Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh-So-Adaptable Pasta

If you have any sort of restricted diet, you have to love pasta. It’s enormous adaptability is a relief, isn’t it? There are so many combinations of ingredients that can be mixed with pasta. Additionally, you can serve it hot or cold. All-weather food!

There are plenty of options just in the pasta, too. You can find whole grain pasta, pasta with vegetables in it, pasta with supplements such as fiber and calcium, low carbohydrate pasta and even gluten free pasta. With so many options, it is much easier to add variety to your diet with this very simple food.

Now, I have a significant tomato allergy and I need to avoid dairy so the traditional tomato and cream sauces aren’t on my menu. But that doesn’t mean I need to skip pasta altogether. The picture above was dinner last night. Now, my son and husband are very fond of marinara sauce so their pasta was served that way. Mine was tossed with diced red onion, diced celery, fresh parsley and roasted almonds with just a drizzle of olive oil. Flavor, texture and color all together and it was great! I could toss it with vegetables and a prepared salad dressing, chill it and have a great pasta salad to serve as a side dish. In fact, I will probably do that for our Indoor Birthday Picnic on Sunday. I’m thinking my favorite Greek dressing will make a great pasta salad.

This is why pasta is such a great meal for families with dietary considerations. Each serving can be personalized to suit the needs of the person eating. Any vegetable combination, any sauce, cheese, no cheese and any other ingredient you can imagine can be served up and the entire family can sit down together. Kids can help prepare and choose their own pasta toppings and tossings. I think we all know why this is a great thing, right? Kids need to learn to cook and learn about the food they eat so as to learn to make wise food choices throughout their lives. Plus, the time spent preparing and eating the meal together is good for everyone.

So, let’s hear it for Super Adaptable Pasta! It’s a great lunch, dinner or side. Let’s go eat that!


Corinne said...

Hear hear! :)

Sandra Gordon said...

Also, yum yum! ;)

BaileyAKA said...

Mmm mmmm! Did you roast the almonds yourself? Thanks for this simple idea!

Sandra Gordon said...

In this case, the almonds came straight from a package of Blue Diamond roasted, salted almonds. However, it is very easy to toast almonds in a skillet with a bit of butter or margerine. Alternatively, you can toast them in the oven on a baking sheet. I do think, though, that it is worthwhile to keep some simple shortcuts (like a can of nuts) on the pantry shelf for those times when you want to put a meal together in a hurry.