A 30-Day Journey Exploring a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle – Day 27
Whole Grain Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce – Soo Delicious!
We talked about pumpkins, their high nutritional value; the fun Halloween brings in our neighborhoods and home. Today, I like to share a delicious pumpkin dish that is so simple and everyone loves: Whole Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce. It fits into the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, is easy to prepare, and most delicious!
In the future I will talk about Mediterranean diet more in-depth but today I will just highlight key factors and benefits.
Why are Mediterranean Style Diets So Healthy?
The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan based on typical foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking as it was traditionally the diet in the Mediterranean region.
Highlights of Key factors related to the Mediterranean diet according to the Mayo Clinic :
- Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts – antioxidant-rich.
- Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil – minimal trans-fats.
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month.
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.
- Enjoying meals with family and friends.
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional).
- Getting plenty of exercise.
Research-based Benefits of The Mediterranean Diet are:
- Reduced risk of heart disease and mortality.
- Lowers LDL (bad cholesterol).
- Indicates reduced incidence of cancer, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
- Suggests reduced risk of breast cancer.
People who follow the Mediterranean diet have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic diseases than do other adults. It is not surprising that most scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet
Our Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce dish (Adapted from Mayo Clinic ) fits perfectly into the category of the Mediterranean diet. So, let’s get cooking.
Recipe – Serves 4
- 2 cups whole-wheat penne or fusilloni pasta (I like) or any kind you prefer.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley)
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook about 10 minutes or until onion is soft.
Add broth, pumpkin, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer about 8 minutes.
When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add to pumpkin sauce. Stir to combine.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley before serving; I like to add a few fresh tomato pieces and fresh low fat mozzarella cheese.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
Serving size : About 2 cups
- Calories 197
- Total fat 5 g
- Saturated fat 2 g
- Trans fat 0 g
- Monounsaturated fat 2 g
- Cholesterol 4 mg
- Sodium 176 mg
- Total carbohydrate 29 g
- Dietary fiber 5 g
- Added sugars 0 g
- Protein 9 g
If you would like to share some special recipe that falls under the Mediterranean Diet category, that would be wonderful!