Our Tomato Basil Pasta with Chicken Meatballs takes its inspiration from classic Italian flavors and packs in 32g of whole grains, along with a full serving of vegetables. It features a sweet tomato basil sauce, which includes vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped kale, garlic, onions, and a variety of traditional Italian seasonings, served over whole wheat penne pasta. We top it with chicken meatballs made from chicken raised without antibiotics and finish it with a delicious blend of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. To find out exactly how you can power your day with our Tomato Basil Pasta, keep reading!
Like all of our Performance Kitchen meals, this dish is cooked in avocado oil and follows the principles of the renowned Mediterranean diet. Eating the Mediterranean way isn’t a restrictive diet. Rather, it means more whole grains, plenty of vegetables, healthy sources of fat with Omega-3 fatty acids, quality protein, and the inclusion of seeds, legumes, herbs, and spices.
Whole Wheat Penne
Our penne pasta is made from durum whole grain semolina, which has a slightly nutty flavor and helps with getting your daily whole grain intake. The wheat in traditional refined pasta has had the wheat bran and wheat germ removed, taking many of its important nutrients along with it. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this process strips away “more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fiber.” Whole wheat penne has its fiber intact, it’s slower to digest, and it won’t spike your blood sugar like regular pasta. Ultimately, it’ll keep you feeling fuller, longer, so you can focus on doing whatever you need to do to conquer your day.
Our popular chicken meatballs are a delicious alternative to beef, which the Mediterranean diet recommends consuming in moderation. A third of the protein in these meatballs comes from black bean flour, and assorted vegetables like red bell peppers, spinach, and carrots. Overusing antibiotics is linked to the rise of antibiotic-resistant illness, which is why we use only antibiotic-free chicken. A bit of ground flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
Every Performance Kitchen bowl offers at least a full serving of vegetables, and our Tomato Basil Pasta is no exception. Technically, tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable, but for purposes of this post, we’re categorizing them as a veggie. Tomatoes contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with a wide variety of benefits. Kale is another superfood in this meal. You’ve probably heard about this leafy green’s many benefits. What you may not know, is that per calorie, kale offers more iron than beef. It’s a great source of calcium that offers more calcium per calorie than milk (!) Kale is also a great source of dietary nitrates—very different nitrates than the sodium nitrate found in processed products, like hotdogs. Plant nitrates or nitric oxide helps deliver oxygen to all your muscles and is especially important for heart health.
Natural Herbs, Spices, and Seasoning
This bowl fulfills our promise of controlling sodium and sugar. We use naturally sweet basil and add just a touch of coconut sugar to balance the acidity of the sauce—for a total of only 2g of added sugar in the entire meal. Coconut sugar has a low glycemic index, which means it raises blood sugar less quickly than cane sugar. For bold flavor and antioxidant benefits, we include pureed garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and paprika, all of which help keep the sodium in this meal at a modest 300mg. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300mg per day–equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt!
We cook with expeller-pressed avocado oil for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it’s nutritious and has a high smoke point. Avocado oil contains essential fatty acids, which aid in the absorption of antioxidants. Most importantly, it lends itself well to many different flavor profiles and cooking styles.
Together, these ingredients create a satisfying, balanced meal, ready in minutes, with all the nutrition necessary to power even your busiest day. We can’t wait to hear what you think!
To learn more about this meal, watch this feature on Tomato Basil Pasta.
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