Although in recent years there is much debate as to whether carbs or protein are better for us, there really is enough room on our plates for both…
Complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, legumes/beans, and vegetables provide us with the our bodies primary source of fuel abs although they are broken down into glucose to use as energy, complex carbohydrates come with the all important fibre that helps to slow down this breakdown reducing the impact on blood sugar levels plus the amazing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that refined carbohydrates lack.
Protein is of course an essential nutrient and is used to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Protein can also help to keep us feeling fuller for longer and helping to support blood sugar levels throughout the day.
So both of these are essential parts of our diet so including both of them within each meal along with vegetables, fruit and healthy fats makes for a balanced diet.
This delicious pasta dish uses red lentil pasta which is packed with protein and complex carbohydrates, added with a Smokey tomato sauce, paprika chickpeas and spinach. It makes for a perfect comfort food meal providing fibre, carbs, protein, antioxidants in the form of lycopene
Smokey Sundried Tomato Pasta
1 large red onion
2 garlic cloves
10 sundried tomatoes
2 tsp paprika
200g Baby Plum Tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
Salt and pepper
Large handful of spinach
1/2 tin chickpeas
2 tsp smoked paprika
Red lentil pasta (enough for 4)
Leftover sourdough bread cut into cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
In a pan gently pan fry the onion until nicely softened making sure to season well and then add the garlic along with the sundried tomatoes, paprika and gently cook these.
Stir through the chopped plum tomatoes, tomato purée and approx 1/4 cup water and season accordingly.
Cook the sauce down until it becomes thicker, adding in a little water to stop it from drying out.
Cook the lentil pasta according to the packet instructions
In a pan add a good amount of extra virgin olive oil over a medium high heat, once hot add the sourdough cubes and cook until nicely golden and crisp on each side.
In a small pan add in a little olive oil and salt and heat over a high heat, add the drained chickpeas along with the smoked paprika and stir through for several minutes until cooked through and warm
Add the cooked lentil pasta to the tomato sauce, along with the spinach and stir through to wilt.
Place the pasta on a plate, top with the chickpeas and croutons and enjoy