For those who think that eating 100% organic is expensive, here’s a quick and easy meal, ready in about 30 minutes or so. This 30 Min Weeknight Sausage Pasta Toss recipe can feed 8 people and only cost approx. $25-30, including organic meat and specialty pasta. That’s about $3.50/serving, can’t beat that! Served with a large green salad (a few more $), you’ve got yourself a well-balanced weeknight meal, for a whole lot less money than junk food and just as fast! Plus, if you split it properly, you might have leftovers!
Although I eat mostly vegan and vegetarian meals, my husband and I still eat high-quality grass-fed/organic meat a few times per month on average. Sometimes we can go months without eating any. Everyone is different, but the key is to pay attention and listen to what our bodies need. If you eat meat or any animal products, always look for grass-fed and organic, since it’s more nutritious for you, better for the planet and the animals.
The Secrets to a Healthy Meal
The “secrets” to cooking a healthy meal in about 30 minutes is to start in a clean kitchen (even if it just means clearing some space on the counter), know where your ingredients and utensils are, and use 2 pans at the same time to roast all of your vegetables and meat. Always start by cooking the vegetables that take the longest to roast (like onions and mushrooms), so you can use that extra time to prepare and cut the rest of the veggies. It might be 1 extra pan to wash, but it means a delicious healthy dinner ready in less time. It also means that you’ll be able to add more vegetables to make this dish truly healthy! We too often limit our vegetables based on the size of our pot/pan, don’t we? By using 2 pans, you can pile the nutrition in there!
Vegetables should be half of each dish, so bring on the veggies! And feel free to use what you have in your fridge too, you don’t have to follow the recipes to the letter. Carrots, spinach or Swiss chard make a delicious addition to this dish.
30 Min Weeknight Sausage Pasta Toss Dinner | Vegan Option
A simple sausage pasta toss dinner, packed full of vegetables and wholegrain for a healthy and balanced weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy!
- 4 organic sausages Italian style - For vegan option, sauté some chickpeas or cubed organic tofu with a bit of paprika and garlic
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped or sliced
- 2 large organic sweet peppers colour of your choice, washed, cut in small bite-size cubes or sliced
- 16 oz organic mushrooms your choice: cremini, shitake, etc. washed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 head broccoli washed, cut in small florets
- 16 oz cubed organic tomatoes 1 large can
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine optional
- 1 Tbsp dry oregano
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 454 g wholegrain organic pasta 1 package (for a gluten-free meal, look for GF pasta)
- Cut the onion first, then heat 2 large pans on medium heat. In the first pan, drizzle some olive oil and add the sausages to cook. Use the lid to cook faster and keep the sausages moist. Make sure to keep an eye on them, turning them often so they are well roasted on all sides. Remove from heat, cut in slices and return to pan to roast some more.
- While the sausages are cooking, heat up the other large pan on medium heat, drizzle some olive oil and start sautéing the prepared onion for a few minutes. While all this is cooking, start cutting all the other vegetables, starting with the mushrooms, while stirring the onions and the sausages (lower the temperature if it gets too hot and starts burning).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packaging instructions.
- After a few minutes sautéing the onions, add the sliced mushrooms and keep mixing around for a about 8-9 minutes (you may need to add a bit more olive oil). Transfer the cooked onion and mushrooms mixture into the large pan with the cooked sausages, stirring often and making sure the sausages are well roasted. Add the white wine (optional) and mix immediately to scrape the bits at the bottom. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.
- Drain your cooked pasta and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Make sure the other pan is on medium heat, drizzle more olive oil and sauté the peppers, the broccoli florets, and the minced garlic for about 5-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your broccoli. Add the dry oregano in the last few minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, mix well and cook for a few more minutes, scraping the bottom.
- Mix in sea salt and pepper. Serve right away or let cool down a bit and then put into airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Serve with a large green salad for a balanced meal.
Options: Carrots and zucchinis are a great addition to this dish as well.
Note: I do not believe anyone should worry about counting calories, but here is the nutritional information for one serving
Calories: 402kcal | Fat: 25g | Saturated fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 781mg | Carbohydrates: 30g | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Protein: 15g | Vitamin A: 29.6% | Vitamin C: 137.5% | Calcium: 8.8% | Iron: 16.8%