Boil me some pasta, nice and hot,
I’m hungry and it’s time to sup,
Boil enough pasta to fill me up.”
-sang by Strega Nona, a fictional character, in Tomie DePaola’s picture book of the same name
Do you remember that children’s book series? Strega Nona would sing to her pasta pot, and magically, pasta would be boiling. She would sing another song, then blow three kisses, and it would stop.
Unfortunately, when Big Anthony was left to watch over things, he attempted the same thing, but ended up with disastrous results. He was successful in making pasta, but couldn’t get it to stop! He hadn’t seen her blow the three kisses.
Pasta bubbled over, and spread throughout the town, until Strega Nona came back, sang, and blew the three kisses.
Big Anthony had to clean it all up, by eating it all! What a stomach ache he must have had, right?
Well, many of us can’t resist pasta, and like Big Anthony, we often eat too much. Serving sizes are way too large, which affects our waistlines, and our health.
High carb diets, and wheat and gluten in general, are under the microscope these days. Many believe them to contribute to inflammation and all kinds of chronic symptoms and illnesses. So, it you’re super sizing your pasta, or eating too much of anything on a regular basis, it could come back to bite you.
Today I’m going to show you how to shift the focus to QUALITY, and enjoy every bite of this guilty pleasure, so you don’t eat too much. Once we get to my recommendations for a more Paleo-like, grain free eater, I’m also going to show you alternatives that you can eat as much as you want of, and not give it a second thought!
How does that sound? Here goes:
For the Anything Goes kind of eater:
- Choose USDA organic pasta. Why? Because according to the USDA web site, the seal “verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.” Basically, it’s not only a way to lower the number of pesticides you take in, but other toxins as well. Sewage sludge? Who want to eat that?! Yuck.
- Mix It Up, and add a splash of antioxidants, with MagNoodles Organic Smart Pasta! The mom who created it uses Spelt, Kamut, and even Flaxseed, in addition to traditional wheat. She also adds in spinach, carrot, tomato and beet powders! Now, that’s thinking outside the box of strictly wheat based pasta.
- Try grains, other than your average wheat. Just think about how many days a week – and how many times per day – you eat wheat. Your digestive system needs diversity! Eden Organic Pasta is one of the most trusted organic brands. The company has options for those who want to try alternatives to traditional wheat, including kamut, buckwheat, quinoa, and rye.
For the Food Sensitive Eater:
- Organic, Brown Rice Pasta is as close to a traditional noodle as you can get! Great options are Lundberg, Jovial, or Tinkyada (our personal favorite). If you have multiple food allergies/senstivities, this is the way to go, unless you go completely grain free. In that case, skip ahead to recommendations for a more Paleo-like eater.
- King Soba Gluten Free & Organic Noodles. Not all soba noodles are wheat and gluten free, but this brand is, and they have different varieties, too! These would be especially good in Asian type dishes.
For the Paleo-like, Grain Free Eater:
- Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles can be eaten cold or warm, are allergen free, very low carb, but high in iodine, calcium, and trace minerals. You don’t have to cook or boil them, but they can be added to stir fries and soups. I like to add some to chicken broth.
- Spaghetti squash is an oval, yellow squash which gets stringy when you steam it, so it makes a great “faux” pasta. Some like it, some don’t. I used to eat it often, until I discovered…
- Zucchini pasta is so easy to make! I simply peel it into long, wide, thin noodles. You can also buy a spiralizer, or use your food processor to transform it into thin, spaghetti like strips. When baked with coconut oil, garlic powder, and sea salt, it tastes great on its own, or with marinara sauce.
Which one sounds most appealing? If you pick one to try, I hope you enjoy preparing it, like Strega Nona did! Anything you can do to make cooking more fun is a good thing, whether you sing, dance, or chat with a friend or family member as you do it.
As Julia Child once said:
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
That’s the beauty of cooking: we all have the ability to create a little magic of our own, even if we aren’t professional chefs! And we can do it in limited time, using a few simple ingredients.
So stop and enjoy the roses, but also stop to enjoy your food, tasting every last bite. Food nourishes not only your body, but your emotional, spiritual, and spiritual Self as well. And the aroma can smell as comforting as any flower can as well, right?
What’s your secret pasta sauce? The one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? My Hearty Bolognese Sauce is mine. And when tomato season comes along shortly, I have a simple, fresh marinara sauce that I love to make as well.
Please feel free to share any recipes or products that you like, below.
Enjoy! Have a delicious weekend.
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