paleo pasta

Paleo Meat Sauce/Pasta Sauce

photo 5

It’s been almost a week since I last posted a recipe. We had this big snow storm and our roof ended up leaking through to our ceiling 😦 Since I have to be here while it’s being repaired today, I should post a recipe. I wanted to make several servings of something really easy, so what’s easier (and cheaper) than spaghetti sauce? The vegetables in this recipe can be cooked in a different order than I do in my directions. Some like to saute their veggies separately. Also, the order/time will depend on what vegetables you use. I used mushrooms in this one and I didn’t saute them separately because I like my mushrooms tougher than most. I like to bite into a mushroom, not cook it until it’s flimsy. That’s just a personal preference. There are so many possibilities with this sauce. You can add several diced peppers, add broiled broccoli, add double the mushrooms, add fresh basil, add riced cauliflower…you could even use turkey or italian sausage rather than beef, or all three! It’s a great way to use up whatever you have leftover in your fridge and not let good ingredients go to waste. So, here we go!

 

Ingredients:

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 lb ground beef, or turkey, or italian sausage

1/2-1 28 oz can tomato sauce (depending on what texture you want your sauce to have)

Half of a 25 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce

2 tablespoon of honey, to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes

1-2 green peppers (get any color you want), diced

1 package of sliced mushrooms

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, diced

1/2-1 tablespoon italian seasoning

1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)

Optional-small can of tomato paste for thickness and/or 1/2 cup of fresh basil, freshly grated parmesan cheese also optional

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter, or whatever fat you want to use

For the ‘pasta’ either use spaghetti squash (look at buffalo chicken pasta recipe for instructions) or spiralized zucchini and/or squash like in my photo. I microwave the spirals, covered for 1 minute before serving.

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot or sauce pan, saute garlic and onion in the olive oil for a few minutes over medium/medium-high heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the ground beef and cook until browned, chopping into chunks and stirring here and there while it cooks.

2.Once it’s browned, add your diced peppers and sliced mushrooms and spices. Saute until softened. Add some more olive oil if you think it needs it.

3. Now it’s time to add your tomatoes. Start by adding the diced, drained tomatoes, half of the tomato sauce, and the half jar of pasta sauce. Then add the honey. Make sure it’s all well combined and taste it. If it is too sweet, add more salt. If it’s too acidic/salty add more honey to balance it. If you want more thickness, add tomato paste. If it’s too chunky and you prefer it to be more runny, add the rest of the tomato sauce. Always taste your food!

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Pasta

buffalochickenpastapic

The man friend and I actually cooked this together last night. And when I’m in the kitchen with someone else, it usually doesn’t go over very well…Because I tend to hover. I catch myself nagging and saying things like “Are you sure you want to measure 6 tablespoons out with that 1/2 tablespoon measurement when there’s a tablespoon measuring spoon in this drawer?” and “Why are you stirring with that when you can stir with this?”…People just cook, measure, and chop things differently. I need to get over it, because I do really like his help in the kitchen and it’s a great way to bond. I have always found food/cooking to be very personal.

Something I have also noticed in the kitchen with the man friend is how many questions I get about (what I think is) cooking basics. I grew up with a caterer for a dad, so, I feel I know more than the average person my age in the kitchen. I feel extremely lucky. I also feel it’s very important for college students or anyone else with crazy busy schedules to know how to make easy, healthy, quick meals rather than sticking to making sandwiches and PPJ’s and microwavable meals all the time. This reminds me of listening to my friend and college classmate make jokes a few months ago about how her roommates didn’t know how to boil pasta or cut/slice vegetables and so she ended up cooking dinner most of the time. This is so wrong! Hilarious in many ways, but so wrong! And I must add, since this incredibly funny rant from my friend, her roommates have learned to cook pasta and cut basic vegetables.

So, I’m dedicating this recipe adaptation (adapted from Brittany Angell) to those college students, and for anyone who works extremely crazy hours like my man friend. This recipe is extremely simple, quick, has very few ingredients, requires only three different pans (only two you have to clean if you use foil), and is very low in carbs.

Be healthy 🙂

 
 

Ingredients:

Spaghetti squash, one big one or two small ones ( or substitute with zucchini noodles or sweet potato noodles, spiralized)

1 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

8 teaspoons of starch (I used arrowroot powder. You can use tapioca starch, or if you’re not paleo, then use flour or potato starch)

4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter or your fat of choice

6 tablespoons of your favorite buffalo sauce, hot sauce or wing sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, depends on how spicy your buffalo sauce is)

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)

1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt & pepper to taste

 
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 405 degrees.

2. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lay face down on the foiled cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (depending on the size of the squash) or until the skin is easily dented. I usually test it by using the handle of a knife to poke the sides. Once the squash is done, flip them over to let cool.

3. While the squash is cooking, gather the chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste, starch, and cream, and buffalo/hot sauce in a sauce pan. Whisk on medium heat continuously until well combined and heated through. Set aside.

4. Add the chicken to a skillet with 2-3 tablespoons of butter, minced garlic (optional), salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring a little here and there, until done. Set aside.

5. Thread the cooled spaghetti squash with a fork into a large bowl. Add the cooked chicken and sauce and mix together well. Taste to see if you want to add more buffalo sauce.

6. Using the same skillet you cooked the chicken in, turn it on medium high/high heat and add the last 2-3 tablespoons of butter or your fat of choice. Quickly add some of the spaghetti squash and chicken mixture into the skillet. Just add enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Stir/flip continuously and fry it until it’s thick and glossy looking. Then toss it in a serving bowl and enjoy! or fry up the rest and organize it into ziploc containers for leftovers the next day!