I hope that everyone is having a wonderful start to the New Year. I hope that 2017 treats everyone well.
As most people are probably trying to change some eating habits, I find myself trying to keep up with my recently changed workout routine. I have started “training” for my quarter marathon which takes place at the end of April, but the super cold weather this week has started to wear on my motivation. Yes, I could go for a jog in the gym, but my pet-parent guilt would eat me alive, as going outside is the highlight of her (my dog’s) day.
Speaking of the cold, that is why I brought back this delicious, protein-packed beauty into my kitchen. This is a slightly modified Weight Watcher recipe that always fills me up on a chilly day. I find that if I have a large salad while this is heating up, it is a satisfying but not heavy meal.
I think the star of this recipe is the peas, which I was never a fan of until recently. It might not seem like there is much of a sauce, but between the peas and spices, there is just the right amount of flavor to show the veggies and sausage off.
The fact that this makes eight servings is also a bonus, although even that won’t last you very long if your family likes it the way I do.
Turkey Sausage Baked Penne
3/4 lb raw, spicy turkey sausage (three links- casings removed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium orange pepper, chopped
28 oz canned diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced)
10 oz frozen green peas, thawed
6 oz fresh baby spinach
3 Tbsp canned tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 oz whole-wheat penne (or Barilla Protein Plus) cooked according to package directions
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Total Calories 313 Calories
Added Sugars 0 Calories
Saturated Fat 22 Calories
Protein 21 g
Carbohydrate 44 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Total Sugars 7 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Be sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.
- Place the sausage in the bottom of a large pot and brown over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Break up large pieces.
- Drain off fat, the add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the spinach and keep mixing until all is wilted. Then, stir in the pasta and half of the cheese.
- Spread evenly in 9×13-inch baking pan and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces and serving. If freezing, place into individual containers and cool to room temperature before putting lids on.
Health and joy,