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Dietitian Leanne Ward reveals her go-to pasta recipe for staying lean and foods to add to your diet


Brisbane dietitian has shared her go-to dinner for optimum health and staying lean, explaining that she relies on a creamy vegetarian pasta recipe to keep her looking and feeling her best. 

Leanne Ward, 31, said that her ‘favourite’ pasta recipe is actually ‘surprisingly healthy’, and eating it means she can indulge in a little of what she loves without having to sacrifice her health and fitness goals.

‘This is a recipe that is not only healthy but good for your gut health and one of my favourite meal prep recipes,’ Leanne said on a TikTok video

‘It’s packed full of protein, wholegrains and fibre as well as healthy carbs to keep you nourished and full all afternoon long.’ 

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A Brisbane dietitian has shared her go-to dinner for optimum health and staying lean (Leanne Ward pictured)

A Brisbane dietitian has shared her go-to dinner for optimum health and staying lean (Leanne Ward pictured)

Leanne Ward, 31, said that her 'favourite' pasta recipe is actually 'surprisingly healthy', and eating it means she can indulge in a little of what she loves (the recipe pictured)

Leanne Ward, 31, said that her 'favourite' pasta recipe is actually 'surprisingly healthy', and eating it means she can indulge in a little of what she loves (the recipe pictured)

Leanne Ward, 31, said that her ‘favourite’ pasta recipe is actually ‘surprisingly healthy’, and eating it means she can indulge in a little of what she loves (the recipe pictured)

'This is a recipe that is not only healthy but good for your gut health and one of my favourite meal prep recipes,' Leanne said of the dish (pictured)

‘This is a recipe that is not only healthy but good for your gut health and one of my favourite meal prep recipes,’ Leanne said of the dish (pictured)

To make the dish, the 31-year-old said you’ll need some dried pasta (she likes the protein penne variety), garlic, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, ricotta, brown lentils, baby spinach and fresh basil.

First up, Leanne said you should boil off some pasta. 

She likes the Vetta Smart Protein Penne Pasta, which contains twice the protein and 25 per cent fewer carbohydrates.

While you are doing this, Leanne said you should cook off some onion and garlic in a saucepan.

‘Add zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes to your pan and cook away,’ Leanne said.

Leanne (pictured) said she likes the Vetta Smart Protein Penne Pasta , which contains twice the protein and 25 per cent fewer carbohydrates

Leanne (pictured) said she likes the Vetta Smart Protein Penne Pasta , which contains twice the protein and 25 per cent fewer carbohydrates

How to make Leanne Ward’s creamy healthy vegetarian pasta 

INGREDIENTS

200g raw penne high fibre pasta

Leanne shared the recipe for the delicious pasta dish (pictured)

Leanne shared the recipe for the delicious pasta dish (pictured)

Four cloves of garlic (minced)

One medium (140g) onion (diced)

250g cherry tomatoes (cut into halves)

250g mushrooms (cut into halves)

Two medium (390g) zucchinis (diced)

One x 400g tin of brown lentils (rinsed and drained)

375g light smooth ricotta

One bunch fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

120g baby spinach

Two tbsp (30g) pine nuts

METHOD

1. Cook pasta as per packet instructions, drain and set aside.

2. Heat a non-stick pan over high heat and when hot, add the garlic and onion and stir until it becomes translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchinis and lentils and stir for 3-4 minutes until desired cooking consistency has been reached (ideally you want the zucchini/mushrooms to be just soft). Remove from heat.

3. In a small bowl, combine the light ricotta, basil and salt and pepper.

4. In a large pot, add the cooked pasta, the vegetable mixture, the ricotta mixture and the baby spinach and mix well.

5. Divide into four even serves, sprinkle with pine nuts and enjoy!

Source: Leanne Ward 

Next, drain your pasta, stir through some ricotta, add brown lentils to your cooked vegetables and ‘lots of baby spinach’.

‘Finally, add some basil – fresh is best – to the pasta,’ Leanne said.

‘Combine your creamy herby pasta with the veggie mix and serve. It doesn’t look great, but I promise it’s amazing.’ 

When it comes to how else she looks after her body in order to stay lean, Leanne (pictured) said there are some foods that make fat loss easier and others which make it more difficult

When it comes to how else she looks after her body in order to stay lean, Leanne (pictured) said there are some foods that make fat loss easier and others which make it more difficult

More than 100,000 people were quick to view Leanne’s video and compliment her on the healthy budget dish.

‘This sounds so good,’ one commenter posted.

‘I am definitely going to try this – it looks and sounds so good,’ another added. 

Some of the foods the dietitian (pictured) swears by include cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt

Some of the foods the dietitian (pictured) swears by include cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt

Leanne (pictured) often supplements her coffee with either almond or oat milk, but always chooses a calcium-enriched variety to make sure she gets enough of the nutrients

Leanne (pictured) often supplements her coffee with either almond or oat milk, but always chooses a calcium-enriched variety to make sure she gets enough of the nutrients

What are the best foods for fat loss? 

* Coffee

* Frozen grapes

* Cottage cheese

* Popcorn

* Roasted chickpeas

* Grapefruit

* Potatoes

* Greek yoghurt

* Fresh berries

* Dark chocolate

* Rolled oats

* Mixed nuts

When it comes to how else she looks after her body in order to stay lean, Leanne said there are some foods that make fat loss easier and others which make it more difficult.

‘These foods taste great and keep you on track,’ Leanne posted.

In good news for those who can’t get through the morning without a large latte or cappuccino, Leanne said you don’t need to forgo this in order to speed up fat loss.

‘I drink a coffee daily – it’s both delicious and good protein for fullness,’ the dietitian posted on TikTok.

Leanne often supplements her coffee with either almond or oat milk, but always chooses a calcium-enriched variety to make sure she gets enough of the nutrients.

The second food on Leanne’s fat loss-burning foods is frozen grapes, which she said are a healthy way of satisfying a sweet craving.

‘I always eat them when I’m craving something sweet as an ice cream replacement,’ Leanne said.

Elsewhere, the dietitian recommends adding the likes of cottage cheese, popcorn and roasted chickpeas to your diet if you want to see weight loss results.

To make roasted chickpeas, simply take a can of chickpeas, drain them and dry them out as much as possible.

Then, add plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper and spices, and pop them in the oven to gently roast for 20-30 minutes.

Finally, let the chickpeas sit for half an hour to cool down before enjoying.  



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