Category Archives: Weight Management

It’s Time to Give Bean Pasta a Try! by Cari Culp, RD

Legume pasta is all the rage these days and rightfully so! I have been having so much fun with it in the kitchen. I am frequently asked if veggie (tri-colored) pasta or whole wheat pasta is better than regular pasta. Well the answer is, not really. There is not much difference in the ingredients, total carbohydrate and fiber among regular, veggie and whole wheat pasta varieties. If you really want to see a difference in nutrition, it is time to give legume pasta a try! With most legume pastas containing 20-25 grams of protein and around 10 grams of fiber per serving, you throw in some veggies and a healthy sauce and voila, balanced, plant-based meal complete in minutes! 
The research shows we get the same benefit from eating beans whether we eat the whole bean or the bean ground into a flour. Some of these superpowers associated with beans include better blood sugar control for hours and even into the next day according to research, improved gut health, portion control and cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. So who says you can’t have pasta?! 
There are more and more varieties of legume pasta popping up and they can be found in most grocery stores. Some contain bean flour plus some added ingredients like brown rice flour. Others literally contain only one ingredient which is the bean flour. I prefer to go with the single ingredient varieties, like Tolerant Lentil Pasta or Barrila Chickpea Pasta, because you get more fiber and protein and, the fewer ingredients the better right? I have tried most of the bean pastas and found that there is not a big difference in texture compared to regular pasta. Add a sauce and you almost can’t tell the difference except quicker satiety from all the fiber and protien therefore, smaller portion size! My absolute favorite from a texture, taste and quality perspective is the Tolerant brand Lentil Pasta. So hopefully I have changed the game for you when it comes to pasta! Here are a few of my favorite recipes to help you make the switch. Enjoy!


Lentil Pasta Primavera with Walnut Pesto:

1. Cook 1 package of lentil pasta according to directions. 
2. Sauté sliced squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Throw in some spinach and sautée a minute more. You can also add sliced red, orange or yellow bell peppers to the mix if you like. 
3. Make Walnut Pesto:

Ingredients: 1 cup raw walnuts2 cups basil1 cup spinach1/3 cup fresh lemon juice3 garlic cloves1/2 cup olive oil1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions: blend all ingredients in high powered blender until smooth.

4. Mix all ingredients together with shredded Parmesan to taste. You may not need all of the pesto. Extra can be mixed with roasted spaghetti squash, used as a dip for raw veggies or drizzled on to salmon before baking.

Burst Tomato and Zucchini Spaghetti:

Ingredients:

3 cups yellow and red cherry tomatoes

2 zucchini, spiralized (I buy the package of pre-spiralized zucchini in the produce section and use all of it)

4 ounces of legume spaghetti

Parmesan for topping


Avocado Sauce: 1 avocado 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley 3–4 green onions (green parts)1 garlic clovejuice of 1 lemon freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Pulse all sauce ingredients together in a high powered blender until smooth. Set aside.

2. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat the cherry tomatoes in a large skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Sauté until soft and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Add the zucchini to the same pan and toss for 1-2 minutes, until tender-crisp.

5. Add the spaghetti and the avocado sauce. Toss until combined.

6. Season with salt and pepper, top with reserved tomatoes and Parmesan. Serve immediately.


*Recipe found here

Magnesium, A Mighty Mineral by Lisa Johnson, RD

Magnesium shines as one of the body’s most essential minerals. It cofactors over 300 bodily functions to aid with bone health, blood pressure regulation, insulin sensitivity, heart health, colon health, and brain health. Deficiencies have been linked with depression as well as attention deficit disorder and sadly over 60% of the US population are deficient… Continue Reading

What is the best protein bar to choose? by Cari Culp, RD

Despite our best efforts, let’s face it, we all get stuck in a pinch and need grab-and-go nourishment at times. Although whole food is always the best choice, it never hurts to have a good quality protein bar on hand for those times when life gets chaotic. The question is, with so many options, what… Continue Reading

Ways to Eat More Vegetables by Lisa Johnson, RD

Spring has sprung which means the garden-fresh vegetable selections will be more plentiful. And, most people adapt to warmer months by lightening their load when it some to food choices. Spring cleaning isn’t just for our environment we know! The benefits of a lifestyle high in vegetables are well established. Any healthcare professional will encourage… Continue Reading

Because We All Need That Cookie Sometimes! by Cari Culp, RD

Spring is right around the corner and many of us are looking for ways to tone up and maybe shed some of those holiday pounds. Limiting sugar is one great way to do that, but alas, for one reason or another, that sweet craving comes creeping in. We all want a little something sweet here… Continue Reading

Cortisol, Inflammation, and Dietary Lifestyle by Lisa Johnson, RD

Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands in response to stress. The purpose of cortisol is to provide immediate blood glucose to fuel a “fight or flight” encounter. Under short-term stressful events including exercise, cortisol is a friendly hormone that aids your body’s adaption. The negative results from elevated cortisol levels occur… Continue Reading

Gluten Free with BFree Foods by Lisa Johnson, RD

This is a promising new line for the gluten-free consumer. BFree offers whole grain, high fiber breads, wraps, and pastas without the allergen, gluten. Everyone loves the convenience and satisfaction of breads, wraps, and pastas; yet sadly GF products usually compromise texture and flavor. These are soft and pliable, and packed with healthy nutrients and… Continue Reading

Traditional Soda Bread Revised by Lisa Johnson, RD

Besides being a yeast-free alternative to bread, soda breads are very quick and easy to make. And, they can be quite nutritious. My favorite is a whole-grain, high-fiber bread made with whole wheat flour, oatmeal, bran, and flax meal. It takes 50 minutes from start to finish and is delicious any way you serve it,… Continue Reading

Sharing Rachael DeVaux, RD from Rachael’s Good Eats – How To Shop Healthy On A Budget

Although some of the healthiest foods can be more expensive, a combination of planning and using some helpful tips and tricks can make a healthy diet also budget friendly! For this week’s blog I wanted to share this wonderful article by Registered Dietitian, Rachael DeVaux. Follow these great tips to incorporate more healthy foods into… Continue Reading

Freedom with Food by Lisa Johnson, RD

As we enter this new year, I want to address the importance of effective goal-setting. In order to stay on track in achieving positive outcome, you must clearly define your goals, and revisit them often. A common error in setting goals for health and wellness is making them results based. For instance, if my goal… Continue Reading