Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes April 11, 2012

'Real Simple Magazine" Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

My goodness it’s been way too long since I’ve shared a recipe with you all!  The growth of YOUYOGA has kept me away from the stove, but I can’t say that I’ve been disappointed with not having to clean the kitchen; however, from time to time you just want something that taste like home.  So, I looked through my stack of “healthy eating” magazines for some new inspiration.  I came across a recipe from Real Simple magazine that caught my attention……mostly because I had all the needed ingredients right at my finger tips.  Never underestimate the power of a well stocked pantry and how it makes it ” real simple” to get a quality meal to the table. 

I always keep a variety of canned tomatoes, canned beans, dried pastas, along with low-sodium, boxed broths on hand.  Then all I need to do is add some fresh veggies and some spices…….presto, dinner is ready!!!  That pretty much sums up my recipe selection tonight, and whenever I can get it all into one pot the deal is sealed.  Whenever I can pack it with spinach and beans I’m even more happy.  So tonight we’ll be serving Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes.  I used a pre-cooked chicken sausage, but I so no reason why you couldn’t use a vegan substitute, or just omit the meat all together.  I also modified a couple of the steps to save on time, and the quality of taste wasn’t effected in my opinion.  Let’s get to the YUM! 

You’ll need the following the ingredients:

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 14.5 oz can of diced Itialian tomatoes

1 15.5 oz of Great Nothern Beans (drained and rinsed)

2 gloves of garlic, minced

3/4 lb of pre-cooked chicken sausage,  vegan subsitute, or nothing!

12 oz of your choice of short, whole wheat pasta (I used about two handfuls to reduce calorie content.  I seleceted Rigatoni, because I had it on hand)

3 cups of pre-washed baby spinach

salt and pepper to taste

grated Parmesan, for serving

Thinly, slice sausage on an angel.  Add to pan with olive oil and minced garlic on medium-high heat.  Cook until warmed through and slightly golden.  Meanwhile, boil water with olive oil and salt for pasta.  Add tomatoes to pan with sausage and warm through.  Layer spinach ontop of pan mixture, then add drained and rinsed beans to pan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover with lid and let simmer.  Cook pasta to al-dente ( 1-2 minutes less than recommended on instructions, because it will continue to cook once placed in pan with sausage and tomatoe mixture)  Once pasta is cooked, drain off reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.  Add pasta and water to pan.  Continue to cook without lid to allow sauce to thicken.  Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.



Zesty Spinach Soup October 4, 2011

I’m so grateful that the temperatures are cooler….fall is truly my favorite time of year.  It’s also the time when I bring out my big soup pot….another one of my favorite things is a meal that can be made in one pot.  Simple ingredients, minimal time, and oh so good yummines that just gets better as the week extends.  The first soup made this season in our family kitchen was Zesty Spinach Soup from Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook.  This soup is great for a quick meal packed with vital nutrients, and most of the ingredients may already be in your pantry.  If you’re real hungry it’s nice to pair it with a green leaf salad, or a grilled provolone cheese sandwich on seeded bread.

This soup includes a hearty helping of spinach which contains high levels of readily absorbed calcium.  And let’s not forget the quinoa, which is a relative to the green leafy vegetable.  Quinoa  is a complete protein, which simple means it includes all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is also well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.  It’s also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  But, even with all of that good health news….the bottom line is its good, and very satisfying. 

Let’s get to the YUM!  You’ll need the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 red onion, peeled and coarsely ( if the onion is large, half will work fine)

1 thick carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped ( 1-2 handfuls of baby carrots sliced on an angle will work fine)

3 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press, or finely chopped

1 tsp of sea salt

Pinch of black pepper

6 cups low-sodium chicken, or vegetable broth

1 14.5 oz can of low sodium, petite diced tomatoes

1/2 cup of quinoa

2 cups white kidney beans, well rinsed and drained

1 tsp curry powder

Pinch of ground nutmeg

3 cups baby spinach

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot, add onion and saute until translucent.  Add carrots, garlic and salt.  Saute until vegetables are golden, about 5 minutes.  Add stock, tomatoes, quinoa, beans and spices.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender.  Add the spinach and cover.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.


Want more info on Quinoa?  Visit: WHFoods: Quinoa – The World’s Healthiest Foods


Eat Your Greens Fruit Smoothie September 5, 2011

As we drove the city streets of Lenexa, Kansas last night we noticed that the city fountain water was running green, and the park displayed a large banner inviting all to their annual Spinach Festival.  Ahhhhhh….. Yes Spinach!!!  As the warm summer air begins to shift into cooler fall breezes it is becoming the perfect growing season for the family of greens.

There is a large variety of greens such as; kale, swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens bok choy, but spinach by far is one of my favorite greens.  It is so versatile.  Slip it into salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, eggs, pizza, and yes smoothies too.  Slipping these cute, little, baby spinach leafs into your foods will aid in stronger bones due to its high calcium content.  Also, cancer fighting protection with it high levels of vitamin C and A.  Spinach’s secret weapon is lutein. Making it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, and macular degeneration.  Which is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly.

With all that wonderful nutritional info I know you can’t wait to learn how to include spinach into your next smoothie. Wait no more… this recipe came from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live.  He calls it the Eat Your Greens Smoothie, and I for one love it.  Once again it’s all about simplicity, and I also love that you can add greens using a traditional blender…no big, expensive juicer required for this tasty treat.

Let’s get to the YUM!  You’ll need the following ingredients:

5 oz prewashed baby spinach  (a large handful works well)

1 banana

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 cup unsweetend almond, or soy milk

1 cup pomegranate juice

1 tablespoon of flaxseeds

Blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. 


(Spinach Info: