Whole wheat spaghetti and vegetables increase fiber in a pasta dish

Are you ready to get creative to get more nutrients into your pasta dishes? Try mixing spiralized vegetables. They add fiber and nutrients as well as color and texture while turning plain spaghetti into a meal you serve to your guests.

Adding vegetables to your pasta can also be helpful when trying to reduce food costs and waste. It’s a great way to use up those veggies in the back of your fridge or the bottom of your produce drawer.

In this recipe, vegetables and whole-wheat pasta boost the fiber content to 11.5 grams per serving.

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The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume 25 grams of fiber per day; men should take 38 grams. However, Americans only consume an average of 15 grams per day. Fiber is important for maintaining a healthy lower digestive tract, preventing constipation, lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar. It also keeps you feeling full and reduces your risk of heart disease and certain cancers, including colorectal cancer.

Plant foods are good sources of fiber: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Adding at least one of these food groups to each meal or snack can help you stay within the recommended guidelines.

In this delicious recipe, we’ve topped spiralized carrots and whole-wheat spaghetti with a hearty stew made with ground turkey, canned tomatoes, leeks, celery and spices. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just use a vegetable peeler to cut the carrots into long thin ribbons.

Bethany Thayer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Henry Ford Health System. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog and for questions about today’s recipe, email [email protected]

Turkey stew over carrots and spaghetti

Stew is today's recipe includes ground turkey, canned tomatoes, garlic, celery and a leek.

Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 50 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 large leek, chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ tsp salt

12 ounces ground turkey breast

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cans (15 ounces each) no salt added diced tomatoes

8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, dried

12 ounces carrots, peeled and shaved into thin ribbons or spiralized

¼ cup grated parmesan

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Fill a saucepan with 5 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (14 inches) over medium heat and add the garlic, leek, celery, pepper and salt. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add turkey and cook until browned, stirring and finely chopping into small pieces. Add cinnamon and tomatoes, stirring until well blended and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions; add the carrots for the last minute of cooking.

Once the pasta is al dente (cooked but slightly firm), drain and divide the pasta evenly among 4 plates. Top the pasta and carrots with the turkey stew and sprinkle each serving with 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese and ½ tbsp chopped parsley.

By Henry Ford LiveWell.

460 calories (15% fat), 8 grams fat (2 grams Sat big), 64 grams carbohydrates34 grams protein455mg sodium46mg cholesterol237mg calcium, 11.5 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 2 starch, 3 1/2 protein, 3 vegetable.