Okay, lest you think the worst (that I’ve left the bf for someone named ‘TJ’ and he makes amazing meatballs), TJ stands for Trader Joe’s… and the ‘meat’balls are actually TJ’s “meatless meatballs” of deliciousness!!!!
Seriously, one of the best reasons to move back to Phoenix (there are few) is the fact that there is a Trader Joe’s less than 10 miles from where I live. Heck, even if the nearest TJ’s was 25 miles away, it’d still be better than Denver! Colorado doesn’t have any Trader Joe’s in the whole freaking state. Yes, I know, seriously… what the heck?? Whatever, Colorado…
So anyway, that said, yesterday I made some freaking delicious quinoa pasta – Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta to be exact! Ever since Blake came back with the recommendation from his doctor that he cut back on refined carbs (including wheat bread, wheat pasta, brown rice… things we thought were healthy), I’ve been trying to find things that both satiate us the way carbs do, yet are still healthy for us.
The best part about quinoa?
- It’s a ‘complete protein’: “Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.” (source)
- It’s a good source of magnesium: “Since low dietary levels of magnesium are associated with increased rates of hypertension, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias, this ancient grain can offer yet another way to provide cardiovascular health for those concerned about atherosclerosis.” (source)
- It’s also high in iron and calcium, so all of that combined makes it an “excellent food for vegetarians and vegans.” (source)
So basically, it goes without saying that quinoa is what’s up. However, how does it cut it as a substitute for whole wheat pasta? Well, pretty darn well!
(pasta sauce of your choosing)
Awww yeah! (Hey, a little math at night won’t kill you ) And these pictures are actually from today’s leftovers because I was too hungry to get pics when they first come out… yeah, they hold up pretty well
The meatless meatballs were sooo good too! Blake loved them and said they were the best ‘fake’ meatballs he’s tried, which is high praise… I guess… I also steamed some frozen veggies and threw them in the mix, to get some extra fiber and texture in there too.
All in all, I’m basically in love with Ancient Harvest’s quinoa pasta. They have all different kinds too: elbow pasta, spaghetti, bowtie… and maybe more, but that’s just what I saw at Sprouts. Definitely worth it!