What a Crock!: Try small tweaks to reinvent spaghetti _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Slow-cooked Turkey Meatball Spaghetti offers a healthful version of the traditional pasta favorite.

Stuck in a rut when it comes to the old spaghetti and meatballs? Trying something new can be as simple as the meat you choose. Ground turkey might be a viable choice, especially if you’re looking to make the old favorite a bit more healthful.

Toward that goal, try some of the no-salt canned tomato products as well. Season your recipe with fresh herbs and cracked black pepper for a bolder flavor. Whole-wheat spaghetti adds to the healthier option. Even the small steps make a difference.

If you have access to fresh herbs, this is a great recipe to use them with, but if you don’t, the dried is just fine.

While you’re at it, do as I did and replace dried spices way past their shelf life. Pull them all out and take a serious look. Some of mine, especially those stuck in the back of their storage area, probably qualified as vintage if the labels were any indication. They tend to lose their punch when past their seasoning prime.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.