What to do when you're trying to be healthy but you're craving pasta? Eat the pasta people!!! There is absolutely no need to cut pasta out of your diet altogether, it is a fantastic source of fibre and complex carbohydrates. What you need to consider is how much you’re having, as a lot of us associate eating pasta with sitting down to a big bowl full of spaghetti that is mainly pasta and meat sauce. So instead of going all or nothing, think about how you can recreate your favourite pasta dishes to get more veggies in there - for example in this recipe I have reduced the amount of pasta to account for added zucchini pasta and also thrown in spinach and mushies with some chicken as my protein of choice! Such an easy way to still enjoy your favourite pasta dishes but with added nutritional benefit!
1/2 packet wholegrain pasta (I used Quinoa & Rice pasta by Olive Green Organics)
3 x large zucchini’s, made into pasta
2 x heaped cups of mushrooms, sliced
2 x handfuls of spinach
1 x clove garlic, crushed
2 x chicken breasts, cut into 2 cm strips
1 x handful of parsley
1 x lemon, zest and juice
1 x egg
2 x tablespoons yoghurt
1 x teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 x tablespoons parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions in a saucepan that fits a steamer on top. In the final few minutes of the pasta cooking, steam the zucchini on top. Drain both, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
In the meantime, heat a fry pan and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes or until just cooked through, set aside to keep warm. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and spinach and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the chicken, pasta, zucchini, parsley, and lemon zest to the pan, with a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss to mix through. Finally add the egg, yoghurt, Dijon, lemon juice and parmesan cheese and stir through until creamy (add 1 tablespoon at a time of the reserved pasta liquid if needed).
Divide between four plates and top with extra parsley before serving.