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Have a veggie-packed weeknight dinner with broccoli poppers and super green spaghetti

Eat more nourishing foods on weeknights with these nutritionist-approved recipes.
/ Source: TODAY

Mia Rigden, a board-certified nutritionist and trained chef based in Los Angeles, is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share two recipes from her new cookbook, "Foodwise: A Fresh Approach to Nutrition with 100 Delicious Recipes." She shows us how to make two flavorful recipes for dinner this week — and they happen to be both vegetarian and gluten-free.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you need to stick to stock up on products branded as “fat-free,” “low-sugar” or any other restrictive categories. Instead, try eating a vegetarian-forward diet and making flavorful substitutes for sodium-rich ingredients. For example, Rigden likes to use a combination of coconut aminos and tamari in place of soy sauce, which you’ll see in her recipe for Sesame Broccoli Poppers. Craving pasta? Try her Super Green Spaghetti — she too was once skeptical of zoodles, but has since come around to their low-carb flexibility. When made from scratch and tossed in a homemade pesto, they’ll become a weeknight hero and give you a taste of summer even when the temperature dips below freezing.

I was very anti-zoodle until I started making this recipe, which has become a weekly staple in my house paired with simple roasted salmon. This dish takes less than 30 minutes to make, and everyone in my family enjoys it — including my three-year-old — despite the fact that half the noodles are actually zucchini. It has all the feels of a hearty bowl of pasta, but with more nutrition.

Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, a class of vegetables that are excellent for detoxification liver support, and have anti-estrogen effects, which can reduce the risk of fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and some hormone-sensitive cancers.

The sauce makes this dish. Double it so you can use on other vegetables, grains and proteins.

If you like these nourishing recipes, you should also try these:

Spice-Roasted Honeynut Squash and Chickpeas