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Quit shunning the bread basket and stop feeling guilt for slipping a crispy potato onto your dinner plate.

Carbs tend to get a bad rap. They’re often blamed for undesirable health issues and muffin tops. The thing is, not all carbohydrates are created equal. While most people view carbs as the weight-gaining enemy, they’re actually essential for energy and preventing hunger.

If you want a rockin’ bod, but can’t imagine your life without pasta, try steering clear of white pasta, which is made with refined wheat. Instead, opt for whole wheat or spelt pasta which have a higher fibre content, and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

So grab your fork and tuck into our top three spaghetti recipes to supercharge your next workout.

BEEFY BOLOGNESE

You’ll need

  • 500 grams beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 zucchini (grated)
  • 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 5 large vine ripened or Roma tomatoes (diced on a plate to keep the juice)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (or 2 tablespoons of fresh)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Bunch fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)

How to make

  1. In a large pan or a pot with a lid, sauté onions and garlic in a tablespoon of coconut oil over a low to medium heat, for a couple of minutes until they start to soften, but not brown.
  2. Add the mince and herbs and cook until it just starts to brown (about 5 minutes) then add the vegetables, tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  3. Place the lid ajar on the pan.  Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, a minimum of 30 minutes.  The longer you can let it simmer, the richer the sauce will become.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the basil. Serve with al dente spaghetti.
  5. Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy of Well Nourished.

TOMATO, SPINACH & CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

You’ll need

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped and drained of oil)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (drained from sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 200 grams chicken (boneless, skinless, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 180g spaghetti or angel hair pasta

How to make

  1. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil (drained from sun-dried tomatoes) to a large skillet, on medium-low heat. Add chopped chicken, red pepper flakes, and salt over all of the ingredients in the skillet, and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach, and chopped garlic to the skillet with chicken, cook on medium heat about 3- 5 minutes until spinach wilts just a little, and tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat. Taste, and add more salt to taste, if needed. Cover with lid and keep off heat.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain, and add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the chicken and vegetables. Reheat on low heat, mix everything well, add more seasonings (salt and pepper), if desired. Remove from heat.
  4. Serves four.

Recipe courtesy of Julia’s Album.

THAI PASTA SALAD WITH SPICY CASHEW DRESSING

You’ll need

  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped and drained of oil)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (drained from sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 200 grams chicken (boneless, skinless, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 180g spaghetti or angel hair pasta

How to make

  1. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil (drained from sun-dried tomatoes) to a large skillet, on medium-low heat. Add chopped chicken, red pepper flakes, and salt over all of the ingredients in the skillet, and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach, and chopped garlic to the skillet with chicken, cook on medium heat about 3- 5 minutes until spinach wilts just a little, and tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat. Taste, and add more salt to taste, if needed. Cover with lid and keep off heat.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain, and add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the chicken and vegetables. Reheat on low heat, mix everything well, add more seasonings (salt and pepper), if desired. Remove from heat.
  4. Serves four.

Recipe courtesy of Julia’s Album.