Creamy Sausage and Spinach Pasta

I love pasta … my family, not so much. As we continue eating at home, I was looking for recipe to use a block of sweet Italian sausage I had for awhile in the freezer. I didn’t want to make soup since the weather is finally starting to feel more like late spring or early summer. I decided on this dish and I’m glad I did!

My son absolutely loved it! It was even better the next day for leftovers. The sauce is creamy and full of flavor. I threw in a half of a container of sliced white mushrooms I had and it all worked together perfectly. Plus it took less than 30 minutes to make!

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Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I’m still continuing on finding new recipes that are low-carb that my family will eat and it seems stuffed mushrooms are going to be our go-to meal. This dinner got two big thumbs up from my kids and it was packed full of flavor. I served it with a side salad – which got some grumbles from my kids.

Another thing I love about portobello mushrooms is that they’re meaty and are filling. They are a great substitute for meat too!

Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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Low-Carb Pizza Casserole

I hope everyone had a great Easter! I made some new recipes and can’t wait to share them with you later this week. Lately, I’m trying to eat low carb to help kick start some weight loss and get ready to wear a bathsuit in a few short months…ugh. So in addition to eating low carb, I’m counting calories, working out and drinking Keto\\OS. The scale is starting to move, but the best is that I’m feeling so much better and not so sluggish.

This recipe reminded me of a recipe my mom used to make when I was a kid. It was similar but of course it contains a pound of pasta.

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Roasted Sausage, Brussels Sprouts and Squash

Lately my kids have been on a veggie strike and I’m not sure what happened! They used to be really good about eating vegetables, but lately any vegetable has been a no-go. They love sausage so I thought I would have a winner with this dish….nope, they turned their noses up at it.

Both my husband and I enjoyed this dish. It was quick and easy to make especially during the week and we had leftovers for lunch the next day. I like the combination of the brussels sprouts and sweetness from the butternut squash. I mean you can’t go wrong with roasted vegetables..we’ll for adults at least.

Roasted Sausage, Brussels Sprouts and Sausage | Join Us, Pull up a Chair


1 package of sausage links (I used a sweet Italian chicken variety, but use whatever you like.)
8 oz brussels sprouts, halved
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
extra-virgin olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet and then place the sausage on. Drizzle the olive oil and turn to coat. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes or until your vegetables are fork-tender and the sausage is cooked through and the skin is crispy.

Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

Lately I’ve noticed both of my kids are rejecting vegetables. I’m not sure what happened, they used to be so good about eating salads and now the mention sends them into a tizzy. So needless to say, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables into our meals without them being as noticeable. This dish was a huge hit! Cooper gobbled it and up and asked for seconds! It was a quick and easy meal, especially since the broccoli and pasta are cooked in one pot.

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1 lb Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
12 oz pasta (I used orecchiette)
6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper

In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain fat and remove from the heat. While the sausage is cooking, begin to bring a large pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta to al dente and add in the broccoli florets. Reserve one cup of pasta water and set aside before draining.

Return the pot to the stove and add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the garlic and saute until golden and then reduce the heat to low. Add the pasta and broccoli to the pot along with the cooked sausage. Mix well and add in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce and add any additional water as needed. Serve in bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Skinnytaste

Sausage Spinach Calzones

While looking through my stack of magazines I’ve been saving, I saw this recipe for calzones. I knew it was something I wanted to make and I’m so glad I did! It was a HUGE hit with everyone and they were gone in no time…Madeline ate two of them!

They’re super easy to make on a weeknight especially when you’re using premade pizza dough. I think the next time I make them, I’ll make a double batch and freeze the leftovers so they can be reheated in the oven when we need a quick dinner.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 ozs sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 lb prepared whole wheat pizza dough
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. 
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks until it is no longer pink. Once the sausage is cooked, add in the baby spinach, stir until it’s wilted and cooked. Remove from the pan and place into a bowl.Stir in both cheeses and seasonings until well combined. 
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 6 inch long and divide into five equal sized pieces. Roll out each piece into a small circle. Place 1/2 cup of the filling on a half of the dough circle and then fold over the other side. Crimp the edges with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue this process until all five calzones have been made. Cut two or three slits into the top of the dough to allow steam to escape and brush the top of each one with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. 
Bake the calzones for 15 minutes until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before eating. 
Source: Eating Well Magazine

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

I’m so ready for summer vegetable season! There’s just something about fresh fruits and vegetables that makes me eat so much healthier. This year we’re only planting a few things in our raised beds since we’re not sure how long we’re going to be in our house. Our house selling is going really slow and we’re getting frustrated with the lack of showings. It’s been a month with only two showings and no visitors during our open house. Hopefully soon, things will pick up!

Back to the vegetables, I bought a pack of small zucchini and they were perfect for stuffing. I can’t wait to make more stuffed zucchinis this summer. We all loved them and Madeline enjoyed taking them for lunch the next day. I had some extra stuffing, so I filled a few mushrooms with it and they were just as tasty!

3 small to medium sized zucchini
1/2 cup orzo
3 Italian sausage links
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook orzo according to package. While the orzo is cooking, brown the sausage and mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat. Drain grease and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked orzo, tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.

Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out seeds. Fill the zucchini with stuffing and place in a baking dish. Once all zucchini are filled, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.

Bake for 20 minutes until the zucchini are cooked slightly and the cheese is melted. We prefer our veggies a little more on the crisp side and it was nice contrast to the stuffing. If you’d like the zucchini cooked more tender, add a small amount of chicken or vegetable stock to help steam the vegetables.

Baked Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

I’m finally finding some time on this Saturday afternoon to do a little blogging. Needless to say, this week has been crazy with work, family life and a few other secretive things I’ve been working on. I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow’s rainy day, I could use it to just relax and lounge around the house in hopes of recharging for another crazy week at work.

Now back to the real reason you’ve stopped by…FOOD. I love risotto but unfortunely my husband is not a big fan of it. He describes it as mushy rice, I just don’t think he’s ever had good risotto. This recipe is less time consuming than the traditional way of making risotto on the stovetop – it’s baked! To make it even better, I was lucky to have a coworker give me some vension sausage from his freezer – thanks George!

3/4 lb sausage, casings removed
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
fresh chopped parsley
salt & black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degress. In a dutch oven or large ovenproof pot with a lid, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring to break it up. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until browned. Spoon sausage onto a paper-towel lined plate and drain fat from pot.

Return pot to heat and add olive oil. Add onion and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until onion is soft and mushroom juices evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of warmed chicken broth, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in rice and cook for 3 minutes. Add 3 more cups of broth and stir to combine.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese, reserved sausage meat and the remaining chicken stock. Cover and return to the oven. Bake until rice is tender but not mushy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.

Adapted from All You Magazine, February 2011

Spaghetti with Sweet Sausage and Cabbage

I was a little hesistant to make this for dinner tonight….I mean cabbage and sausage with spaghetti? I will warn you, this recipe makes a lot! My husband and I thought it was really good, but it didn’t go over well with our little one. She picked out all the cabbage. Oh well, I guess it’s ok that she doesn’t like every vegetable.

Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 ounces spaghetti
1 tsp olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 head Savoy or green cabbage (about 2 pounds), halved, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add sausage; cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate; set aside (reserve skillet with rendered fat).

To skillet, add onion, 2 tablespoons water, and as much cabbage as will fit; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until tender, tossing occasionally and adding more cabbage as space becomes available, 6 to 10 minutes.

To pasta, add cabbage mixture and sausage. Toss with enough pasta water to create a sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in vinegar

Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine