Recipe 18: Chicken sausage, veggie, and pesto pasta
2 generous servings with some left over
Parmesan cheese ¼ cup
Walnuts ¼ cup (or any nut. I use sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds…)
Garlic 2 table spoons
Salt and Pepper 1/2tsp each
Olive Oil (about ¼ cup)
Chicken sausage 4 links
Mushrooms 1 cup (I use baby portabellas)
Red bell pepper 1
Zucchini 1 large, or two small
Salt & Pepper
2 servings of your favorite pasta. I use Radiatora because it has a lot of ridges to hold the pesto, but anything works.
For Pesto, literally throw everything in the food processor/blender BUT the olive oil. Pulse until chopped. Then very slowly add your olive oil. The pesto will become smooth and slightly runny. You may not need the full ¼ cup.
For pasta, start boiling pasta water. In a skillet heat a couple table spoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Next, throw (chopped) chicken sausage, (chopped) bell pepper, and (chopped) Zucchini into skillet and lightly salt. Sautee until pasta is about ready, then add mushrooms at the very end. Mushrooms cook really fast, and I like mine only lightly softened. This pasta can be made with any combination of veggies. My husband loves combinations of any color bell pepper, squash, beans, tomatoes and peas. If you substitute, make sure you are mindful of each individual veggies cook time.
To serve pile everything on top of the pasta and enjoy!
What will you gain by eating this meal? (sources http://www.webmd.com and www.livestrong.com) and “99 Superfoods” by Carrie May
Basil: Basil is high in antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, iron, beta carotene, iron, calcium, and potassium. Vitamin C deficient people are at a greater risk of lung cancer, stroke and heart disease. Vitamin C is being studied for its ability to help prevent breast cancer. High intake of Vitamin C also helps prevent the wrinkling of the skin with age. Beta carotene and Vitamin A help to maintain a healthy immune system along with healthy vision. Potassium is the vitamin that helps keep your heart pumping properly. When people are deficient they can experience drops in blood pressure.
Walnuts: walnuts are a great source of Omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Vitamin E can boost your immune system and is also being studied for its fertility benefits. Fatty acids can help reduce risks associated with heart disease.
Garlic: Garlic is high in Vitamin C, selenium, B6, and antioxidants. Selenium contains properties similar to antioxidants that link it to fighting cancers. It can slow the growth of cancerous tumors and grow immune cell activity.
Olive Oil: Olive oil contains Omega fatty acids which help to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke while providing healthy and improved brain function.
Chicken: Chicken is a lowfat protein option. Because it is lower calorie and low fat (similar to turkey) many sausages and bacons are being made from it. Protein is essential for healthy muscles.
Zucchini: Zucchini contains vitamins A, B, C, manganese, potassium, calcium and magnesium. B vitamins help develop the metabolism and can fight nerve problems. Zucchini also contains vitamin K that helps your blood to properly clot. Manganese is being used to treat diabetes and arthritis. It also boosts the bodies immune system by aiding in the production of white blood cells.
Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms are the most nutritious mushroom containing B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Mushrooms contain fiber and can help lower blood pressure.
Bell Pepper: Bell Peppers contain lycopene (like tomatoes), Vitamins A&C, and fiber. Lycopene actually fights free radicals in the body. Free radicals attack your healthy cells and destroy them. This can cause disease, accelerate aging and damage your overall health. Consuming large quantities of lycopene is being associated with a reduce cancer risk.