Tag Archives: zucchini

Poultry

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage is packed with whole grains, protein, and vegetables. It’s a weeknight meal that will have the whole family asking for seconds!

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I could not wait to share this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe with you! I’ve made it a few times now, playing around with the ingredients and varying textures, and this last time I nailed it.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love this recipe because it doesn’t feel heavy like so many pasta dishes. In fact, there is no milk, butter, or heavy cream in the roasted red pepper sauce despite its creamy, rich flavor.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The sauce comes together easily in a mini blender or food processor. I use my Nutribullet and it works like a charm. You will have a bit of leftover sauce at the end, and you can either keep it in the fridge and use it within 3-4 days, or freeze the sauce to use at a later date.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love the convenience of chicken sausage, and think that the Applegate Chicken Apple Sausage is delicious in this recipe, but feel free to try a different brand if you can’t find that one. And if you’re vegetarian and want to leave out the chicken sausage, the pasta will still be fantastic on its own.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce*
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained (about 8 oz. drained)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 4 Tablespoons pecorino-romano, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper + more to taste
Pasta
  • 12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 chicken apple sausages, sliced ¼ inch thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into ½ inch half moons
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced thin
  • fresh basil for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and once hot add the garlic and shallot to the pan. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside for a few minutes to cool.
  2. In a small blender or food processor, combine the drained roasted red peppers, almond milk, pecorino-romano, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and the sautéed garlic and shallot. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions so it is al dente. Once al dente, strain the pasta and set aside.
  4. Bring the large skillet back to MEDIUM heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken sausage to the pan and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the sausage from the pan and place onto a large plate. Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the bell pepper, zucchini, and onion. Sauté for 6-7 minutes, then add the chicken sausage back to the pan.
  5. Turn the heat to LOW, and add the strained whole wheat pasta and about ⅔ of the roasted red pepper sauce. Toss the pasta, adding more sauce as needed to thoroughly coat all of the ingredients. Serve warm with fresh basil and pecorino-romano.
Notes
*There will be a bit of leftover sauce, and you can either keep it in the fridge and use it within 3-4 days, or freeze it to use at a later date.
 

Pin this recipe for later:

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bread and Muffins Breakfast

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

There is something about the beginning of fall that makes me dream about warm freshly baked breads. Well, to be honest, I’ve been fantasizing about zucchini bread for a few weeks now, but it has been too hot to even think about turning on my oven.

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

On Monday morning I saw I had three lonely zucchinis in the fridge just begging me to use them, so I finally sucked it up, turned on my oven, and whipped up some damned delicious zucchini bread.

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

I won’t lie. This zucchini bread had me workin’ up a sweat! After hand-grating the zucchini (which you do not have to do – I was just too lazy to take out clean the food processor) and stirring all of the ingredients, I was TIRED. It didn’t help that the thermometer in my kitchen registered 93 degrees. Oy!

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

But was it worth it? HECK YES.

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

My goal was a healthier zucchini bread that wasn’t loaded with sugar and oil, but it still had to taste great. Nothing I could find online fit the bill, so this recipe is completely my own. I subbed some oil for unsweetened applesauce to lower the fat. I reduced the sugar and added a bit of greek yogurt to help the bread stay moist (many whole wheat bread recipes turn out too dry if you don’t add enough wet ingredients).

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

I am always tempted to dig right into freshly baked breads the moment they come out of the oven, but you are supposed to let them cool for awhile. This bread smelled soooooo good and since I have about zero self-control, I had to force myself to leave the house while this was cooling for about an hour. Kinda pathetic, huh?

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

Well friends, it was worth the wait. In my incredibly biased opinion, this whole wheat zucchini bread is A++. Next time I think I am going to make this recipe into muffins as a quick grab-and-go snack! They would also make a great fall breakfast or lunchbox snack for your kids 🙂

 

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (I used non-fat Greek)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup golden raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x5 bread pan with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Shred the zucchini on a large box grater. Place the shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels. Squeeze all of the excess water out of the zucchini. This step is essential or else the bread will be too moist to cook. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine the eggs, brown sugar, apple sauce, oil, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir well. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry along with the shredded zucchini and raisins. Be careful not to over-mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then use a butter knife to remove the bread from the pan and allow it to continue cooling on the wire rack.