Fitness & Health

Here’s how to prepare a nice alternative dish that’ll make you long for Halloween to come. Photo: Hannah Rivkin.

A new take on an old classic

The pasta dish is an age-old staple among university students. Easy, filling, and affordable. Sauté, boil, repeat. There’s no reason to throw this age-old tradition away in the name of healthy eating. Why not just spice things up?

Now slathered in green mushy stuff—toast received its own upgrade two years ago. As the avocado has elevated the nutritional value on every millennial breakfast plate, we must ask ourselves what other traditions could also receive a one-food item boost?

This week’s healthy recipe is pumpkin pasta sauce—and before you run away in horror at the idea of an orange-splattered dinner plate, hear us out. Give pumpkin (and this recipe) a spin for three reasons:

  1.  It’s healthy. Pumpkin is high in fibre, potassium, and Vitamin A — but has a low caloric content. Due to its high fibre, pumpkin contributes to gut health. Another benefit of this high-fibre food—it makes you feel full longer! Nutrient-dense food addition for the win!
  2. With the right balance of flavours, it tastes pretty amazing. Pumpkin’s muted taste can be off-putting without the right balance of flavours. On the sweeter end of the spectrum, pumpkin can be balanced out with sugar. But for pasta purposes, pumpkin should be balanced out with slightly acidic flavours like cheese, tomatoes, sriracha and of course salt.
  3. You’ve done this recipe a thousand times, all we’re giving you is one extra step.

So without further ado, here is this week’s healthy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Two tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • ½ green pepper
  • ½ yellow pepper
  • One zucchini
  • One cup of tomato sauce
  • One cup of pumpkin purée (if you already love pumpkin, two cups for a stronger flavour)
  • Grated cheddar cheese (optional—as much as you please)
  • Whole wheat pasta of your choice

Directions:

  1. Sauté your onions and garlic.
  2. Add in your veggies of choice (pumpkin pairs well with veggies that don’t have strong flavours—feel free to add in things like cherry tomatoes and spinach).
  3. Cook veggies to preferred texture.
  4. Add in both your sauces.
  5. Let simmer.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste—I recommend a little more salt than usual to complement the pumpkin.
  7. Last but not least, the garnish: salt, pepper, fresh basil, sriracha, and grated cheese.

And that’s it! Serve and enjoy.