I could not be more excited about this week’s Sunday Supper! The folks at American Family Insurance tasked the Sunday Supper team with the challenge of turning family favorites/comfort food into a healthier version. If you know me, you are aware I attempt to create healthy meals 95% of the time. I truly believe that food can be absolutely amazing and satisfying while also being nutritious.
Here’s the thing: I know it can be slightly difficult to begin the process. I transitioned over to my current “healthy eating routine” in 2008, and it did take a little while for me to figure things out. One of the most important factors was keeping an open mind. I knew I would have to try new things to discover what I liked, what worked in my kitchen, and what I enjoyed preparing. Little by little, more and more vegetables and healthy foods came to be a regular part of my meals. Nowadays it is extremely rare to see my plate missing a heaping pile of vegetables in some form!
Today I want to talk about pasta. Oh pasta…you are so wonderful. To me, a bowl of pasta with fresh tomato sauce is absolutely one of my go-to comfort food favorites. The downside: eating a heaping bowl of pasta is not always in my healthiest of interests. So, how do I make this comfort classic into a healthy meal? With zucchini noodles, of course!
It seems as though zucchini noodles and other vegetable noodles have become all the rage lately. I am completely on board with spaghetti thin strands of squash, and I highly recommend purchasing a spiralizing tool of some kind to use on vegetables in your kitchen! If I were left to my own devices, I’d probably be happy with a bowl of all zucchini noodles with tomato sauce. However, the world I live in also involves my husband, and he isn’t completely ready to give up pasta. Hey: that’s ok! What I really like about this dish (and of course, I’m slightly biased) is that it lightens up my traditional bowl of pasta, but there is still the indulgent flavor intact! Instead of using 100% pasta noodles, I’m using about 2/3 zucchini noodles and 1/3 pasta. It’s a meal that won’t weigh you down and will still leave you satisfied. Plus, you’re sneaking in the veggies! Zucchini is one of those vegetables that takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooking with, which makes it perfect for this dish.
AND when it comes to slipping extra vegetables into dishes, having the veggie take on the same shape as other items in the dish really helps. A picky eater might push a slice or chunk of zucchini out of the way to avoid it, but when it blends in alongside the pasta noodles, they practically become one and the same. To be honest: zucchini was a vegetable I never really cared for as a child, and it is now one of my all time favorites. All it takes is finding one or two new veggies you enjoy and utilizing them for meals. Once you’ve added one or two, adding three or four more becomes a fun and exciting task at dinner time.
If you’re looking for more amazing meal inspiration, make sure you follow the Family Favorites Turned Healthy #ChooseDreams Pinterest board! There’s a plethora of healthy recipes to choose from!
Also, take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest!
This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.
- 4 oz angel hair pasta (I use whole wheat)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, cut in a chiffonade
- 2 medium/large zucchini
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a small pot of water to boil. Cook pasta noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan along with the tomatoes. Allow them to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula. The tomatoes will eventually burst: use the back side of the spatula to gently smash them. About half way through the cooking process, add the fresh basil, a generous pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper to taste.
- While the sauce is cooking, cut your zucchini into noodles with a spiralizing tool. When the sauce has completed cooking, add the zucchini noodles to the pan and toss gently for 3-4 minutes until the zucchini becomes tender.
- Finally, add the angel hair pasta to the pan and gently toss for one minute to coat the noodles with the sauce and to heat through. Serve with parmesan and fresh basil (if desired). Enjoy!
Make sure you take some time to visit ALL of the awesome recipes turned healthy this week for Sunday Supper!
Angel Hair & Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce by Ruffles & Truffles
Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
Beef Stroganoff by Country Girl in the Village
Buffalo Cauli-Tots by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Corn and Crab Chowder by The Dinner-Mom
Crab Cake Salad by Family Foodie
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms On Red Pepper Slaw with Cucumber Dressing by Seduction In The Kitchen
Healthy Chicken Salad by Run DMT
Lighter Beef Tacos by Alida’s Kitchen
Meatballs with Vegetable Noodles and Fresh Tomato Sauce by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by The Messy Baker
Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Superfood Pancakes by girlichef
Tex Mex Enchilada Skillet Lasagna by Neighborfood
Zucchini Meat Lasagna by Peanut Butter and Peppers
Chewy Coconut Granola Bars by Savvy Eats
Enlightened Southern Banana Puddings by The Weekend Gourmet
Mom’s Fruit Salad by Magnolia Days
Strawberry Vanilla Canapés by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Zucchini Carrot Snack Cake by The Foodie Army Wife
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.