Last night, after a two hour cardio session at the gym, I was craving COMFORT food. Fattening, carb-rich, and delicious – I felt I deserved it.
Of course, it takes almost two hours to burn off 1,200 calories but about 5 minutes to eat it, so I opted to still prepare a healthy dinner so as not to negate my efforts.
Exhausted as I was, I threw together a fast, healthy, Paleo-friendly dish in about 10 minutes and it turned out to be a winner. Basically, I modified your “typical” Italian dinner – mounds of pasta with rich, creamy sauce and hunks of sausage – into a lighter, leaner version.
The Meat Sauce:
- 1/2 cup red onions, diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup button mushrooms, washed and chopped
- 5 Jennie-O Sweet Italian Sausages, slice about an inch thick
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 jar of Organic Basil Marinara
- 4 tbsp dried onion flakes
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
In a large sauce pan, start by sauteing the onions and mushrooms until tender, or about 5 mins at medium heat. At this point, add the slices sausages and the dried seasonings increase the heat slightly, so as to sear it evenly. Once the sausages are cooked through [really, just 2-3 mins], add the red wine, the jar of sauce, and the water, as well as the onion flakes. Simmer for about 8 mins, or until your whole kitchen smells like a pizzeria.
Here’s where you have options. Personally, I am OBSESSED with Shirataki noodles, such as Miracle Noodles or NoOodle, but you’re also welcome to use thinly sliced zucchini or even spaghetti squash [steamed, for both] as your base. In the case of the Shirataki noodles, just drain the noodles well in a colander, then dry-saute them in a wok or large pot in order to cook off the excess water. I drizzle them with a tiny bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking.
Putting it Together:
Once both the noodles and the sauce are finished, I prefer to toss it all together for even coating of the sauce and then sprinkle with just a DASH of Parmesan cheese. Depending on if you’re a hardcore Caveman, you may not have cheese. I try to avoid dairy, but permit myself the occasional sprinkle of Parmesan on my dishes, because it just adds so much flavor for very little caloric punch.
And there you have it! Paleo pasta that doesn’t negate your workout! Even non-Paleo dieters will approve, as the sauce is surprisingly flavorful and the sausage adds a distinct richness, despite the turkey-base. Yum yum!
Bon Appetit, my friends!