Recipe: Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

Recipe: Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a known and loved household meal. It’s quick, easy, delicious and kid-friendly. That’s why I’m giving you all this tasty spag bol recipe, packed full of hidden veggies, but also providing some nutrition education below the recipe to tell you exactly why certain ingredients are so good for you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 150g mushrooms, finely diced
  • 400g tin no added salt diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup no added salt beef or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup dried red lentils
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 500g pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g premium lean minced beef (or vegetable protein to substitute to make it a vegetarian meal)
  • 2 tbsp no added salt tomato paste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, optional
  • Chilli, optional
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Methods:

  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add the beef and cook through whilst separating the mince.
  4. Add the grated carrot and zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, red lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for around 15 minutes* or until the lentils are soft and liquid has reduced.
  6. Add the mixed herbs, balsamic vinegar and chilli (if using), and season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Once pasta is cooked, drain and place back into the pot, drizzle with some olive oil and mix to prevent pasta sticking together.
  8. Place pasta in bowls and top with sauce mix and a little parmesan cheese to serve. Enjoy!

*hot tip: you can simmer the sauce for longer than 15 minutes if you have time, it will become more flavoursome

Carrot & Zucchini Leave the skin on these vegetables as the skin is known as insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps us to feel fuller for longer, supports regular bowel movements and supports good gut health. It acts like a broom and cleans the inside of our intestinal tract, whilst also moving along our food.

LentilsLentils count as a vegetable and a whopping 96% of Australians don’t eat enough vegetables. They’re an easy addition to most sauces, they’re cheap, highly accessible, add minimal flavour and yet 76% of Australians don’t eat them! Lentils are packed full of protein and fibre meaning they’ll keep you fuller for longer and support your gut health.

Pasta All pasta is low GI, meaning it won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels which is great for our health. I love the brand ‘Vetta SMART’ pasta; they do a high fibre and a high protein pasta. Coles and Woolworths both stock them so I recommend giving them a go.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO is a monounsaturated fat, meaning studies have shown it helps to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and inflammation levels. It also helps the absorption of vitamins in our body so you’ll get the most out of the veggies in this meal.

No Added Salt Tomato Paste Salt increases blood pressure and high blood pressure is a major indicator of heart disease. Most Australians consume 9g of salt a day which is nearly double the recommended amount of 5g. One quick way to reduce this is to purchase low salt/sodium ingredients, it’s usually clearly labelled which is low or no added salt.

Premium/extra lean mince Meat is a major source of saturated fat in our diets. Saturated fat raises LDL (AKA “bad” cholesterol) and high cholesterol can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Purchasing extra lean/premium mince is one way to reduce saturated fat intake, however it is a few dollars more, but it is worth it. If money is an issue, then draining off the fat during the cooking process is also another way to remove some saturated fat.

Adelle Kent
Dietitian
Felix & Sage Psychology

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