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A Healthier Bowl of Pasta

Whole-grain and higher-fiber pastas are healthier. But how do they taste?
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5 Healthier Pasta Survival Tips

Ready to try one of these healthier types of pasta? Here are five tips to help you make the transition:

  1. Keep trying different higher fiber pasta brands or products until you find the one you and your family enjoy most.
  2. Whole wheat or higher-fiber pastas are more appealing when served with flavorful sauces or layered (like in lasagna) with sauce, cheese, vegetables, etc.
  3. Keep in mind that some whole-wheat pastas seem to lighten in color as they cook. (I suspect this has to do with the absorption of water).
  4. You may eat a little less pasta than you normally would. The whole-wheat and higher- fiber pastas seem to be more satisfying.
  5. If you are a ravioli or tortellini lover, fear not! I've found raviolis made with whole-wheat pasta at Whole Foods Markets and other specialty food stores.

Pasta Recipes

Here are a couple of pasta recipes -- one hot and one cold - that are perfect for the healthier whole-grain and higher-fiber brands.

Charleston Chicken Pasta (this dish is served chilled)

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 1/2 cups hearty stews/chili + 2 ounces low-fat cheese OR 1 serving lean meat with 1 tsp fat maximum + 3/4 cup starchy foods without added fat

3 tablespoons light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream

1 teaspoon lemon juice

6 boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts (seasoned with a garlic & pepper blend or garlic powder, black pepper, and salt, if desired)

1/2 cup shredded smoked mozzarella, packed

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 cup grape tomato halves

1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley (parsley flakes can also be used)

3 cups whole wheat linguini pasta, cooked, drained and cooled (or any desired shape)

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

  • Add mayo, sour cream, and lemon juice to a 1-cup measure and stir to blend.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1/4-inch thick slices (should be around 3 1/2 cups of chicken strips). Add chicken, mozzarella, celery, green onions, tomatoes, parsley and cooked noodles into a large serving bowl and toss to blend.
  • Drizzle the mayo mixture over the chicken noodle mixture and toss to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator until right before serving.

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