Healthy Meal of the Week: Turkey Sausage Pasta
Healthy Leftover Idea: Mini Pizzas
This healthy meal of the week came about as I was walking the grocery aisles shopping for food and I happened to pass by a section displaying various items to make homemade pizzas. Mmmm, my favorite! Interestingly enough, there were these mini pizza crusts already premade needing nothing more than to add toppings and to be baked for 8-10 minutes. Simple pizza for 1/3 of the cost, tastes fabulous, and more healthy too! Each 2/3 of a pizza comes out to about 450 calories so how much better can that get when you hear the word pizza?
Since each one of our healthy meals of the week offers a leftover idea, and because turkey sausage was going to be used as one of the pizza toppings, it was a simple match to combine the extra with vegetable penne pasta. In any case, you can decide which of these meals will be the main course and which you’d prefer to have for as a lunch leftover for the next day – either will be a great choice.
– 2 pots – large and small
– oven baking sheet (for mini pizzas)
– 10 minutes
– 25 minutes
– 1 package lean Turkey Sausages
– 1 box Vegetable Penne Pasta
– 1 small can of sliced olives
– 1 bottle pasta sauce
– 1-2 large Portobello mushrooms
– seasonings: garlic powder, salt, and pepper
– olive oil
For Mini Pizzas
– small jar of pizza sauce
– 2 pack of mini pizza crusts
– reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
– additional toppings you prefer
1. Start out with the turkey sausage since these will used for both the pasta and the mini pizzas. On a skillet, medium temperature, spray with non-stick spray or coat with a bit of olive oil. Open premade turkey sausages and place them directly on the skillet as-is. Allow to cook for a few minutes on each side then carefully roll them over with a fork. Let each side cook thoroughly. Total cooking time will be about 22-24 minutes.
2. Once you get the sausages cooking you can start boiling the water for the pasta. Add a few dashes of seasoned salt for flavor. Once water is boiling add the entire box of vegetable pasta and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. In a small pot on low temperature add the bottle of pasta sauce. Rinse Portobello mushrooms and slice into pieces and add 3/4 of them along with 3/4 of the sliced olives to the sauce. You can add some garlic powder and pepper for flavor. Cover and stir occasionally for 10-14 minutes.
4. Once turkey sausages are done cooking, remove from heat and with a knife carefully slice each into bite sized pieces. 3/4 of the sausages will be used for the pasta and the other 1/4 for the mini pizzas if you’re making them so keep that in mind.
5. When pasta is finished cooking, remove from heat and drain over the sink using a colander. Once water is removed, return to the pot (no heat) and stir in the pasta sauce along with 3/4 of the sliced turkey sausages.
6. Serve an appropriate portion size, garnish with a bit of Parmesan cheese or reduced fat mozzarella cheese if you’d like along with a 0 calorie beverage. You can always serve a green salad with Italian dressing if you’d like, but try to stay away from breadsticks since that will increase the calorie count rather quickly.
Healthy Leftover Idea: Mini Pizzas
Like previously mentioned, I was torn with which meal should be the main course and which for the leftover. Once you make both these beauties, you may have the same issue. If your local supermarket does not carry mini pizza crusts or something similar, you may need to either make/bake the dough from scratch or use an alternative choice like Pillsbury crescents/rolls or whole wheat English muffins and put the pizza toppings on them.
In this example everything was prepped and ready to bake in under 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat both sides of the mini pizza crust with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Using 3-4 tablespoons of pizza sauce spread over one entire side of the pizza crust. Add a thin layer of shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese, then add the sliced olives, diced Portobello mushrooms, and the sliced turkey sausage. Finally, sprinkle a bit more cheese on top and place on a baking sheet. Put in the oven for 8-10 minutes and when finished, slice and enjoy!
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