I love pasta. Really I love all carbs, but pasta is definitely very high up on the list. It’s often misconstrued as being unhealthy, but that’s not necessarily true. Many people eat pasta with a jar sauce (gross- can you say high fructose corn syrup and added sugar?!) and eat about 3-5 times the suggested serving size. I recommend making your own sauce and adding tons of veggies, and a lean protein to make the meal more nutritious and filling. This way you also avoid eating your body weight in pasta. My homemade marinara sauce recipe isn’t an exact science; it’s basically a combination of what I have at the house so I won’t post the recipe at this time. There are tons of super easy delicious recipes on the internet though. Or if you’re looking for a healthier jar sauce just look for one made with real ingredients and no added sugars or HFCS. So you can use either to make a healthier high protein vodka sauce. The secret is Greek yogurt. It sounds weird, but trust me, it totally works!
6-8oz pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
2 cloves garlic
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup mushrooms
2 cups spinach
6-8oz shrimp (I bought frozen cooked, peeled, and deveined)
2 cups marinara sauce (I used a homemade version I had frozen earlier this month)
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
1/3 parmesan (optional, but makes the flavor richer and creamier)
1. Boil water for pasta and begin cooking process according to package directions
2. While water is boiling, mince garlic and add to 1 TBSP olive oil to pan on stovetop (medium heat)
3. Finely dice mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini, add to pan
4. Continue cooking veggies for 5-7 minutes. Add spinach for last 2 minutes
5. Don’t forget about your pasta, the water should be boiled by now and noodles added, continue to follow package cooking directions
6. Thaw shrimp if frozen or cook if raw (again following package directions)
7. Add marinara sauce to veggie mixture, stir to evenly coat veggies
8. Add Greek yogurt and spread evenly throughout mixture
9. Add thawed/cooked shrimp and drained and cooked noodles
10. Add additional spices if desired (basil, more garlic, etc)
11. Add parmesan if using.
12. Make sure everything is combined evenly and eat or refrigerate for later use
I actually made this dish on a morning before work because I had plans to go to the gym and Christmas shop after work, but didn’t want to end up eating junk food at the mall. It saved perfectly and I’m finishing up the leftovers today. Also a good healthy Christmas side dish, very festive with the red sauce and green veggies! It will also please a variety of people with different eating habits. Have you ever made your own vodka sauce?? Any special secrets?? Any awesome red or green themed Christmas recipes?!?