Recipes

better for you pasta with meat sauce | & vegetarian options

My friend Lauren is an inspiration.  She has been pushing herself through a complete life and body transformation–eating cleaner, pushing harder, running faster, tracking those calories in and definitely tracking them out.  She posted a meal on Instagram [follow her, really!] the other night that just looked RIDIC.  A tofu and kale stir fry pasta sauce over veggie noodles with feta.  I had to have it.

Her vegetarian version included: pesto tofu [Twin Oaks ‘More Than Tofu’], kale, organic red sauce, and veggie pasta [Barilla]. She added EVOO, garlic, cayenne pepper, oregano, parsley, nutritional yeast, and feta crumbles.

Lauren's Pesto Tofu Kale Pasta
Lauren’s Pesto Tofu Kale Pasta

Now, pasta with meat sauce is a staple in my house…so, naturally, I took Lauren’s delicious version [that I will still make when I want a good hearty vegetarian meal] and made it into a more fiancé-friendly weeknight dinner: ground turkey breast with meat and veggie sauce, veggie pasta, cauliflower, and fat free feta crumbles.

And man was it good.

My Meat & Vegetable Sauce Veggie Pasta w/ Cauliflower & Feta
My Meat & Vegetable Sauce Veggie Pasta w/ Cauliflower & Feta

***

ground turkey breast & vegetable meat sauce with veggie pasta, cauliflower, & feta :.

yield: ~6 servings | roughly 440 calories and 7 grams of fat per measured serving [3 oz turkey breast, 1/3 cup sauce, 1 oz feta, 2 oz uncooked pasta, 1 cup cauliflower]

ingredients:

  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 8 crimini or baby bella mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 lbs 99% fat free ground turkey breast
  • 1 jar of favorite organic pasta sauce
  • 1 ounce [per serving] of fat free crumbled feta cheese
  • 1-2 boxes of Barilla Veggie Rotini noodles [depending on how large your servings are]
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower florets
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, dried basil, sugar – all to taste

directions:

  1. Heat EVOO in skillet and sauté bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms and set aside.
  2. In same pan, brown ground turkey breast with garlic and crushed red pepper [if your turkey breast is 99% fat free, you shouldn’t have to drain anything off the meat].  Once cooked through, add sautéed vegetables back to pan.
  3. Add jar of sauce to turkey and vegetables [I usually add about 1/3 cup of water], balsamic vingear, and season to taste with dried basil, sugar, and italian seasoning.
  4. Let sauce simmer for 30 minutes or more.
  5. Boil noodles [7 minutes for a perfect al dente with the veggie noodle].
  6. Steam cauliflower in microwave or stovetop [1 cooked cup per serving].
  7. Plate and serve with 1 ounce of fat free feta crumbles on top.

***

My standard pasta and meat sauce is a recipe that I stole from my mom growing up.  Follow the same steps as above, but substitute your favorite Prego, Ragu, Barilla, etc. jarred sauce with 1 lbs of lean ground beef.  Serve over your favorite noodle.  This is still an easy make-ahead or night-of weeknight meal that makes plenty of servings for entertaining or leftovers.

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