During the summer months, I hear from a lot of clients that they just can’t stomach eating a lot with the heat. Heat can definitely impact your appetite, but it’s still important that you eat according to plan and make healthier choices instead of filling up on liquid calories. I like to take advantage of all the summer veggies to lighten up a meal.
In this case when I say “lighten up”, I’m not talking only about calories but also about how it feels when you eat it. Pasta dishes are quick and easy to prepare but they can sit like a lump of lead in your stomach on a hot day. To avoid this feeling, I cut the amount of pasta that I’d normally use and add in spiralized noodles instead.
The veggies lighten up the dish in both feeling and in calories. They also taste pretty good and you don’t even notice the missing pasta. This dish also held up well for cold leftovers in the form of a veggie pasta salad. It all comes together in the time it takes to boil the noodles, and it’s also budget friendly as a bonus.
Summer Veggie Pasta Saute
- 3 cups (224g) uncooked penne pasta (or any shape noodle)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 8 oz sliced white mushrooms
- 1/2 dry pint (about 24) grape tomatoes
- 1 large (300g) spiralized or shredded zucchini
- 12 oz grilled chicken breast (or other protein)
- 2 green onions, white and green parts chopped
Cook the penne pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to combine. Add the garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini. Saute for about 5 – 10 minutes until cooked to your liking. Remove from heat.
Cut the chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Toss the pasta with the penne and veggies until combined. Divide evenly into bowls and garnish with the chopped onion.
Makes 4 servings at approximately 388 calories – 27g protein, 46g carbs, and 11g fat.
- You can use a spiralizer or a food processor to make your zucchini noodles. In a pinch, you could go old school and julienne them by hand. Gah, if you have time.
- Mix up the veggies and use more or less of the ones that you like. All you need is a bunch of veggies to saute and you’re set.
- Top with cheese like parmesan, pepper jack, or mozzarella for a heartier version.
I love my spiralzer and am fast becoming addicted to it. Yes, I could just use my food processor but shredded veggies just don’ t have the same charm that long noodley veggies have. Plus you can’t call them zoodles if they aren’t shaped like noodles. 😉
If you’re looking for more spiralized veggie ideas, just do a quick search on my site using “Spiralizer” and you’ll find a half dozen or more of them. I need to create a Spiralizer tag so that they get added to my Recipe Index! I had no idea going in that I’d end up with so many.
I can’t stress enough that good nutrition is important even in the summer months when you don’t always feel like eating. Under-eating or getting too many liquid calories can be just as detrimental to your goals as over-eating. If you’re interested in learning more about how to eat for your goals and work through issues like meal planning, fast and easy food ideas, or summer nutrition roadblocks, let me know.
Assessments are free and we can see what we can achieve together with an online training and nutrition program customized to you.