What’s harder than looking away during Beyonce’s Grammy performance? Curbing your carb cravings. When given the choice, we often opt for oodles of noodles over servings of salad.
90% of Americans aren’t eating enough vegetables. Not only do veggies help lower your risk of obesity and heart disease, they’re crucial for a healthy smile. Fiber-rich vegetables stimulate saliva flow, decreasing your chance for cavities.
But what if a dish without noodles went more unnoticed than Meg Ryan’s career? Well, you’ve got mail, and it’s in the form of recipes! Here are our favorite veggie-based pastas:
Filled with fiber, this crunchy green contains 95% water. Zucchini is a home run for your body and smile. Zucchini also contains calcium and vitamin C, minerals that strengthen enamel and promote healthy gums.
• 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
• ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
• 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons high-burning oil
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
• 2 cups low sodium marinara or pasta sauce
• 4 slices low-fat mozzarella cheese
• 2 zucchinis
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the Parmesan in a shallow dish with the Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cut the chicken breasts into a total of 4 pieces and dip in the cheese mixture. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. The inside can finish cooking in the oven.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the sauce and place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Return to the oven for a few more minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.
While the chicken finishes, cut the zucchini into thin shreds or use a spiralizer to create the zoodles. Serve the chicken and sauce over the raw zucchini noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.
Spaghetti Squash Pesto
Like zucchini, squash is great for your gums. It’s also rich in vitamin A, a nutrient crucial for vision and bone growth.
• 1 large spaghetti squash
• ½ cup toasted pine nuts (or raw walnuts)
• 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 cups fresh basil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil. Carefully halve spaghetti squash lengthwise using a sharp knife. Use an ice cream scoop (or sharp spoon) to scrape out the seeds and most of the stringy parts. Brush the interior with oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Place cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the skin and flesh. Remove from oven and set aside.
In the meantime, add pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and salt to a blender or food processor and pulse until they blend into a fine meal. Add basil, garlic and olive oil and puree into a fine paste. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Use a fork to scoop out spaghetti squash into fine strings and divide between serving plates. Top with desired amount of pesto and lightly toss.
Hungry for more healthy helpings? Satisfy your smile with these recipes.