The Basics · Whole Grains

Nutritarian Pasta Dr Fuhrman 6 week eat to live plan PBS special bean pasta quinoa pasta edamame pasta Dr Greger How Not to DieYou know you shouldn’t want it… but you do.

Smothered and sauced and perfectly al dente, is there anything more comforting than a warm bowl of pasta?

You’re committed to (or at the very least interested in) living a nutritarian lifestyle, but where does pasta fit in?

Should it even fit in when your whole goal is to eat more foods with high nutrient density?  We’re talking dark leafy greens, big bowls of salad, raw seeds and whole fruits–so how does pasta factor in?

Traditional pastas carry a high caloric price tag with low nutrients in return.  Processed white flour isn’t going to get us anywhere near health excellence.   But what if pasta didn’t have to be that way?

What if you could scarf down a bowl of pasta with reckless abandon knowing you were nutrifying your body at the same time?

Well, you’re going to be happy. Very happy.

You Can Have Pasta on the Nutritarian Plan—But You Need to be Smart About it!

Pasta is in, but wheat-based pasta is out.  Well, sorta…

You can certainly say bye Felicia to highly-processed, make-you-die-early white-flour pastas, but what about trusty old whole wheat?

Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe the hype (a la “Wheat Belly” and Paleo circles) that whole wheat is bad for you and should be avoided like the Bubonic plague.

What he does believe is that the group of foods he calls “cooked starchy vegetables and whole grains” should be minimized to 1 cup per day.  This includes brown rice, quinoa, corn, whole wheat (in bread, pita or pasta), oatmeal and potatoes.

So, whole wheat pasta is still on the table if you’re a nutritarian but you’re going to have to limit it.

But, honestly, when you’re striving to pack as many nutrients into your diet as possible, whole wheat pasta just isn’t good enough for you anymore–I promise you can do soooo much better!

Say hello to the new crop of better-for-you nutritarian pastas (that just happen to be vegan and gluten-free to boot):

Quinoa-based and bean-based.

Let’s talk about:

  • nutritarian pasta types
  • how they should be used
  • some ridiculously simple sauce recipes
  • my personal favorite brands

Healthy pasta options vegan gluten free Nutritarian Dr Fuhrman eat to live 6 week planQuinoa-Based Pastas

Quinoa pastas are a bit better than plain old whole wheat.

Notice the word bit.

The difference isn’t staggering (just check out Dr. Fuhrman’s ANDI scoring system to see what I mean) and that’s pretty much why they both fall into the restricted whole grains guideline on the eat to live plan.

But even making the small change from whole wheat to quinoa-based pasta is worth it:

Qunioa has a higher protien content than wheat, with a lower glycemic load.   It also fairs a bit better on vitamin and mineral content (see comparison here).

One of my family’s favorite brands is Trader Joe’s Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta:

That’s right, my kids actually prefer this quinoa and rice pasta to whole wheat or even white pasta (and that my friends is #winning).

What’s great about this pasta is it is a blend of quinoa and brown rice.  Brown rice fairs a bit better than quinoa on the ANDI scale, so now you’re well into better-for-you-then-whole-wheat-pasta territory!

Just remember, if you chose this pasta option, you have to factor it into your 1 cup daily quota of cooked starchy veggies and whole grains.

Which brings me to the next point…

What is the best nutritarian pasta Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live pasta options plant based diet healthy pasta options best healthy pasta bean pasta Dr Greger how not to dieRedefine Your Pasta Salad

The beauty of Dr. Fuhrman’s plan is nothing is truly “off the table.”  But low nutrient foods need to be minimized and managed.

I like to use the pasta types we’ve discussed so far as condiments.  That includes whole wheat, rice and quinoa-based varieties.

You get that wonderful chewy mouth-feel and instant comfort, while it being completely surrounded by good-for-you raw or cooked veggies!

I sprinkle no more than 1/2 cup cooked on salads (like that beauty above on the right) and as a garnish on veggies soups and stews.   You could go all the way up to 1 cup but then you’ve busted your allotment for the day.

So, what’s a diligent nutritarian bad-ass like yourself going to do when you have a real hankering to chow down on some pasta?  Go for the gold-standard in nutritarian pastas…

Bean Pastas Are the Bomb!

Why is bean pasta the best thing ever?

Because beans are one of the top 6 nutritarian superfoods according to Dr. Fuhrman (oh, and like the tons and tons of scientific nutrition journals quoted and footnoted in his books).

They literally put the “B” in his signature G-BOMBS (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds)–you can learn all about their super-powers here.

Here’s the bottom line on beans: they are the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source you can get.  And that’s precisely why you can eat as much beans as you like on Dr. Fuhrman’s plan (with a minimum recommended dose of 1 cup daily).

Yup, that’s right, unlimited, guilt-free pasta bowls are in your future…

Made from black beans, edamame, lentils and garbanzos, bean pastas are sprouting up everywhere, and I’m over-the-moon thankful for this latest health craze (that just happens to have real science behind it)!

Let’s go over my favorite finds and easy nutritarian, vegan, no-oil, and no salt sauces to make with each!

FAVORITE ELBOW MACARONI:

Banza Garbanzo Bean Pasta:

While not as pure as the one-ingredient wonders we’re about to get into, this pasta has a great mild flavor that allows your sauce to shine!

When you’re really craving some nutritarian-friendly mac and cheese, grab a box of this pasta and make a batch of this cheese sauce.  Top with roasted veggies and you have a winning bowl full of goodness!

This brand is my kids favorite bean pasta, and they haven’t had a clue that their mac n’ cheese has been harboring beans–buwah ha ha!

FAVORITE SPAGHETTI:

Explore Asian Organic Edamame Spaghetti:

This pasta has only two ingredients: soybeans and water.

I found it at our local Costco and decided to give it a try.  My husband and I fell in love with these noodles that go perfectly with Asian soups and sauces!

Some readers have had issue with the fact that these noodles are made in China and I actually have to agree that foods made in China are not always the safest option.

If you’re looking for an alternative you can check out Liberto’s brand:

I have not personally tried this brand and I was not able to get any information on country of origin on their company website.

** If anyone has more information on this brand or has tried it themselves will you please let me know in the comments below so I can include that information!

Either edamame noodle you choose, make sure to try them with this super-simple and delicious Cilantro Cream Sauce.

FAVORITE BLACK BEAN PASTAS:

Tolerant Foods Organic Black Bean Penne:

When I think of black bean pasta I immediately think of Mexican food!  Cheesy sauces, bright fresh tomatoes and yummy veggie-broth-sauted fajita veggies!

This brand of black bean pasta was the first I ever tried and it is delish, although a bit pricey when I picked it up at Whole Foods.  Now you see the Tolerant Foods brand popping up everywhere, even conventional grocery stores!

I have a wonderful Mexican Mac n’ Cheese recipe that uses this black bean penne pasta–be sure to give it a try!

Trader Joe’s Black Bean Rotinni:

I’m an obsessed dedicated Trader Joe’s shopper, so when I saw this bag of pasta I literally squealed with nutritarian glee!   I was so happy to find a cheaper alternative to the Tolerant Foods brand black bean pasta we talked about above.

I’ve been boiling these puppies up and saving them for the week in the fridge.  They go on salads and really make a delicious addition to my popular Eat to Live Mexican Salad recipe!

I love me some black beans so being able to eat them in a new way makes things more exciting–I’ve been at this a long time!

best healthy pasta options Tolerant Simply Legumes Organic Green lentil pasta review

LENTIL PASTAS:

You are going to be completely amazed at how “regular”-pasta-tasting lentil pasta is–especially the green lentil variety like the box above!

This is the pasta I use for my No-Oil Nutritarian Pasta Salad recipe!

I would have most definitely listed this Tolerant brand Organic Green Lentil Pasta as my favorite elbow macaroni but the price is a little steep at $6.99 per box.

Trader Joe’s recently came out with a red lentil penne pasta that’s seriously affordable at $2.99 per bag!

Just further evidence that the bean-pasta revolution is coming!

 

Best nutritarian pasta choices Dr fuhrman eat to live 6 week plan Bean pasta alternatives Forks over knives what the health the big fat truthBy now you should be thoroughly primed on the world of nutritarian pastas!

That means your next trip to the grocery store will entail grabbing a bag of bean-based goodness to add to your arsenal of easy Eat to Live meals!

Before you go…  Was this post helpful for you?  Please leave a comment and let me know–I love getting your feedback!

Let’s live better together!  xo, Kristen

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Like Us On Facebook Hello NutritarianLike Hello Nutritarian on Facebook and join a community of people who want to regain their health with nutritional excellence–there are great giveaways too!

 

 

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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Discussion

  • Jennifer says:

    This is so helpful! I cannot believe there are so many options. I will definitely be stocking up on some healthier pastas! Thank you!

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Jennifer!

      Yay! So glad you got some new pasta ideas!

      xo, Kristen

  • Trisha says:

    Awesome post. I’ve been buying the Explore Pastas for a while. I prefer the edamame or black bean pasta best. I’ve tried the soybean pasta but thought it left a strange after taste. Thinks for listing the other types. I’ll have to give them a try.

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Trisha!

      I totally agree about the Explore edamame pasta–great texture and taste!

      So glad you enjoyed it!

      xo, Kristen

  • Barb says:

    Wow, I had no idea there was such a thing as bean pasta! I looove beans and pasta, so I hope I’ll like bean pasta.

    Thank you for all your educational efforts. I’m still cleaning out all the stuff that doesn’t fit into a nutritarian diet and slowly moving in that direction. Your posts and emails help keep me focused on where I eventually want to be.

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Barb!

      I’m very new to the world of bean pasta as well–and I have to say I’m loving it!!

      I’m so, so happy to hear that the blog has been beneficial in your journey to becoming nutritarian 🙂

      xo, Kristen

  • Suzanne says:

    I’m definitely going to try out the new pastas. I’m looking for a great recipe for a traditional style marinara sauce. Any suggestions?

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Suzanne,

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re going to give some of these pastas a go!

      So sorry, I don’t have any good recommendations for a nutritarian sauce–I always use Trader Joe’s no salt added marinara!

      If you come across any good ones, please come on back and share!

      xo, Kristen

  • Paul says:

    One tip I got from Dani Spies (cleananddelicious.com) is to cook the Explore Asian Black Bean noodles for 4 minutes only instead of the 8 minutes on the instructions. I hated the black bean noodles at 8 minutes. Too soft and mushy. But at 4 minutes they are perfect al dente. Just a tip from your Uncle Paul. 😉

    Here is Dani’s recipe for black bean noodles with edameme. To make it nutritarian, swap two pitted dates for the honey in the dressing and 2 T of toasted sesame seeds instead of the toasted sesame oil. That’s it. Otherwise the recipe looks nutritarian and delicious. Enjoy.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Thanks so much for sharing Paul, looks amazing!

      Kristen

  • Sara says:

    Had no idea alternative pastas even existed! So of course after reading this post I had to run to my local grocery store and see what they had and I found POW (Ancient Harvest) black bean elbow pasta. Picked up a box and also a jar of Prego Farmers Market Garden Vegetable sauce (which looks pretty nutrarian friendly). I sauteed a package of mushrooms and a diced onion in the vegetable broth I threw together last night (overnight crockpot) and added that to the sauce, along with a tbsp of chia seed (let the chia seed soak for a few minutes in the sauce before adding the mushrooms/onion). Added the cooked pasta and it tasted great-for under 500 calories 🙂 The black bean pasta has 3 ingredients-black bean flour, brown rice flour and organic quinoa flour, so I may have to finally go to the TJs that opened up a couple years ago, to get the black bean rotinni that you recommend (I have never been to a TJs!).

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Sara!

      YES!! There are so many amazing pasta substitutes out there now!!

      I’m so glad you’re finding them inspiring too!! That mushroom onion instapot creating sounds amazing!

      Yes!! You must make a visit to TJs–it’s the best!!

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments!!

      xo, Kristen

  • Amy Whittier says:

    Would Trader Joe’s Black Bean pasta be allowed on the first 6 weeks of the nutritarian diet? Just starting my diet, and want to be sure I follow it as closely as I can, but am CRAVING some pasta

  • Leah Casady says:

    I love all the info on bean pasta. I have never tried it but am looking forward to it. Thankful for sharing which kinds you find the best. This “way of life is going to be the best thing I have ever done for my health!”

  • Hope says:

    I have a question about storing these long-term. You said that you boil these bean pastas and then use them throughout the week. Do you undercook them so that they last better? I find non-wheat pastas to be very sticky and difficult to eat after the day I cook them. Should you coat them in anything so that they hold their constitution beyond the first day?

    Thanks so much for creating and maintaining this blog! I know it’s a lot of work. I’m really inspired by your website. My mom did the nutritarian diet as well and lost over 40 pounds, but she’s okay with eating less savory food. I’ve been a foodie and a passionate home cook since moving to NYC 6 years ago. I didn’t love the meals she made, but your colorful, tasty, and diverse recipes have me hopeful that I can stick to the diet!

  • Vanessa says:

    I JUST found your blog through Pinterest. I read Eat to Live years ago but was simply not ready to make the switch. Then end of 2016 I started having thyroid issues & went vegan & lost 20 lbs. I have hit a plateau I still have about 50 to go. More importantly, I don’t have the energy I expected. All that to say…I’M READY to make the switch to Nutritarian. I am SO GRATEFUL to have found your blog & I will be purchasing your e-e-book soon & look forward to the Facebook group.
    Thanks for sharing your passion with all!
    P.S. I also have the same question as Hope on food prepping bean pastas 🙂

  • Audra Lay says:

    So very helpful! I totally appreciate the amazon links also! Thank you so much! Start day is Monday! Prep weekend ahead! Thrilled to have a manageable way to do this. Have tried and failed a few times and your prep tools will be life altering! I have often thought I needed to get this organized, but sister, it’s not my gift! So blessed by your willingness to share the love and help a momma out with your awesome skills! Hugs to you – seriously! I needed this help!

  • Glenda Hays says:

    What about the “protein” pastas available in the regular grocery store? They contain wheat and beans (lentils and garbanzos,) as well as flaxseed, barley and oats. Unfortunately it looks like Barilla’s product also contains egg whites. I am interested to hear your comments on this product.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Glenda!

      Yes, I’ve seen some of these products! I just looked over the ingredients for Barilla online and yes the egg whites would be problematic but not a deal breaker on the nutritarian plan. It lists wheat as the first ingredient so this falls under your 1 cup of whole grains daily quota.

      I would prefer a bean pasta to a wheat pasta, but you could certainly use this if you wish!

      xo, Kristen

  • Andrea says:

    Absolutely in love with your beautiful, well organized site! It’s my weekly “go to”.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      That’s so lovely to hear, Andrea! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

      xo, Kristen

  • Jay Cohen says:

    Thanks for the very informative breakdown on Pasta’s. My biggest issue is the outrageous pricing. Most of these boxes are 8oz, maybe 12oz. Do it definitely is a once or twice a month treat.

    Thanks Again.

  • Misty says:

    Thank you for all of the helpful information you share on your site! I’ve learned so much, and I use your recipes weekly to expand my options. I’ve only been eating a nutritarian diet for about 8 weeks now, but I’m loving the results. I do miss my pasta. I can’t wait to try some of these with my kids. My daughter’s nickname is Noodle, if that tells you anything about her love of pasta. I hope she likes these other options! I want her to make healthier choices, too!

  • Emily says:

    Girl, you blowin’ my mind! Yesterday I made a huge batch of hummus using your recipe, it is going on literally everything I eat! AND because I read this post on E2L ok’d pasta– I bought Banza chickpeas, Pow! Pasta Red Lentil Rotini, and Pow! Pasta Green Lentil Penne. I’m starting Eat 2 Live round 2 and I’m looking forward to experimenting more vs “just surviving” like I did on the first round. Out of all the nutritarian websites I’ve come across so far, this one I can totally relate to and I’m looking through your resources daily. Thank you!! xo Emily

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Emily!

      So, so happy to hear that you’re on round two of ETL!! Woop woop!! And I’m also so happy to hear that you’ve been finding the site helpful on your journey!

      Please stay in touch and let me know how round two goes for you!

      xo, Kristen

  • Dee says:

    Are bean pastas ok for the 6 week plan?

  • Gabriella says:

    Yaaaaaas!!!!
    This is absolutely brilliant!!!
    Can I just say I love you right now!
    To be told if I want to have pasta night, I still can is amazing!!
    You better believe I’m buying Bean Pasta on my next grocery run!

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Gabriella!

      Big WOOP WOOP for bean pastas! Can’t wait for you to give them a try!

      xo, Kristen

  • Mitchell says:

    I wonder if the nutrition in the bean pasta is diminished by both the processing and cooking vs eating the whole beans, either in salads or heated in other dishes?
    Thanks.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Mitchell,

      I think that’s an excellent point. Dr. Fuhrman definitely wants us to be eating whole, unprocessed beans daily. Bean pasta is never supposed to be a substitute for meeting your 1 cup of beans daily requirement.

      Bean pasta is a healthier alternative than whole wheat pasta. Dr. Fuhrman served it several times at his Culinary Getaway. So, don’t think of it as replacing beans, think of it as a better choice for your daily “whole grains” quota.

      Kristen

  • Donna says:

    I am so happy to find that there are pastas that are good for me! Pasta is my fave. I am looking to start the Nutritarian life style and was not sure i could do it…. and at the risk of repeating myself i am so happy to find that i can have pasta!! Thanks for your great website. There is so much info and you address so many things a novice would have questions about. Keep up the good wrk.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Donna!

      YAY!! So happy you’re ready to give the nutritarian lifestyle a try now after learning this!

      Just remember the salad is always the main course so the bean pasta should be a smaller portion than your salad! Also the more greens you can add into your pasta the better!

      xo, Kristen