Healthy and delicious weeknight dinner: Tomato Basil, Low GI Spaghetti with Baked Cod and Broccolini
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
Look out weekdays, Spaghetti is not only for Sundays anymore!
Summer is coming to an end, so take full advantage of the delicious bounty of fresh local produce still available to pair with your dinner. Tomatoes are thriving right now in Western New York, and basil is doing wonderful as well. This brings me to the perfect summer side made with basil, tomato and low glycemic index (GI) spaghetti. Holista Low GI spaghetti has a certified glycemic index of 38, which is low and therefore means it does not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. Yay! You can think of the spaghetti as a "slow carb" meaning the carbohydrates are digested slower, therefore resulting a slower and lower rise in blood glucose. This spaghetti has a special blend of plant based ingredients that may help manage blood glucose, and it also provides phytonutrients. To top it off, it is a local Buffalo company, which I must disclose, I have just starting working with.
My first time trying Holista Spaghetti was in Chicago, at the 2017 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. It was served plain, and I thought it was delicious without added sauce. I had not heard of Holista Foods before, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are a Buffalo business! I love that I can support a local business while choosing a healthy and tasty spaghetti that has a lower glycemic index than other similar spaghetti. You can browse the glycemic index of over 1,000 different foods in this article published in Diabetes Care, a journal for the American Diabetes Association. I will explain more about the glycemic index and the added phytonutrients in future blogs, so stay tuned for more on the benefits of choosing lower glycemic foods, and phytonutrient rich foods. Today I am focusing on my Mediterranean inspired, summer recipe that fits a healthy lifestyle.
This recipe is Mediterranean inspired because of the use of Olive Oil, fish for the protein and herbs to flavor the food with little added salt. Mediterranean diets emphasize plant based meals, and healthy fats in place of saturated fats. Olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean meals, as well as fish. The Cod used in this recipe is from Sitka Salmon Shares, a community supported fishery. This fish is truly the finest and you can feel good about supporting a sustainable company that is just and environmentally conscious.
The Holista Low GI Spaghetti cooks in just three minutes, making it a super convenient addition to any meal. Since fish also cooks fast, this is a quick, gourmet meal you can enjoy even on weeknights. No need to cook your tomatoes for hours and hours to make your Sunday sauce. This recipe is fast, and allows you to enjoy the bursting flavors of fresh tomatoes and basil. It doesn’t get any better than that! So lets get to the recipe.
What you will need:
What you will need:
This recipe makes 2 servings
Approximately ½ pound Pacific Cod 4 oz Holista Low GI Spaghetti 1 cup fresh Basil, torn1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved½ red bell pepper, chopped1 bunch broccolini, trimmed4 cloves garlic, chopped½ tsp oreganoSalt, black pepper and chili flakes to taste3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive OilLemon zestParmesan Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 °F
2. Spread broccolini in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, saving space for the red bell pepper. Toss vegetables with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, keeping the pepper separate.
3. Add half of the chopped garlic to the broccolini, and lightly zest lemon on top. Sprinkle oregano over red pepper. Salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. In a large or medium pot, turn water on high to boil for spaghetti.
5. Meanwhile, place cod in 8 x 8 baking dish and coat both sides with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Grate lemon zest over the cod, and lightly pepper.
7. Place cod and vegetables in the pre-heated oven and set timer for 12 minutes.
8. You will have a few minutes now while you wait for the water to come to a boil. This is the perfect time to clean any dishes you have used thus far. *Especially the lemon zester if you are using a cheese grater that you will need for the Parmesan!
9. When there are only 3 or 4 minutes left on your timer add the spaghetti to your boiling water. Let it boil for 3 minutes, and presto it is done. Drain and rinse spaghetti with hot water to keep it warm.
10. While the spaghetti is in the strainer, sautee remaining garlic, and the halved tomatoes in the pot with about 1 tsp. olive oil until fragrant. (Chili flakes are optional).
11. Return spaghetti to pot, add torn basil, drizzle olive oil and toss.
12. Top the cod with your baked red pepper, and shave about 1 Tbsp. Parmesan over your spaghetti and broccolini. Enjoy!
Nutrition info: Calories 562 kcal, Fat, Total 24 g, Saturated Fat 3.7 g, Total Carbohydrate 53 g, Added Sugar 0 g, Natural 6 g, Fiber 8 g, Protein 34 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Trans Fatty Acid 0 g, Sodium 565 mg
This dinner is loaded with fresh flavors from the fresh basil, to the light tang from the lemon. It is also balanced perfectly with shaved Parmesan on top. You can taste the delicious sweetness of the Pacific Cod, and the enjoy the taste and texture of the pasta with minimal sauce. Additionally, this meal won't leave you needing a nap afterwards. It is perfectly portioned to provide adequate protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. This dinner fits in a healthy lifestyle, including for diabetics. It provides over 100% of the daily value for vitamins K, and C. Vitamin K plays a key role in bone health as well as blood clotting. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, and it plays a role in immune function. It also serves up a healthy dose of other essential nutrients which play important roles in metabolism, immune function, and neurological function (50% DV selenium, 42% DV B12, and 30% DV B6). I hope you enjoy this this fast and delicious dinner. Your body and your taste buds will thank you for it!