Mixed frozen veggies

If you would like to know how to blanch greens, please click here.

What are you cooking with your pasta tonight?


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