Wellness Wednesdays: The Pasta You Love

Why Not Eat The Pasta You Love?!

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Foods from this starch food group are a good source of energy, fiber and B vitamins. We should aim to make these foods the main part of meals. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods like cereals are low in fat. It is what we add to them, such as butter on potatoes or creamy sauces on pasta, that makes a difference.

Fiber is helpful in controlling our weight because it fills us up quickly, but it has other health benefits too, such as preventing constipation, protecting us against some types of cancer and reducing our risk of heart disease.

Wholegrain varieties of bread, rice and pasta contain lots of fibre so try to include granary or multigrain breads and high fibre cereals such as Weetabix, Shredded Wheat or Ready Brek into your diet. Make a point of eating the skin on new potatoes and baked potatoes, and why not try brown rice or pasta for a change.

Remember, fiber is like a sponge and soaks up water so make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (8-10 cups/glasses) to allow it to pass through the body easily and to help keep you regular.

B vitamins are important for a range of different functions including the formation of red blood cells and helping the body to use fat, carbohydrate and protein from our food. Folate is an important B vitamin found in dark green, leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, Brussels sprouts as well as fortified breakfast cereals.

Any woman who is trying to conceive or who could become pregnant should take a 400µg folic acid supplement from the time she could or is trying to become pregnant up until the end of the12th week of pregnancy. Folic acid has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida in unborn babies. Any folic acid that is not needed by the body passes into the urine, so it is safe to continue to use folic acid supplements for long periods of time.

Resource: Public Health Agency

Chicken Cacciatore

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1 lb chicken breasts
1 (26 oz) jar of chunky vegetable-style spaghetti sauce
1 zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped

Prep Day: Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together. Freeze.

Serve Day: When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Serve with cooked spaghetti noodles and garnish with olives and cheese. Also would be delicious with Cheesy Garlic Sticks.

Garnish: chopped black olives, shredded Parm cheese

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