Does anyone else feel like their stomach turns into a bottomless pit when eating spaghetti? It’s just one of those dishes that almost compels you to require a heaping plate in order to be satisfied. The problem is that it does not deliver the nutritional benefits of say, a heaping plate of raw vegetables (who asks for that at Olive Garden?). Especially if white noodles and full-fat beef are used, there is not much to say about it from a nutrition perspective except for excessive amounts of carbohydrate and protein (and I’ll give it credit for the vitamin C and potassium in the tomato sauce).
Well, here is a recipe that delivers the same satisfaction as a big plate of pasta, but is very filling in smaller portions and contains many more nutrients (extra vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, fiber).
One Pan Turkey Zucchini Pasta
Makes 4 servings. Requires about 45 minutes from start to finish.
4 medium zucchini
20 oz 90% lean ground turkey**
2 ½ cups tomato-based pasta sauce (I use tomato & basil pasta sauce)
1 cup shredded fat-free cheese
1 tsp crushed fennel seed
½ tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
Optional: add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for an extra kick
- shred zucchini into “noodles.” There are a number of fancy devices out there to make strands or noodles out of vegetables, but if you do not have one like me, a regular grater works just as well. I have a standing grater and just pushed the zucchini length-wise from top to bottom and got noodles that are about 6-inches in length; this works just fine!
3. while the zucchini is sitting, cook the ground turkey in a large, greased pan over the stove. Add the seasonings while doing so.
4. press the zucchini pasta firmly in a dish towel to remove excess water, then add to the pan with the turkey (once the turkey is fully cooked)
5. stir the zucchini around in the pan, then add the pasta sauce. Cover the pan and allow to simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
6. add the cheese to the top and simmer another 1-2 minutes.
7. stir, and it is ready to eat!
Nutrition Facts for beef spaghetti with regular noodles and cheese in same proportions as recipe above: 640 calories, 29 grams of fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat), 780 mg sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrate, 4.5 grams of fiber, 8.5 grams of sugar, 41 grams of protein