Friday, June 13, 2014

Sausage & Kale Pasta

Clean and Creamy Sausage and Kale Pasta


I literally threw this meal together late one night after coming home from church. I had overcome the temptation to swing through the McDonalds drive-thru and instead make a healthy, clean dinner with whatever ingredients I happen to have in the fridge and pantry. This turned out better than I expected and will be a keeper in our household.


Yield: 4-6 servings
Fix Portions: 1 yellow, 1 green, ½ red, ⅓ blue


Ingredients:
  • ½ box whole wheat or whole grain pasta (I recommend a thicker noodle. I used ziti becuse thatst what I had in my fridge)
  • 2 links lean turkey or chicken sausage (I prefer hot, but you can use sweet sausage too. I recommend Target "Simply Balanced" brand hot Italian chicken sausage)
  • 1½ green containers baby portobella mushrooms
  • ½ green container sundried tomatoes (tip: buy the ones that come in the zipper bag, not the kind in a jar soaking in oil...I found these in the produce section)
  • 1½  green containers kale
  • 1½ green container spinach leaves
  • ½ cup shredded italian blend cheese (I used sargento; kraft has a nice one too; or you could grate your own parmesan and mozzarella alternatively)
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup organic milk (I used 2% because that's what I had in the fridge for my daughter)


Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions (Important: right before draining the noodles, save a ladel-full of hot, starchy cooking water-you will need that later for the sauce!)
  2. In a skillet, saute all vegetables. Season with pepper, garlic and onion powder, and italian seasoning. Once tender, remove from pan, and cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Remove the sausage from its casings and brown the meat in the skillet. Once cooked, remove from pan and drain any excess grease from the meat
  4. In the same skillet, add the flour to the pan drippings and whisk to form a roux. Note: you may need to add a teaspoon or so of EVOO depending on how much pan drippings you have
  5. Gradually stir in milk and followed by the reserved starchy cooking water
  6. Reduce heat, stirring slowly, and allow sauce to thicken.
  7. Stir in shredded cheese using a figure-8 motion until the cheese dissolves into the sauce
  8. Adjust sauce seasonings to taste, adding in garlic and onion powder and pepper to taste. Also, if the sauce gets too thick and pasty, add more milk or cooking water- you want this to have an nice creamy consistency
  9. Add the noodles, sausage, and vegetables to the sauce and stir to coat evenly.
  10. Use your green container (or 1 cup measuring cup) to portion out each serving. Enjoy!


BONUS:

  • If you’re not a fan of sausage, try this with diced chicken breast or even lean ground turkey (seasoned with garlic and onion powder, italian seasoning, and a little red pepper flake)


23 comments:

  1. What does the milk count as in terms of colored containers for the 21 day fix?

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    Replies
    1. Milk is considered a yellow substitute in the 21-day fix book, so I just included it in the yellow portion count- I did my best to estimate :)

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  2. Approx how much meat do you use? I don't know what a link equates too. Plus if I sub ground turkey...do you think it would be 20 oz total?

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    1. The sausage I purchased comes in links, so I'm not sure the exact weight. But, if you wanted to substitute a ground meat, I would try 1/2 a pound

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  3. When I made this, I sauteed the veggies with some white wine and added minced garlic. I also found pork sausage that had less fat and calories than the turkey sausage. I don't know if that would make it so it's not 21-day fix approved, but it tasted delicious.

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    1. Sounds great! When it comes to the sausage, as long as its a "clean", unprocessed version, I think it should be fine!

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  4. Melissa, I love your Fix recipes! I need recipes to follow, I can't just throw things together, so I've been struggling with how to feed the whole family the same meal (instead of cooking for them and cooking for me).. everyone loves your recipes and I can't thank you enough for making them tasty, easy, and ready with fix portions all listed out! Keep 'em coming!!!!

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  5. When you say 4-6 servings how are you figuring this out to match the portions for the containers?

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    Replies
    1. This is a mixed dish, so what you do is use a GREEN container as a measuring cup to scoop out 1 green containers' worth of the meal (step 10 above).

      The whole recipe makes 4-6 green containers.

      For every green container of this mixed dish you eat, you need to check off 1 yellow, 1 green, ½ red, ⅓ blue

      Its a little complicated, but towards the end of the 21-day fix eating plan book, it explains to use the green container to portion the servings of mixed meals like this, but don't count them as a green- count them as what's included in the dish.

      Hope that clarifies it a bit :)

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  6. I'm wondering the same thing as the person above. I'm new to the 21 day fix...how do I measure it out properly when I'm putting it on my plate??

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    Replies
    1. Use a green container as a measuring cup to scoop out your serving. Then check off the colored portions listed at the top of this recipe. I put some more details in the comment above- hope that helps!

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  7. Hi- I am wondering the same thing too. I love love your recipes but I am a newbie to 21 day fix and am not sure how to calculate my portions. For example, once the meal is completed, how much is 1 serving...is it a cup? I want to stay in your portions but am not sure ho to covert : 1 yellow, 1 green, ½ red, ⅓ blue to one serving. Please help!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment! Glad you are enjoying the recipes!

      I tried to elaborate a little more in my response 2 comments above- its a little complicated with mixed dishes such as this. But, basically, you just need to use your green container as a measuring cup (which is equivalent to 1 cup) to scoop out this pasta dish. Then, the portions you check off for it are as you listed (1 yellow, 1 green, ½ red, ⅓ blue). :)

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  8. Thanks for the new dish. It was delish. I hope you don't mind but I shared it on my blog. www.lindaloothingstodo.blogspot.com
    I gave you all the credit. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked the recipe!

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  9. Can you please tell me if this dish is freezable?

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    1. I haven't tried so I'm not 100% sure, but my concern here would be how the sauce made from the milk and cheese would handle the freezing and reheating- usually once the sauce cools, it thickens and alters the consistency when reheated :(

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  10. Hi! This recipe looks so yummy! I am not officially on the 21 Day Fix, but am trying to find healthy recipes to cook for my family. Would you mind translating the ingredients list into cups? I'm not sure what a green container translates into.

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    1. Hey There! Here are the approx measurements:
      Green & Purple = 1 cup
      Red = 3/4 cup
      Yellow = 1/2 cup
      Blue = 1/4 cup
      Orange = 1/8 cup

      Hope that helps!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. I found you on Pinterest.com when I started the 21 day fix. I have not had the huge success that they tout on TV, but I have lost a little weight and some inches. I've made a few other recipes you have posted, and today I made this ... WOW, it is out of this world and I would make this even if I wasn't on the 21 day fix. Both healthy and delish! Thank you and keep posting recipes!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Hang in there- you can do this!

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