Hands up if you love spaghetti bolognese. Well, my hand is high in the air because it’s my favourite food in the entire world. As in, I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could handle that much pasta. But unfortunately, I can’t.
Recently, I’ve found dried pasta hasn’t been sitting so well with me. Devastating, I know, but it doesn’t mean I need to completely cut it out of my diet.
Instead, I’ve started to reassess all of our favourite weeknight meals and how we eat them. I’ve found pasta is a vessel for bolognese sauce, rice is a vessel for chicken curries and tortillas are a vessel for fish tacos. It turns out all my favourite foods are ones that you might stop eating if you were wanting to opt for a healthier and lighter meal in the evenings.
So, how do I have my cake (and by cake I mean bolognese, curry and tacos) and eat it too? I incorporate healthy and fun substitutes that still let me enjoy my favourite foods and flavours. After all, it’s about moderation and the subtle changes, right? To begin with, my (well, it’s actually “ours” due to my partner Andy and I combining both our family recipes) bolognese sauce is already fairly healthy. I load it with fresh veggies, use an organic tomato passata that’s low in salt and use organic, free-range minced pork and veal from our local butcher.
And when it comes to the pasta, we switch it out. We began by switching out half of our pasta with half a bowl of fresh spinach or rocket, then we moved to zoodles and spinach and now it's whatever substitute to dried pasta we have in the fridge. Spelt is another wonderful substitute that we love. Add some chopped fresh herbs and chilli on top for more flavour (meaning that you don’t need as much parmesan) and – voila! – you have yourself a delicious spag bol that is both satisfying and healthy.
See my zucchini Bolognese recipe below. It doesn’t take long to make, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy too. Enjoy!