Kale and Turkey Sausage Pasta

Before we go any further I want to give kudos to the recipe owner Kirsten Morningstar from Beachbodyondemand.com. I’m sure it is a great site, but I legitimately just looked around on Pinterest for a long time and found the tastiest, easiest and hopefully not too strong of a dish to drown out the kale flavors I want to try. The original recipe can be found here with measurements and directions included. If it looks good, check it out!

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This is all you need for this pasta and even the parmesan is totally optional to sprinkle on at the end. As you can tell I love to eat cheap since I have two store brand items, reduced meat, the pasta was on clearance and I already had a red onion on hand so I was just going to use that. If you peel and chop fresh garlic whenever you cook, I will send your medal in the mail, but I am too impatient for that and use it too often to not have a jar of the stuff already chopped on hand. You can replace the sweet peppers with one bell pepper too, which is what the recipe calls for anyway, the store was out of bell peppers when I went though.

A word on including meat in this. I want this blog to be completely focused on fruits and vegetables, but I am not a vegetarian. We tried to be for a few months and could not keep up with it, I applaud those who have that willpower. Some vegetables, like kale, I feel like I may have a tough time trying for the first time so I want it to blend in with things I like as much as possible without losing it completely.

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I was still hesitant about chopping this stuff up, because I mean look at how scrunched up all the leaves are! You just want the leafy bits on kale so you have to slice the stems away. I thought the easiest way would be to just hold it as flat as I could and slice.

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What I learned two minutes ago after already chopping and cooking everything is to fold the leaf in half so you get two cuts at once. Afterwards, to chop up the leaf you roll it up like a cigar and slice it. Again, I am just now learning this so just get it off the stem and then chop up the leaves and it will work out just fine.

When you chop kale though, it somehow gets everywhere, or should I say when chop kale because I’m not the best prep person. My cutting board was covered in little bitty green bits, it got in the floor, on the counter, I even found the dogs playing with some (I can’t even get them to eat vegetables). I felt like I was dealing with the child of broccoli and kudzu because it had spread everywhere in my kitchen.

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I doubled the original recipe so I could have meals to take to work and so I would’t have to split packages to use later. I had to use two bundles of kale and I filled the biggest bowl I own to fit all of it. I knew it would reduce later, but looking at it standing so tall and puffy even after I had pushed it down a bit worried me. I am here to try kale and I had plenty, so I pushed on and added it to the skillet.

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I didn’t really know when to stop cooking so I went ahead and plated after it shrunk a significant amount.

It had a really nice crunch to it, but not like a bread stick or something fried, but almost a chewy crunchy that I like. It wasn’t rubbery like I thought it would be after looking at it but overall a surprisingly pleasant texture.

Taste? Couldn’t taste it really.

Before I ate a bite of everything together I picked out a piece of just kale and the best I could tell was maybe like broccoli, but that will probably change. It wasn’t bitter, sweet or grassy tasting and I could actually taste the peppers more than anything and I didn’t even double them from the original recipe. The notion of being able to incorporate more greens into tasty stuff like this is exciting really. I bet you could put this in any pasta dish you already make and it would just blend right in and give an extra texture for people to enjoy and maybe they can unknowingly try out a new vegetable.

Author: Olivia O.

East Tennessee native with an interest in food and trying new things.

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