How to Make a Healthier Spaghetti Dinner
There's a powerful feeling of joy in a classic spaghetti dinner—few things satisfy and please the family more than the combo of hearty meat sauce, slurp-able noodles, and crusty garlic-and-butter-smeared bread. All comfort aside, the typical spaghetti dinner can run you close to 100g of refined carbohydrates—that's the equivalent of about eight slices of white bread. Here we transform this classic dinner into a balanced whole-grain, veggie-packed meal that saves 40g carbs and 321 calories over the traditional—all ready in just over half an hour.
THE SAUCEMost jarred sauces are sources of hidden sugar, adding as much as 7g refined carbs per ½ cup. We use unsalted diced tomatoes as the base and beef up extra-lean meat with mushrooms and zucchini in our Veggi-fied Meat Sauce—enough for everyone to get a full cup of saucy goodness.
THE GREENSA bright spinach and radish salad adds pleasant crunch to the meal and keeps our meal half full of veggies instead of noodles.
THE BREADNot exactly a necessity, but what better way to sop up all that sauce than with Whole-Wheat Garlic Bread? We opt for whole-grain baguette and cut the traditional 1.5-ounce portion in half—removing 9g of refined carbs. Our two ultrathin slices make a nice, crusty contrast to chewy noodles.
THE PASTAWe sub in our favorite whole-grain pasta, which has double the fiber of white, and cut the portion to ¾ cup (about 1.5 ounces uncooked pasta) to trim carbs by 35g.