May 19, 2013 by Lauren Grider
This Thursday my turn-around time between work and Zumba was extra short. On top of that, I have had a lot of crap going on in my life for the past several weeks and was behind on shopping for groceries. Let’s face it- I have been behind on pretty much everything in my life recently. And my eating has suffered. Zumba has been the only thing keeping me afloat recently, thus reaffirming my belief that everyone needs multiple wellness strategies to keep going long-term with a healthy lifestyle. I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and am coming out of it, but it has been really tough. But that’s a story for another day. Back to Thursday- I was hungry, tired, had limited supplies and needed something quickly. A quick survey of my kitchen revealed that the only protein I had on hand was frozen ground beef. Into the skillet it went. While it was browning, I rummaged around in the pantry and came up with some whole wheat pasta and a can of diced tomatoes. There was fresh basil, one of my favorite things of all time, in the fridge. So, pasta improvisation began. Because I need to be careful about the amount of carbohydrates I eat, I try to use either whole wheat pasta or brown rice pasta. That said, I try to do without pasta as often as possible. When I make a pasta dish, I try to feature the protein and veggies and leave the pasta as a minor player. So, the sauce-to-pasta ratio is definitely different than what most people are used to. Also, my grocery shortage kept me from adding additional veggies, but don’t let that stop you! Squash or zucchini would be great in here, as wound extra onions or mushrooms if you like that kind of thing. Go crazy.
Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
4 oz uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
30 oz petite cut diced tomatoes
1/2 cup or more fresh basil
2 tbsp italian seasoning of your choice
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, add pasta to salted boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente. Add canned tomatoes and simmer until tender. Add italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and fresh basil to taste. Drain the pasta well and add to the sauce, mixing well over low heat. Serve immediately, or cool and store in refrigerator for later. It tastes great the next day!
Yields 4 hearty servings, 8 WW Points Plus per serving when calculated using the Recipe Builder. As always, if you make changes, recalculate the PPV.