Pasta Bolognese

IMG_0005Happy New Year! Every year I like to make New Year’s resolutions that’ll improve my way of living; this usually includes following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Easier said than done, right? Most people typically include eating healthier as their New Year’s resolution, but where do you start? Setting small goals is usually the best way to begin any drastic lifestyle change. Although you won’t see dramatic changes right away, setting small goals will be the easiest way to stick to your plan and prevent giving up right away.

But here’s a good tip…..don’t fall into one of those easy, quick fix fad diets that promise quick results. Yeah, you might lose a few pounds right away but the reality is you won’t be able to stick with the plan for life. I mean, can you really only eat soups or drink juices for the rest of your life? Plus, these fad diets are often the cause of yo-yo dieting. The best way to begin a healthy LIFESTYLE (not diet) is to practice eating a balanced diet. What exactly is a balanced diet? Well, following MyPlate guidelines (the re-vamped USDA MyPyramid guidelines), a balanced diet consists of filling half your 9-inch plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate with protein and ¼ with whole grains. This looks like a 4-ounce piece of chicken, 1/3 cup brown rice and 1 cup of salad greens with 1 Tbsp salad dressing.  Use this reference whenever you eat out or for home cooked meals to help you make better choices for the 2015 year!

Or you could make some homemade Bolognese sauce (recipe below) to drench your pasta in and serve a salad on the side for another take on your MyPlate meal.

MyPlate meal amounts for one serving: 1 cup (2 oz) pappardelle noodles, ½ cup marinara sauce, ½ Italian sausage link and 1 cup spinach salad with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinagriette.

Need more advice? Leave a comment!

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Bolognese Sauce w/Pappardelle

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 package pappardelle
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, shredded
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
½ cup red wine
2 Italian sausages, casings removed
8-oz baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.
  2. In a separate pot, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Add the onion and sautee for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, and Italian seasonings and sautee for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and red wine, simmer over low for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate. Add water if sauce is too thick. Use a hand blender to blend the sauce until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the Italian sausage over medium heat in a nonstick skillet for 10 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel. Wipe skillet clean.
  5. In the same skillet, add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms turn brown and most of the moisture is evaporated.
  6. Add sausage and mushrooms to sauce and serve over the pasta.

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