Happy Sunday, everyone! Are you enjoying the beautiful weather we are having? Yesterday, I took some time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and it felt SO good. Instead of heading to my usual Saturday class at my yoga studio I took my mat out into the sun to do a little practice on my own. What did you do this weekend to enjoy the weather?
In addition to soaking up the weather I also carved out time this weekend (usually Sunday) to get our meals ready for the week. I keep coming back to a few super easy one dish meals that combine everything needed in a balanced meal. I know I'm not the only one looking for quick, nourishing meals.
Time and time again my clients, family, and friends who want to cook their own meals at home and eat well all request the same thing - easy, tasty dinner recipes they can make quickly without a lot of prep. I believe cooking at home should be all about food that's delicious AND fast. I want to create recipes that are easy to make AND healthy.
So, I'm sharing one with you I think fits the bill! Veggie Loaded Red Lentil Pasta with Chicken Sausage is ready in 30 minutes, flavored with simple ingredients.
Pulse pasta is a huge trend right now and one I am definitely on board with. These are pastas made out of lentils or beans, like red lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, and black bean pasta. If you've read my recent post about why you should be eating more pulses, then you are already familiar with the awesome health benefits. Basically, pulse pastas pack more fiber and protein than traditional pasta (made from refined white flour), keeping blood sugar balanced and you feeling fuller, longer.
The pasta is tossed with sauteed cherry tomatoes, zucchini, red onion, and bell pepper and baby greens. As cherry tomatoes cook they soften and burst creating a light tomato sauce (along with a little olive oil) to coat the pasta, so no sauce is needed! To cut down the cook time I used fully cooked chicken sausage. Once the pasta is cooked everything is tossed together in one pot - it's really that easy.
What your favorite 30 minute meal? Tell me in the comments!
Veggie Loaded Red Lentil Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
12 ounces red lentil fusilli (or another pulse pasta like Banza)
12 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage (like this one)
1 large zucchini, large diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon + 1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
Begin by cooking getting a pot of water on the stove to cook the pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Prep all your veggies: dice the zucchini, red onion, and bell pepper.
Heat a large skillet or pot to medium high heat. Add ½ teaspoon olive oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot add all veggies.
Let the veggies soften and cook down until the tomatoes begin to burst (about 10 minutes). Use the back of the wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes. This will help to create a light sauce for the pasta.
Slice the chicken sausage into bite sized pieces and add to the pan along with garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, cooking an additional 5 minutes.
Drain the pasta and add it directly to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and baby greens. Allow the greens to wilt and pasta to heat through. Serve immediately.