How To Build The Ideal Plate

ideal plate

Eat this, don’t eat that. Crowd out, cut out, etc., etc. Everyone has an opinion about what we should be eating, and everyone has tried a diet that has worked wonders for them. Aren’t cutting calories and fad diets a bit dated? We think so. Can’t we simplify by just eating a balanced, sustainable and nutritious diet that fuels instead of depletes? When it comes to our dinner plates, does the ideal plate even exist? Our Be Well Health Coach, Katie Ulrich, is simplifying our meals and breaking down the perfectly balanced plate. Read on for her simplified tips and deliciously balanced spaghetti squash pasta with puttanesca sauce…

When it comes to preparing meals, we like our recommendations to be as simple as possible, which is why we love using our “Be Well Ideal Plate” as a guideline. This plate includes a balance of (ideally) organic vegetables, good quality proteins, and healthy fats, with the option of including small amounts of complex carbohydrates (but only if they work for you and your blood sugar!). You will also notice that our ideal plate doesn’t leave room or desire for any added sugars, processed foods or poor quality oils…

How To Build The Be Well Ideal Plate

As always, we recommend sticking to a ratio that feels best for your body, but below is a rough estimate to consider, and a good place to start.

If you viewed your plate as a pie chart, imagine the following:

70-80% fresh, organic, seasonal vegetables

5-15% organic, pasture raised, grass-fed, or wild caught protein

5-15% organic, high quality fat

Eating with the ideal plate ratios will ensure you receive optimal nutrients while keeping your energy levels stabilized. Here is an easy recipe that perfectly fits the ideal plate guidelines. The spaghetti squash “pasta” keeps you away from typical inflammatory gluten-laden pasta, and instead provides an extra vegetable to your plate. The puttanesca sauce is loaded with healthy fats (olives, capers, avocado oil, anchovies), vegetables and a clean and sustainably sourced protein (wild-caught anchovies). Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Puttanesca Sauce

(Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1 minced hot pepper of choice (remove seeds and/or omit if you don’t want the spice kick)
1, 15 ounce BPA-free can of diced tomatoes
1, 5 ounce BPA-free tin of wild caught anchovies, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups leafy greens of choice (I prefer arugula for the peppery kick)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil (plus a few more leaves for plating)
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to your taste preference)
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon chopped olives
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (for added healthy fat and protein)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and spoon out all the seeds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and cook the spaghetti squash face down for 30-40 minutes. (You may add a little oil onto parchment paper and on spaghetti squash f you wish, but not completely necessary)

While the squash is cooking, heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add avocado oil and onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add broccoli, bell pepper, hot pepper, and garlic and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and red wine, mix thoroughly then cover and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Next, switch to low heat and add in arugula, basil, olives, and capers, and let simmer for another 4-6 minutes.

Season with paprika and salt and pepper to your desired taste preference, and fresh lemon juice.

Next, add in anchovies, mix well, and continue to let simmer on the lowest heat until squash is cooked.

Remove squash. flip over, and let cool for 5 or so minutes before forking out the insides. This will make long, spaghetti like strands.

Place the spaghetti squash “pasta” strands into the sauce and combine well.
Adjust any spices if needed, add toasted pine nuts if using, and enjoy with a few chopped fresh basil leaves on top.