While I was grocery shopping tonight, I decided that I didn’t feel like eating any of the cooked food I had waiting for me in my fridge, so I came up with this recipe on the fly. It was inspired both by the huge container of organic spinach I had in my cart (for the Green Monster Smoothies) and by the fact that the weather has turned into autumn almost overnight.
Whole Wheat Elbows with Spinach, Mushrooms x 2, & Turkey
12.5 oz whole wheat elbow pasta
1.25 lb lean ground turkey, Italian seasoning flavor
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups spinach
8oz sliced “baby bella” (crimini) mushrooms
8oz sliced white mushrooms
2 TBSP olive oil
1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella
2 TBSP parmesean cheese
red pepper flakes, to taste
black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
Nutritional: I put this into the points tracker on eTools on WW.com, and it came out to 8 servings, worth 8 points each. Since this is a meal unto itself – protein, veggies, and carbs, it’s all you need, so the higher points value shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
I decided to give the Dreamfields elbows a try, because so many people rave about them. They were good, but I didn’t notice any significant taste difference between these and my normal Barilla pasta. In fact, I think I like Barilla better.
As soon as I got home I put a pot of water on to boil. While it was ‘getting there’ I put all the groceries away, prepped the veggies, and got the meal organized.
Cook pasta until it’s al dente, or according to package directions.
While the pasta was cooking, I started browning the turkey:
I didn’t add anything except Pam to the pot, because the turkey gives off its own fat, even though it is lean.
I drained the turkey and put it aside. In the same pan I added 2 TBSP of olive oil, onions, and garlic and sauteed them until they were almost translucent. Then I added the mushrooms. I wanted a combination of the “baby bellas” (don’t you just love that name!) aka the criminis along with the regular white mushrooms, just to give a bit of variety to the dish. I love the rich, meaty texture of the criminis, but I also like the woodsy flavor of the white mushrooms. The combination of the two is perfect, to me. I added lots of black pepper and a bit of salt to the mushrooms and onions at this point.
Once the mushrooms had released all of their water, I added handfuls of spinach. I’m guessing about 6 cups. (I told you I bought a HUGE container of organic spinach!)
Doesn’t this just look healthy and hearty at the same time?!
Once the spinach wilted down, I added more black pepper.
Next comes my favorite part – add the elbow macaroni and the browned turkey to the pot and mix. I added quite a bit of red pepper flakes at this point. As I mixed it up, I decided that I wanted a bit more spinach, so I added another handful. It was at this point that I also added the mozzarella cheese, which when combined with the juice from the mushrooms, made a really nice, light cheesey sauce. No pasta dish like this is complete without some grated parmesean, so I added that at this point, too.
This looked like the ultimate comfort food to me. It made a huge amount, I’m guessing at least 8 servings.
Mangia! For a meal inspired at the grocery store, I think it turned out wonderfully. I hope you enjoy it.