Try Bean Pastas for a Diabetes-Friendly Meal

Leftover bean pasta with meat sauce makes a perfect lunch for the next day.

One of my favorite grocery items growing in popularity and now much easier to find at the store, is the variety of bean-based pastas. My favorite is chickpea pasta and my cabinet is typically stuffed with a variety of Banza pasta and “rice”.

The base of this pasta is chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, which are higher in protein and fiber and slightly lower in carbohydrates per serving than regular and even whole wheat pasta. Here are 3 ideas for using chickpea pasta.

  1. Make a high protein pasta salad. This is the perfect take-to-work lunch. Make a large batch to eat over several meals. Cook and cool the pasta. Add chopped cucumber, carrots, broccoli and/or bell pepper. For additional protein, add chopped chicken, deli turkey or any type of white bean like great northern or more chickpeas. Use a zesty Italian dressing and a little extra red wine vinegar for a punch of flavor. I like to add extra flavor with a seasoning blend like Code 3 Spices Grunt Rub (it’s like my version of Frank’s Red Hot; I put Grunt Rub on everything).
  2. Chili MacHealthy. What’s more comforting than a bowl of chili mac? Click here for the quickie version. Try it with chickpea pasta instead of regular pasta to make a satisfying meal that will lead to less of a blood sugar spike. Also, a great option for making leftovers, or as I call them, planned-overs.
  3. Pasta con Broccoli you can feel good about. This dish is notoriously loaded with saturated fat, carbs and calories and a tiny amount of broccoli- not exactly a picture of health. Make it healthy and diabetes friendly by using a lighter sauce, double the amount of broccoli and use chickpea pasta. I’ve always liked an alfredo sauce like this one that uses cottage cheese as the base. Add grilled chicken or shrimp to increase the protein and make a meal that looks and tastes indulgent.

Banza chickpea pasta and Barilla chickpea pasta are two of the more common brands you’ll find at the grocery store or online.

Try chickpea pasta in this Buttered Spaghetti recipe.

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