Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sausage & Peppers over Pasta

What I like most about the Weight Watchers Simply Filling program is that I don't have to weigh and measure or track points for foods that are on the Power Foods List.  When I cook meals that contain items that have a PointsPlus value, I usually make a smaller portion for myself in a separate pan while making Joe a larger portion in another pan.

I also cook our pasta separate.  While Joe is still eating regular white pasta, I've switched to whole grain varieties.  For Joe, I'll usually make a large pot of pasta to keep in the fridge for quick meals or lunches.  For me, pasta is a weakness and I just pile it onto my dish without thinking, so I weigh out a portion of dry pasta and only cook that single portion for myself to help keep me from over eating.  Normally, I eat two ounces of pasta, but for this meal I served three ounces.

Sausage & Peppers over Pasta
     Serves 1

  • Begin cooking pasta as directed on package, reserve 1/4 cup the cooking water before draining.
  • Cook peppers and onions over medium heat in 1/2 tsp. hot oil until they starts to get tender.
  • Stir in spinach and basil.  When it starts to wilt, add in the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, cook for about a minute longer then remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.   
  • Add the other 1/2 tsp. of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage a bit.  
  • Add the veggies back to the pan and stir in the reserved cooking water from the pasta, stir well and cook for a minute longer.  
  • Serve over pasta.  
  • This is a delicious, low PointsPlus value meal.  (2 pts. for the sausage) 
  • While this is a hearty portion, you could probably split this into two servings if you are looking for a lighter meal or serving a salad on the side.  
  • I didn't use a lot of oil in this dish.  I hate using my "indulgence points" for oils, so I keep my daily oil at the 2 tsp. recommended healthy oils.  If you've already used your recommended oils or are following the PointsPlus program, be sure to calculate points for the oil.  
  • To eliminate points completely (when following Simply Filling) use water instead of oil to cook your vegetables.  Also, skip the sausage and use a lean meat (like chicken, turkey or pork) to keep it point free.  Of course, this dish would also be delicious meat-free!  

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