You’ve heard the saying, “Small changes lead to big results”.  It’s true – little lifestyle maneuvers can add up to a healthier you.  Let’s focus on ways to make some small, impactful lifestyle changes – after all February is American Heart Month.  One of the best things you can do to prevent disease and keep your heart healthy is to get in the kitchen with nourishing food.

Here are three simple ways to do that and WIN at the same time:

  • Find comfort in fiber-filled pasta. Aim for at least 5 grams of fiber per serving as it’s filling and can help manage weight, too. Toss a cup of cooked pasta in with steamed veggies; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle of parmesan cheese or top with sautéed shrimp and basil pesto. Dreamfields Pasta is among the fiber-filled varieties (this post is sponsored by Dreamfields Pasta, however the recipe and opinions are my own). To help keep healthy living resolutions on track, Dreamfields is looking for inspirational tips and recipes in its Pinterest contest, Little Black Box (LBB) for a Healthier Me.  Visit www.TryDreamfields.com/contest for more information on how to enter and win.

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  • Add veggies to your meals and snacks. By adding colorful vegetables to meals and snacks like spinach, shallots and mushrooms to scrambled eggs at breakfast; or mixed greens and avocado in a wrap at lunch; or mini cukes, snap peas and carrots as a snack, you are doing your heart, as well as your waistline, good.
  • Power up with protein. Protein fuels muscles and your appetite for a long time.  Toss plant proteins like tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds or lean animal protein like chicken breast, turkey, salmon or tuna into a salad or a sandwich.  Even pasta has protein – Dreamfields contains 7 grams per one cup cooked serving.

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Simple Linguine Puttanesca

I love Puttanesca sauce – a traditional Southern Italian sauce with succulent, umami-rich flavors and intense aroma from the tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives and sometimes anchovies.

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Serves 2 (1 cup, cooked each)

Ingredients

4 ounces Dreamfields linguine

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small shallot, minced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped

2 teaspoons small capers, drained

A pinch of black pepper

Parmesan cheese, shavings (optional)

Directions

To cook pasta, fill a large stock pot with about 3 – 4 quarts of water, bring to a rolling boil and add pasta. Cook uncovered for 9 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Drain well (rinse if desired).

Heat a small saucepan over medium low heat, add oil, garlic and shallots; saute for a couple of minutes.  Add tomatoes, olives, capers and pepper.  Stir to combine and heat through. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.  Plate the pasta and pour sauce on top.  Sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Bon appetit!

Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 291, Total Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 49 mg, Sodium 265 mg, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Dietary Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 9 g

 

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki