Healthy Dinners: Day 1

Oh lord, all the doughnuts last week. And maybe a pop tart after dinner. I’m sorry, I have to eat them! Or else they’ll go bad! My hands are tied! I love teacher appreciation, but I’m sure my poor pancreas doesn’t.

So this week’s challenge: healthy, vegetable-filled dinner every night this week.

Yesterday: zucchini spaghetti with a chicken sausage tomato sauce. Yum, but no picture. Sorry. But still! Recipe!

Zucchini Spaghetti with Chicken Sausage Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: 2 hungry adults
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Noodles:

Spiralized zucchini (I did about 4)

Sauce:

Sweet Italian ground chicken
1 yellow onion
1 yellow bell pepper
1 12-oz can cut tomatoes (I use this Marzano cut tomato that includes some basil)
1 8-oz can diced tomatoes (mine also ended up having some spices and herbs in it, so that affected how many I added later)
1 cup of white wine, divided
1 tsp. dried basil, oregano, and marjoram*
3 shakes red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves (you could probably use more, but my husband’s sensitive to garlic)
salt and pepper
*more herbs to taste

Always start on your sauce first. It needs time to develop depth of flavor, like all our favorite Food Network stars like to say. The first thing you should do is brown your meat. Throw a tablespoon of olive oil into your pan (I used a Dutch oven) and get it nice and hot. Throw your meat in and get it nice and brown. After a few minutes, when it’s brown, drain it over a bowl or the sink with a colander, just to get the excess grease and fat out.

With the leftover stuff in the bottom of the pan, I tried to reduce some white wine in there first. Then I tossed in my garlic (let it get nice and aromatic, about 35-40 seconds), then my onion and bell pepper. I let that sautee up, then I put the chicken back in with some chicken broth and let it all stew for a while (at least half an hour) until the liquid basically evaporated.

With the tomato part of the sauce, dump in your canned tomatoes and herbs and some more wine and let it sit and sit and simmer and keep trying it and tasting it and trying it.  When most of that liquid has evaporated, too, combine.

In the meantime, SPIRALIZE DAT ZUCCHINI.  Oh god this step is so satisfying.  And also scary because sharp things.  I’m bad at sharp things, so that’s a problem.  Amazingly, I didn’t cut myself.  I used about 4 zucchini, one per person.  Make sure you pile the noodles and give ’em one big slice in the middle to make sure they’re not too long.  I sauteed mine for a few minutes in olive oil with some salt and pepper, but apparently you can boil it as well.  I was just worried it wouldn’t be as tasty if you boiled it.

Combine and enjoy!

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