Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Leftovers can make a heart healthy dinner

My doctors insist that I eat healthy meals. That advice translates into lots of vegetables, very little red meat, minimal dairy and reduced consumption of both simple carbohydrates and sugar. My doctors prefer complex carbohydrates to the simple ones found in processed foods such as white bread.

The pasta may have been the enriched and not the whole grain type which would have been better, but we practised careful portion. And even regular, refined and enriched pasta is not anywhere near as high on the glycemic index as white rice or a baked Russet potato.

Dinner tonight answered all the demands, tasted great and was put together in ten minutes from leftovers found in the fridge.

Last night my wife and I enjoyed spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce. A lot of folk don't like spaghetti squash. I think they compare the squash to pasta and this is a mistake. You must enjoy spaghetti squash as the interesting vegetable it is. It has a light, clean flavour with lots of crisp snap if it is not overcooked. It goes well with a variety of sauces. One must keep an open mind.

For tonight's meal, first we dumped 75 g of pennine pasta into a pot of boiling water. It would be done al dente in seven minutes or so. While the pasta was cooking, we tossed our leftover veggies into a skillet with two cloves of lightly fired diced garlic. After 30 seconds, we added diced sweet peppers, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and spaghetti squash to the skillet.

All was heated over medium heat with frequent tossing. After about four minutes, some fresh grated Parmesan, do not use the grated stuff that comes in a shaker box, was sprinkled onto the veggie mix. The cheese disappeared into the mix immediately. At this point the left over spaghetti squash, chopped into pieces about the length of the pennine, was added to the pan. About an ounce of low-fat goat cheese was crumbled on top and the entire mix stirred until the cheese melted, coating the hot vegetable mix.

At this point the pasta was done. It was drained and added to the fry pan, mixed with the veggies and served. My wife called the resulting dinner "delicious." I called it good and satisfying. My doctors, I am sure, would call it healthy.

As you can probably tell from the picture, a little extra Parmesan was added at the table. And when I got seconds, I sprinkled some chopped cashews on top as well. At this point, I came around and agreed with my wife. This dinner was now "delicious."

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