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Sacrificing some of your favorite foods doesn’t have to be part of your New Year, new you strategy. In many dishes, it’s the sauces that pack on the calories you’re trying to avoid. Instead of ditching those dishes completely, look for swaps that let you enjoy delicious, better-for-you dinners.
Pasta is notoriously a diet danger zone, but dressing up the noodles with plenty of flavorful ingredients and switching out dense, high-calorie sauces for tasty substitutes will let you keep enjoying savory pasta dishes while you work toward a healthier lifestyle.
Even creamy pasta recipes are possible with the right substitutions. In this Creamy Tomato Ranch Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions recipe, thick cut pappardelle noodles are tossed in a creamy tomato ranch sauce made with Sabra’s Farmer’s Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip for a healthier version of a decadent dish. Or for a delicious dish with a spicy kick, try this Spicy Chipotle Hummus Pasta, which gets its rich and creamy flavor from swapping traditional pasta sauce for Sabra’s Chipotle Hummus.
Creamy Tomato Ranch Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 medium yellow onions, sliced
1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Farmer’s Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip
1/2 can peeled tomatoes (7 ounces)
1 pound pappardelle
In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions; reduce heat to medium and cook until caramelized, about 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
Place Greek yogurt dip and tomatoes in food processor and process until fully incorporated. Set aside.
During last 10 minutes of onions cooking, bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pappardelle and cook until al dente according to package directions (about 8-9 minutes).
Drain pasta then place back in pot. Immediately add tomato sauce mixture to pot and toss until pasta is coated.
Transfer to serving dish, top with caramelized onions and garnish with parsley.
Spicy Chipotle Hummus Pasta
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion (about 1 cup), diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 package Sabra Spicy Chipotle Hummus
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 6 cups), chopped
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile in small bowl, mix paprika, oregano, thyme and salt. Rub spice mixture over chicken breasts.
In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 5-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Turn burner to low and return pan to stove. Sweat garlic and onions for 5 minutes, or until softened. Turn heat to medium and add red bell pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until soft. Slowly stir in chicken stock and hummus to form a creamy sauce. Add Swiss chard. Cover and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in drained pasta and cooked chicken.
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EASY RECIPE: Quinoa Grapefruit Blueberry Breakfast
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
3/4 cup Florida Grapefruit Juice
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 tablespoons liquid honey or maple syrup
2 Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit, segmented
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup 0% vanilla or plain yogurt
fresh mint leaves
In small saucepan, combine grapefruit juice, water, quinoa and honey. Bring to boil; cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
Stir in grapefruit and blueberries; divide into shallow bowls and top with yogurt. Garnish with mint to serve.
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NUMBER TO KNOW
600: There are more than 600 different pasta shapes produced worldwide.— More Content Now
Vermicelli translates into “little ____” in Italian.
Answer at bottom of column.
WORD TO THE WISE
al dente: Pronounced al-DEN-tay, it literally means “to the tooth,” which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. It should be soft but still slightly firm at the core and require some chewing but not crunch or stick to the teeth when chewed.— Cookthink
THE DISH ON…
‘Simply Scratch: 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy’ — Laurie McNamara
Based on the popular food blog, Simply Scratch, McNamara shows off her home-cooking know-how through 120 wholesome recipes along with stunning photography, entertaining anecdotes, and personal musings. Five years ago, she vowed to remake her kitchen into a from-scratch kitchen and has helped hundreds of thousands of home cooks prepare from-scratch meals with whole-food ingredients since then. — Avery
FOOD QUIZ ANSWER
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Food for Thought: Sensible sauces for a healthy new year
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