ZOODLES WITH TURKEY BOLOGNESE

Turkey Bolognese on Zucchini Pasta

When you’re craving the comfort food that is pasta, remember this glorious recipe. Using zucchini for the pasta makes for a guilt-free way to savor the flavors of Italy without destroying your blood sugar levels. Even whole wheat pasta will result in blood sugar spikes, but the “zooders” will not. Lean ground turkey and healing broth give this dish a low-fat but filling flavor profile.

One does not have to look far to find doctors and other medical sites recommending diabetics eat whole wheat pasta. This “conventional wisdom” is poor nutritional advice at its best. Reading the label of any whole wheat pasta will show carbohydrate amounts as high, or higher, than white pasta. The higher the amount of carbs, the greater your blood sugar will spike. Whole wheat pasta can also hide countless low-quality ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar or cellulose, a filler made from sawdust. Avoid the marketing health claims on packaged products and go directly for whole foods, like zucchini, to avoid being duped.

Allergens and substitutions: To avoid dairy omit the parmesan cheese and replace the butter with olive oil. To avoid the almonds omit from the recipe.

 

HEALING BENEFITS

Turkey is an excellent source of lean meat. A 4 oz (1/4 lb) piece of turkey meat can provide 65% of your daily protein needs. Turkey has vitamin B6 and B12, selenium and tryptophan. Since tryptophan is one of the building blocks for serotonin, it can cause sleepiness after eating. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and believed to be a contributor to our well-being and happiness. Only buy turkey (and poultry) that is raised without antibiotics to get truly healthy meat.

 

Broth made from the bones of animals raised on a healthy diet provides deep rich flavor to recipes and countless nutritional benefits. Simmering the bones over low heat for hours brings out high amounts of rich collagen, providing for stronger bones, full-bodied hair and superior skin health. Store bought broth is much lower in nutrients compared to homemade broth. Save all your animal bones from past meals in your freezer and make a batch of bone broth every few weeks. Your body will thank you for it. Here’s our recipe for browned bone broth.

 

PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER

Follow the instructions below to make this healing meal. If you are in a hurry you can skip the optional steps of browning the meat and onion in a pan. Taking the extra 15 minutes to brown the meat and onion will develop more complex flavors to the dish.

It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.

Zoodles Turkey bolognese ingredientsOptional: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add half the butter or ghee to melt for 15 seconds. Add just the ground turkey to the pan. You can use a potato masher or wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller pieces while it browns. After the meat has browned (~7-10 minutes) add it to the crock pot. Reusing the same skillet, add the remaining butter or ghee to the pan. Once melted, add the onion to brown for another 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the browned onions to the crock pot.

If you’re using homemade bone broth it will have more flavor than the store-bought variety. Always dilute your bone broth 1:1. Since it is much more concentrated, use 1 cup of bone broth and 1 cup of water in place of the 2 cups of store-bought broth.

The best store-bought broth at Trader Joe’s is the Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. The other selections contain some poor quality ingredients, such as dextrose, cane sugar, caramel color and yeast extract (read: MSG). Choose carefully since this food stuff can go from a healing food to a toxic one.

If you skipped the optional steps above, simply add all the ingredients to your crock pot except the zucchini, almonds and the optional parmesan and basil. Mix the ingredients as much as possible and set the temperature to high. Cover it for one hour then thoroughly stir the ingredients. Make sure the ground turkey gets broken up into small pieces. Return the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Remove the optional thyme branches before serving.

 

While the bolognese is simmering away in the crock pot, you can prep the zukes. You can spiralize all 4X of the zukes and store for later use. Typically, I will reheat the sauce in one pan then lightly sear the zucchini noodles (zoodles) in a separate pan with ~1 tbsp of butter or olive oil. These gourds release a fair amount of water that needs to be cooked off before combining with the sauce. You can skip the two pan method and just add the zoodles to one pan with the sauce, but expect a watery bowl of pasta/soup. If you do not have a spiralizer you can use a julienne peeler or just a plain potato peeler. A potato peeler will make something more like a ribbon noodle or fettuccine. While Dr Valerie always points out that my spiralizer is a one-trick pony, I always argue that we use it at least once per week, so it justifies it’s space in the cupboard. Store your zoodles in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Zoodles Spiralizing Zucchini

 

When the bolognese sauce has simmered to perfection after a few hours, add the ground almonds into the crock pot. You can use a spice grinder or cleaned out coffee grinder to make coarse almond flour. Using nuts in a red sauce is quite common in Spain and Italy. It thickens the sauce and adds healthy fats and protein to the sauce.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, prep just the noodles you would like to eat. Cook them over medium heat for ~5 minutes with some butter. They will release some water. Once that water has cooked off, add a few ladles of the sauce and the crushed almonds. Mix and serve with the optional parmesan cheese and torn fresh basil.

ZOODLES WITH TURKEY BOLOGNESE
 
Prep time
Cook time
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When you're craving the comfort food that is pasta, remember this glorious recipe. Using zucchini for the pasta makes for a guilt-free way to savor the flavors of Italy without destroying your blood sugar levels. Even whole wheat pasta will result in blood sugar spikes, but the "zooders" will not. Lean ground turkey and healing broth give this dish a low-fat but filling flavor profile.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Ground Turkey, NO ANTIBIOTICS, 1.5 lb
  • Zucchini, Spiralized, 4X (1.7lb)
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes in a Can 15 oz (1 can)
  • Chicken Broth, Free Range, 3 cups
  • Onion, Yellow, Diced ½X
  • Whole Almonds, Unsalted, Ground ¼ cup
  • Garlic, 2 Cloves or 2 tsp Powder
  • Celery Stalks, Diced, ORGANIC 2X
  • Salt, ¼ tsp
  • Black Pepper, ½ tsp
  • Red Wine 1 cup
  • Ghee or Butter 3 tbsp
  • Optional: Red Chili Flakes ½ tsp
  • Optional: Parmesan Cheese, 4 tbsp
  • Optional: Fresh Basil, ~1 cup
Instructions
  1. Optional: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add half the butter or ghee to melt for 15 seconds. Add just the ground turkey to the pan. You can use a potato masher or wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller pieces while it browns. After the meat has browned (~7-10 minutes) add it to the crock pot.
  2. Optional: Reusing the same skillet, add the remaining butter or ghee to the pan. Once melted, add the onion to brown for another 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the browned onions to the crock pot.
  3. If you skipped the optional steps above, simply add all the ingredients to your crock pot except the zucchini, almonds and the optional parmesan and basil. Mix the ingredients as much as possible and set the temperature to high. Cover it for one hour then thoroughly stir the ingredients. Make sure the ground turkey gets broken up into small pieces. Return the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Remove the optional thyme branches before serving.
  4. Spiralize all 4X of the zukes and store for later use. If you do not have a spiralizer you can use a julienne peeler or just a plain potato peeler. A potato peeler will make something more like a ribbon noodle or fettuccine.
  5. Heat the zucchini in 1 tbsp butter for 3-5 minutes to release the water. Add some of the bolognese to the pan and some of the almonds. Mix and reheat. Serve with optional parmesan and basil.

 

Photo by Fotolia.[/two_third]

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