Healthy in a hurry! Details of my quick and easy go-to meal.
It’s that time of year again – school is beginning, along with a wide range of related commitments. Rather than stopping for fast-food in between all of the music lessons, sports practices and whatever else is going on around dinner time, opt for cooking a quick but healthy meal at home. The beauty of the meal that I’m about to suggest, aside from its nutritional value, is that it can easily be doubled or even tripled with basically no additional effort!
First, start out with a box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. First I will say that I’m not a fan of many alternatives to conventional pasta, but the texture and flavor of this is a very close match. In fact, it has become my family’s pasta of choice. If you don’t know much, or anything, about quinoa (pronounced [keen-wah]), check out this site for details on the unbelievably high nutritional value of this protein-rich food.
Next, grab a jar of prepared organic pasta sauce. These are very easy to come by, as more and more brands are adding organics to their product line. Just be sure to check the label. Even certified organic products can be high in sugar, so look for one where organic sugar or cane sugar is closer to the bottom of the ingredient list. We’ve been pleased with Muir Glen pasta sauces. They have a variety of available flavors and are relatively low in sugar content.
The next step will vary based on personal preference, as you can add the vegetables that your family enjoys most. I typically chop up one organic red sweet pepper, half an onion, slice a bunch of organic shiitake mushrooms, and mince a couple of garlic cloves. All of this can saute in a tablespoon or two of olive oil while the pasta is cooking.
Once the vegetables have cooked for a few minutes, I throw in sliced chicken sausage. I use Al Fresco brand Sweet Italian chicken sausage, which is very tasty and not so bad health-wise. They don’t use MSG, artificial flavors, preservatives or nitrates and nitrites, but the chicken meat isn’t organic. Thus far I haven’t been able to find a truly organic version at my local supermarket, but I’ll keep searching.
So, the pasta is cooking while the chopped veggies and sausage are sauteing and the pasta sauce is also heating in a separate pot. Usually everything is ready at about the same time, which is yet another convenient aspect of this dish when you don’t have much time to spare.
The final step is to put it all together and serve! Although I keep all of the ingredients separate and just mix them on the individual plates, you could also mix it all together in one pot and serve that way. Either way, I hope you find this as easy and enjoyable as we do. It continues to be my go-to meal for busy evenings!
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