Meal of the month: A plate of pasta

With just a little effort, you can ramp up the nutritional quality of a pasta dinner by choosing one of the many alternative noodle options and adding a variety of vegetables (and a drizzle of olive oil) to your pasta dish. With a simple hand-crank tool called a spiralizer, you can make your own noodles from vegetables such as zucchini or yellow squash.

(Some stores sell these “zoodles” premade in the produce aisle.) Or try pasta made from whole-wheat flour, buckwheat flour, edamame (soybeans), chickpeas, or red lentils, all of which are higher in fiber and protein than traditional white pasta.

Complete your pasta dish with a mixture of your favorite chopped vegetables: In a large skillet, sauté the veggies with onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the drained, hot pasta to the pan, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and mix well. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or other herbs and Parmesan cheese.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

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