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Recipe for Health: Pasta Bowl

Try this fiber-rich, tasty pasta dish.

Pasta bowl recipe

It often gets hammered in low-carb diets, but here is news that will keep some people happily slurping up spaghetti with a pasta bowl recipe. Research published in Frontiers in Nutrition revealed that noodle consumption in both children and adults is associated with better overall diet quality (as measured by USDA’s Healthy Eating Index 2001–2010 scale) and higher intakes of some key nutrients, including folate, magnesium and fiber.

In contrast to what many believe, consistent pasta consumption was not associated with weight gain in male adults and children and, in fact, in adult females was associated with reduced waist circumference. No differences were seen in total daily calories and sodium intake. Of course, you’ll get more out of your pasta if it’s made with whole grains and not drowned in a creamy sauce. Here, the shaped noodles are a delicious delivery system in place of rice for fiber-rich beans and other nutritional winners.

Pasta Bowl Recipe

4 oz whole-grain rotini pasta

4 cups baby spinach

1 C canned black beans

1 small diced avocado

2/3 cup prepared frozen corn kernels

1 diced Roma tomato

1/3 cup sliced red onion

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup jarred salsa of choice

Prepare pasta according to package directions in a pot of salted water. Drain well. Divide spinach among serving bowls and top each with an equal amount of pasta, beans, avocado, corn, tomato and red onion. Scatter on cheese and add dollops of salsa. Makes two servings.

Ingredient Breakdown


What a nutrition powerhouse! In 2 cups of spinach, there are only 14 calories but 1.7 grams of protein, 1.3 g of fiber, vitamins K and A, and magnesium, iron, copper and riboflavin.

Black beans

Their full name? Black turtle beans!  While they’re native to Mexico, today they’re grown mostly in India and Brazil. Packed with protein, black beans provide great value with a meaty texture.


Sweet corn is a gluten-free grain and, in its natural form, a whole grain. One medium ear of yellow sweet corn contains about 100 calories.

Source: precisionnutrition.com

See also: Recipe for Health: Spinach and Caper Sauce on Pasta

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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