In today’s video, we’re going to look at a simple spaghetti sauce recipe, and discuss how using different ingredients affect the overall fat and calories in the final product.
Our recipe begins with 1 pound of ground meat. While I’ve tried all of these at one time or another, the lean ground beef comes out on top in terms of fewest calories and lowest fat content. Ground turkey comes in at number two. While the ground turkey with Italian seasoning, which I use a fair amount, rounds out our top three.
Now, the ground round and the Italian sausage have the highest fat and calorie content, but these are often our lowest cost options. You’ll need to decide what option fits your health and budgetary constraints the best?
Regardless of what you choose, start by browning the meat over medium heat. Notice the oil in the pan, a tablespoon of vegetable oil should do. Don’t over do it, the more oil you use the more fat and calories you’ll add to the final product. I begin by breaking up the meat. I’m going to cook it until most of the pink is gone.
At this point, we can start adding our sauce related ingredients, or we can pour off some of the grease. While I don’t always do this, it certainly makes the final product healthier.
So, why go to the trouble of making the sauce from scratch when there are plenty of pre-made sauces available? Sugar! All the sauces that I looked at had sugar listed as an ingredient, which in turn leads to higher calories. Also, it takes close to 2 jars of the pre-made sauce, to equal the same amount of sauce that we’ll get from our simple recipe. Hence, it cost more. From a cost and calorie perspective, our homemade sauce is the clear winner.
After reducing the heat slightly, add the 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, followed by the 15 ounce can of tomato sauce. Stir that all together. Then, add the 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and salt if desired. You certainly can buy basil and oregano separately, but Italian seasoning has those plus additional spices all in one package.
Reduce the heat to low, stir and simmer for at about fifteen minutes. While the sauce is simmering, we can get the noodles started. In choosing our noodles, dietary fiber is an important concern. The whole grain noodles have the edge here. Sometimes, I mix the standard white enriched noodles with the whole grain noodles half-and-half. Cost may also be a concern as the whole grain noodles cost $.30-$.40 cents more per package.
Regardless of which noodles we use, drowning them in oil or butter will sabotage our efforts for a healthy meal. Depending on our choices, the calories in this plate of spaghetti could range from just under 230 calories to over 340 calories, so our choices make a difference.