Thursday, July 29, 2010

Astrid's Recipe Corner 1

So, I realized that I really like blogs that feature recipes that are either plain delicious, cheap, healthy...or all of the above!

I thought maybe I could have my own recipe corner of recipes that I think fall into all of those categories. Some of them start from prepackeged things because, frankly, those can be pretty cheap for a decent amount of nutritional value that won't plain kill you.

Today, we've got a two meals in one package.

I picked up a Knorr's Sides Plus a few months back, but never got around to making it. It's the brocolli rotini version with spinach and olive oil. I mainly picked this up for a few reasons. One- It was cheap. About a dollar and it has two heaping servings in it. Two- It has vegetables in it and not only that, it has SPINACH. And I love me some spinach. Three- The nutritional information was reasonable.

For example, here we go:
in one serving ( 3/4 of a cup) as prepared
Calories: 320
Total Fat: 3g
Sat Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 710mg
Carbs: 47g
Fiber: 4g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 10g

Not bad for a prepackaged side, right? Well, it is a side. But I'm kind of poor and I see "One dollar for that package? Why! That's two meals! For fifty cents each!" And this made my day, of course.

But here's the thing. Is there any way to make it better? Sure there is.

So, I prepared the side according to package directions, including using the olive oil. Don't waste your good virgin or extra virgin olive oil on this! This is cooking with it and that oil you paid so much for will lose all of the subtle flavors that make it so expensive. Just go for your normal olive oil. It still tastes great, is still heart healthy, and is cheaper than the virgin and extra virgin oils.

I cut up two plum (roma) tomatoes and threw them in after seeding them. But what else? Well, add in a can of tuna! In water, not oil!

And what do you end up getting in the same serving?

Calories: 392
Total Fat: 3.5g
Sat Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol: 25mg
Sodium: 960mg
Carbs: 47g
Fiber: 4g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 21g

For barely any extra calories, fat, and sodium, you get a lot more protein in one serving. And what do you do with the other serving?

Eat it later!

And trust me., it tastes awesome.

Don't like tomatoes? Add any other vegetable you like! Just make sure to give it ample time to cook in the boiling water BEFORE adding in the pasta, seasoning, and tuna. Don't like tuna? Add chunk chicken or turkey, salmon or crab. The nutritional information will change, of course, but it's hard to make this all that bad for you.


Liked it? Hated it? Want me to never post these again or keep posting one every week?

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