Welcome to the Pasta Party
I grew up on pasta. It was on our table more often than not. I would go to friends’ houses for meals and was always surprised when they didn’t have pasta. Wasn’t it a food group? Wasn’t it supposed to be on every single dinner plate? Those were my Italian roots talking. Not to mention swimming 2x per day meant that my mom was probably trying to figure out how the heck to feed me enough.
Pasta was life.
That was until I realized that it made me feel bloated, contributed to my heartburn and was no longer contributing to my health (if it ever was.) So when I cut it out back in 2010, it was hard. It was one of the toughest things to give up because I was so used to eating it with every meal.
Once I started to feel better it became a non-issue and I stopped missing it. My body no longer craved it and I kind of just forgot that pasta was a way of life. I had a new life with proper digestion and no bloated stomach sooooo it was a fair trade-off.
Since I didn’t crave pasta, I wasn’t really making red sauce much but when I did it was over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Now, don’t get me wrong I love both of these. I love how they taste and how they don’t sit densely in your stomach after a meal. They are not pasta though. They are substitutes for pasta. (I’m not trying to trick you with fake pasta).
Then, I went to Expo East last year and I was introduced to some alternative pasta and I started thinking, hmm what if I added back some pasta to my diet? Why not at least try?
The ingredients in some of these pastas (like Banza & Tolerant) were simple, clean and 100% recognizable. Not to mention since they were mostly legume-derived they are richer in fiber and protein than your average pasta, win-win. These pastas were naturally gluten-free much to my digestive tract’s chagrin.
They not only had sassy approved ingredients & nutrients but they tasted good, they held up well to sauces and they seemed to make me feel full, not bloated, win-win-win!
Spinach & Artichoke Dip You Dip We Dip
I cannot remember the last time I had Spinach & Artichoke Dip. It seems to be on many appetizer menus and at many parties. However, I don’t usually crave it because it is rich in mayo, and not going to lie, mayo isn’t’ something I crave or like in large quantities.
However, spinach & artichokes are in season this time of year so I decided I needed to give it a go.
While making this recipe I had mayo out and ready to use. Then I saw the greek yogurt in the fridge. I decided to try using it instead of mayo. The good news was that JJ was out of town when I made this so it was perfect timing (he’s severely lactose-intolerant). It was nice to have a meal that lasted all week for once.
The fun thing about cooking is experimenting and seeing what happens when you meld different textures and flavors together. The greek yogurt worked amazingly well AND added to the protein content. It left the dish lighter and smoother with a little tartness to compliment the spinach & artichoke. Mmm-mmm-mmmmmm.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
Pro Tip: Add some bread crumbs or extra cheese to the meatballs if they are too sticky!Print
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup frozen spinach, chopped
- 1 Tbsp ghee/butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp white wine
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
Spinach & Artichoke Pasta
- 1 Tbsp Ghee/Butter
- 8 oz. chickpea pasta (I used Banza|https://amzn.to/2vZBRD4)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 6oz. Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%)
- 1– 14oz. can artichokes, drained & chopped
- 1 smal yellow onion, diced
- 8 oz. fresh spinach
- 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper, to tasete
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- Preheat oven to 400*F and either grease a roasting pan
- In a medium pan, heat ghee/butter over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, add in garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in spinach & white wine and cook until spinach wilted and alcohol is cooked off, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix turkey, egg, parmesan cheese & salt and pepper.
- Add spinach mixture to meat and mix until evenly combined.
- Using a spoon or scoop (or a tablespoon) form into golf ball sized meatballs and place on prepared pan.
- Place in oven for 20 minutes. turning once, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta per box directions, drain & rinse with cold water, set aside.
- Melt ghee/butter in a large pot over medium heat, add onion and stir for 2-3 minutes until becomes translucent.
- Add garlic and artichokes, saute for 2 minutes.
- Add in spinach & white wine and stir until spinach is wilted.
- Turn off heat and add pasta, greek yogurt, parmesan cheese & spices, stir to combine. Mix in meatballs.
- Serving Size: Bowl of Pasta + 3-4 meatballs
Have you tried an alternative pasta yet? Let me know what kind is your favorite!
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