Over the last two years I have been slowly making changes to my family’s diet, switching slowly over to more fresh ingredients and eliminating nearly everything that is prepackaged and premade with all those ingredients that are horrible for your body. You have to make these changes slowly, you can’t do this to your loved ones all at once, or their bodies go into shock and they freak out and turn into monsters. Well, not really, but you would think so when you tell them some of the things you won’t be buying at the store anymore. Panic sets in and they start twitching in the aisles.
I am very happy with the progression of this whole process, especially how much better we are eating and just knowing what we are putting into our bodies is making them feel good. I have cut out soda almost entirely (if it wasn’t for those occasional mixed drinks, I wouldn’t drink it at all) and after my coffee in the morning all I drink is water. It has made my body so happy that when I drink anything else it doesn’t even come close to satisfying me. I cook with so many fresh ingredients that about 3/4 of my grocery cart is from the produce section. In order to save money in the long run and to guarantee that what we are eating comes from non genetically modified plants, we planted our own garden last weekend. 36 varieties of Fruits, vegetables and herbs. I am going to do an entire post about that soon.
Because I have always purchased my meats in bulk and have saved so much money, switching the meat we eat to free range and organic varieties has been the last thing I have changed. Until this past week when I started buying that type of meat. I bought some of the Greenwise chicken from Publix and made this amazing dish. We rarely eat anything but boneless skinless chicken breasts, but I decided to get a little crazy and get some drumsticks and thighs. I was amazed at how tender the meat was and how much better it tasted than the non-orgnanic stuff we always eat. So, yesterday I went to Whole Foods to check out what they had there. I felt like a kid in a candy store! The produce department and the meat department were amazing. I could easily spend a small fortune in there.
I purchased some boneless, skinless chicken thighs, ground beef, chicken breasts and this amazing cilantro, pepper chicken sausage. I couldn’t wait to come up with a new recipe to go with it. Last night we had the thighs in an oriental style dish and the chicken was the best I have EVER had. I was so impressed. Yes, buying this type of meat is a little more expensive than you are used to, BUT, it is so much better for you (not to mention the better life of the animals) and tastes so much better that I can justify spending that amount. Plus, when you quit going out to eat fast food or to restaurants all the time, you’ll be amazed at all that extra money you have.
I won’t go into all of the other reasons why I want to go to organic, non-GMO foods and buy only this kind of meat from now on, but if your interested, I recommend watching the show Food, Inc. Then you can do your own additional research. I lost a total of 30 pounds after a bad car accident I was in 2 years ago and I have been able to keep all of that weight off. I am convinced that it has had EVERYTHING to do with all of the changes we are making in the food we are eating.
Now, to the good part. The recipe for this new dish. Everyone loved it, even little Miss Picky Pants, who only eats like 6 things. I still don’t understand how this girl lives in a house where amazing meals are cooked every day and only wants to eat a few things. Thank goodness she won’t be a toddler forever. If she was, it’s possible I could have a complete nervous breakdown, or maybe I already have…
Cilantro Chicken Sausage and Pasta
- 1.5 pounds cilantro/pepper chicken sausage
- 2 tbs grapeseed oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
- 1 cup red, yellow and orange bell peppers, diced
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 10 oz egg noodles (or your favorite pasta)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp white or brown sugar (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Remove chicken sausage from casings and crumble into a large skillet.
Cook over medium heat, breaking up the chicken into small pieces, until turns white. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place skillet back over medium heat and add your oil. Then add your peppers and onion, along with salt and pepper. Cook until veggies have softened and just start to caramelize.
Then add in your can of crushed tomatoes. Stir it around while you scrape off all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan.
I usually add in a little bit of sugar here just to balance out some of the acidity of the tomatoes, but you can leave this out. Then add the sausage back in. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Add your fresh cilantro and stir to combine.
Drain pasta and set aside and then remove meat mixture from heat. Serve over pasta.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. This sausage was amazing and so fresh. The next time I get some, I am going to grill it, put it on a bun and top it with some mango salsa!
The dish looks delicious!What I really enjoyed about this post though, was reading the earlier part about all the efforts you’ve gone to try to switch over to a more wholesome, organic lifestyle. I believe that’s the way to health, and even though I’m just a student in uni with a tight budget, I find it very possible to do so as long as we set out minds to it! even better that the food tastes so much fresher and better!
I couldn’t agree with you more! We all agree that all of the meats we have tried from Whole Foods are WAY better than anything else we have eaten. When you quit eating out and eating fast foods, you have more money to spend on food that is better for you. If you can do it as a student, then anyone can do it! Thanks for sharing with me!