If you’re about to cook a bowl of pasta, I urge you to reconsider. Traditional pasta noodles contain gluten, a type of protein that can be detrimental to your health. It’s known to interfere with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients in your stomach. Furthermore, undigested gluten causes your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, which can lead to diarrhea, constipation, nausea and abdominal pain.
Instead of gorging on wheat-based pasta, try using vegetables for the noodles. Not only is this a healthier approach, but it’s tastier as well. This recipe from Paleohacks uses a mixture of vegetables in a spicy sauce to deliver a warm, flavorful heat that’s sure to get your spirits up and going.
Spicy Rainbow Pasta With All-Veggie Noodles
Cook time: 5 to 7 minutes
- 2 teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- 2 teaspoons of coconut aminos or organic soy sauce
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- 1/8 cup of raw pistachios, unshelled and chopped
- Cut the ends of the zucchini, summer squash, sweet potato and beet. Spiralize them using a small, 3 millimeter blade.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos and sriracha sauce to the pan. Heat them for a few minutes, then add the vegetable noodles.
- Toss the ingredients to coat the vegetables with the sauce. Cook for five to seven minutes until the noodles are al dente.
- Remove the skillet from the stovetop and transfer the dish to a bowl. Garnish with chopped pistachios and parsley to serve.
- Add 1 tablespoon of grass fed butter to the sauce to make it extra rich and delicious.
- If you really want to turn up the heat, add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. It will add an extra layer of spice!
Mixing Various Vegetables Can Create Tasty and Colorful Noodles
While it’s certainly possible to use just one vegetable to make veggie pasta, why stop there? You can diversify your recipe’s flavor and improve the nutritional profile by using several veggies. In particular, this recipe uses four options to great effect:
- Red beet: This veggie is rich in fiber, which may help optimize your digestive health, as well as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and folate to round out the nutritional package. But be careful not to add too much of it to your pasta, because 3 1/2 ounces of red beets already contain 7 grams of sugar.
- Sweet potato: Just 3 1/2 ounces of this root crop contains a whopping 284 percent of the daily recommended value for vitamin A. It’s also rich in various antioxidants that may help prevent blood clots. However, like red beet, it is high in sugar, so consume in moderation only.
- Summer squash: Similar to sweet potato, summer squash is rich in vitamin A. Furthermore, it contains good amounts of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system by lowering your risk of common infections. You also get manganese, potassium, thiamin, folate, calcium and thiamin, among other nutrients.
- Zucchini: This vegetable is rich in various B vitamins that may help with blood sugar regulation, along with several antioxidants that can eliminate free radicals throughout your body.
Since a couple of the vegetables in this recipe are high in sugar, I recommend that you reduce their amount and compensate by increasing the squash and zucchini. This can help reduce your sugar consumption and avoid its negative effects when eaten in excess. Also, make sure you purchase your vegetables from reputable organic growers to avoid ingesting pesticides and other chemicals that can wreak havoc on your health.
This Spicy Pasta Sauce Can Be Beneficial to Your Health
Sriracha sauce is one of the most popular condiments today due to its versatility. It can be added to various recipes to provide a warm burst of flavor or simply used as a dip for snacks. But did you know that it can benefit your health as well?
The sauce is mainly made from red chili peppers, which contain a compound called capsaicin. This is the source of the spicy flavor, and is actually beneficial, too. Recent research suggests that increasing your capsaicin intake may help lower your risk of inflammatory diseases, as well as boosting your metabolism that may aid in weight loss.1,2
However, most sriracha brands sold today contain various additives that can harm your health, such as sugar. As such, you’re better off making your own sauce using organic ingredients at home to ensure that you’re eating a high-quality meal.
To keep the sauce from becoming too spicy, ACV is added, which contains acidic properties that help balance out the flavor. ACV is actually a healthy ingredient on its own right — it’s believed that the acetic acid in vinegar may help lower blood sugar among diabetics by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates.3 Vinegar may also help support heart health by helping lower your harmful cholesterol levels, according to a scientific study involving the use of mice.4
Coconut Oil and Aminos Add a Heaping Dose of Healthy Fat
It’s no secret that coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can add regularly to your diet, thanks to its healthy fat content. It’s a good way to boost your energy because it is immediately digested and converted into fuel by your liver. In addition, it contains good antimicrobial properties to help eliminate harmful pathogens in your gut.
If you’re not familiar with coconut aminos, it’s essentially an alternative to soy sauce, but has a brown color and is less salty. It’s made by combining coconut sap and sea salt, and then aging the mixture to bring out the flavor.5 A teaspoon of aminos contains only 90 milligrams of sodium, compared to a teaspoon of soy sauce, which has 307 milligrams. Using this product instead of soy sauce can also help you avoid consuming genetically modified soy that can harm your health.
Remember to Use the Vegetables in Moderation
If you’ve been tired of eating plain old pasta for quite some time now, I recommend you give this recipe a try. It’s sure to bring life back into your meals in a healthier and more interesting way. However, remember to moderate your use of the sweet potatoes and beets due to their high sugar content. You also don’t want to add too much sriracha sauce, or the dish can end up becoming too spicy — unless you like the flavor that way.
About the Blog:
Paleohacks is one of the largest Paleo communities on the web. They offer everything Paleo: from a Q&A forum where users get their top health questions answered, to a community blog featuring daily recipes, workouts and wellness content. You can also tune in to their podcast, where they bring in the top experts in the Paleo world to share the latest, cutting-edge health information.
Sources and References