As I have been looking at a variety of ways in which to make cooking healthier this week, I decided to do a trial using a few different suggestions I have talked about. For this trial, I subbed out ingredients, as well as added veggies in hopes of improving the health quality of one of my favorite simple dishes; pasta and red sauce with meat.
When I traditionally make pasta, I use three staple ingredients; ground beef, regular pasta noodles, and a simple red sauce. For this trial is instead used, Italian ground turkey, whole wheat pasta noodles, and a veggie puree loaded red sauce containing over half of my recommended daily amount of veggies.
My preparation of this dish was as you would expect. I cooked the noodles as indicated on the package to “firm”. I seasoned and browned the ground turkey just as I would with beef, using onion, garlic, pepper, a little salt, and Italian seasoning. Once browned I added in the jar of pasta sauce, and allowed to warm on low while my pasta was cooking. Once warmed I seasoned the sauce to taste with a little more Italian seasoning. Once the noodles were cooked, drained, and added back to the pot, I added the red sauce mixing it in with the cooked noodles.
This was the first time I had ever used ground poultry in my cooking and was a little worried about it possibly having a lack in flavor compared with beef. I was pleasantly surprised, however, in that the ground turkey really had a great flavor, and a very similar texture to that of ground beef. In regards to the noodles and red sauce, I really didn’t notice any difference or lack of flavor at all.
Being that the meal contained great flavor, and similar texture to that of my usual pasta, I would say that these changes were successful. I will certainly be usually these healthier alternatives more often in my cooking, and I encourage you to try them out as well!