Frederico Finello – life is a combination of magic and pasta.
But as we all know, to keep pasta interesting we have to switch it up. Different sauces, maybe pesto, sometimes plain with cheese – and all kinds of shapes and even flavors. So in my mind – and yes, it has been a clean and grain-free mind lately – it does not (always) have to be your usual pasta.
Traditionally made of durum wheat, water and salt – or the similary popular egg-y version, we slowly opened up to a variety of ingredients, e.g. using rice, spelt or buckwheat noodles. Or veggies.
Some of you might have not even stumbled across the variety the concept of “veggie pasta” offers, but it is so simple, non-fussy and at the end of the day the key to having a mere noodle binge without the food coma.
Let’s play a little numbers game – 100g of your regular cooked pasta would account for 160 calories, 0.6g fat, 38g carbs and 6g of protein. Micronutrients are non-existent, which is a pit.
100g of the classic zucchini pasta will provide you with 17 calories, 0,3g fat, 3,1 g carbs and 1,2g protein – plus it will secure you 4% of your daily vitamin A requirements, 29% of vitamin C and contributes with 261mg to meeting your potassium needs.
I have always been the more language/written expression type of student, but even I can do the maths and it has got nothing to do with my grain-free lifestyle: the zucchini seems to be the better choice, both when we are talking about fitness goals and our overall health.
So yes, zucchini are logically a low calorie food, but the veggie pasta train does not stop there. What else can you turn into beautiful fettucchine, linguine or bows?
- carrots: 27 calories, 0.2g fat, 4.8g carbs and 1.1g protein
- sweet potatoe: 86 calories, 0g fat, 20g carbs and 1.6g protein
- parsnip: 75 calories, 0.3g fat, 18g carbs and 1.2g protein
- cucumber: 12g calories, 0.2g fat, 1.8g carbs and 0.6g protein
- garden raddish: 14 calories, 0.2g fat, 1.9g carbs and 1g protein
- spagetthi squash: 30 calories, 0g fat, 6.7g carbs and 0.7g protein
Pretty neet when it comes to macros, right? Plus these veggies are all packed essential micronutrients, because honestly macro-counting might help your fitness and weight-loss goals, but vitamins and minerals are the key to good health afterall.
The low-calorie counts in the goodies above will further allow you to go a bit higher when it comes to sauces, pestos and cheese to top the pasta – even when you watch your fat intake, all veggies above account for less than 1g of fat per 100g serving. So why not go for the bolonese or carbonara you fancy?
I will try and go crazy and creative on cooking up veggie pasta within the next weeks – using my trusted spiralizer – the key to delicious pasta-success, but veggie style.
Whether you are a paleo like me, a vegetarian or a vegan – I think my recipe excursions will serve you all and please feel free to share your favorite variante or tag me on Instagram to keep my creative juices flowing. I officially sign up to be your recipe guinea pig, as this type of food is no effort for me and the possibilities are endless.
My own personal inspiration is Ali from Inspiralized – go check her out as well, I can only recommend her take on eating healthy. Let’s work up some magic, get cooking and eating clean.