Sneaky Pasta Bolognese


Hey hey!!


Hope you had a lovely long weekend if you were celebrating like us here in Canada. We had THE most glorious weather in Montreal and it had me jonesing for all things BBQ, sparkling bevvies (ie: San Pelagrino, wish I could actually have bubbly right now!), and outdoor activities under the sun!


We hit up new parks and splash pads, which Aiden loved, and mommy got to work on making the jungle in the backyard a bit prettier. Which let me just reiterate, as much as I LOVE gardening, I am such a novice and totally keep underestimating how long things take. I thought weeding around the peonies would take an hour, well 2.5 hours later I was done and totally spent. No additional workout needed!


We also totally indulged with pie, ice cream and homemade electrolyte popsicles, which if you still haven't tried you absolutely MUST! It's a healthy alternative when you're craving sweet treat (and it's actually good for you!). I use AMPED Hydrate by Isagenix, which is sugar-free and so so tasty. You gotta try the blue raspberry and lemon-lime, and PS the kids LOVE this stuff! (Use the link to snag 25% off yours)


Ok, after all that good food now we're getting right back on track, and what better way than this healthy and sneaky bolognese recipe?! It's loaded with veggies, and if you're kiddos are picky-eaters I've got a fool-proof way you can ensure they gobble this meal right up.


If you try it, make sure to leave me a comment below and let me know how you and the fam liked it. Your feedback helps me fine-tune my recipes so that more families fall in love with healthy eating :)

Enjoy!


Sneaky Pasta Bolognese

Prep time: 20min | Cook time: 20min | Total time: 40min

Servings: 6


Ingredients:

  • 454g (1lb) extra-lean ground beef*

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 5 stalks celery, diced

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced/sliced

  • 227g (8-oz) button mushrooms, washed and sliced

  • 142g baby spinach box

  • fresh basil, large handful, roughly chopped

  • 1 jar (650ml) pasta sauce

  • 500g whole grain fusili or spaghetti pasta*


Instructions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and once hot, add onions and sauté until translucent and soft.

  2. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink.

  3. While meat is cooking, prep the veggies, then add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms to the pot. Season with more salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

  4. In a large pot, add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then add pasta noodles. Cook until noodles are al dente. Drain and rinse, and set aside.

  5. As you wait for the noodles to cook, add the pasta sauce to the meat and stir. Test the flavor and adjust with more spices as you need.

  6. Add the baby spinach and fresh basil, large handfuls at a time, and stir until everything is wilted.

  7. Make it "sneaky": using an immersion blender (or take 1/3 and pulse in a large blender), pulse the sauce until the veggies are a bit pureed, hiding them in the sauce (muahahahaha!).

  8. Make your plate: 1 cupped handful pasta with 2 ladles pasta sauce.


*NOTES:

  • DON'T WANT RED MEAT? Substitute ground chicken or turkey instead.

  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Substitute rice pasta for regular pasta.

  • WEIGHT/FAT-LOSS GOAL: Serve up 1/2 cupped handful pasta, and 2 ladles pasta sauce.

  • MAKE IT VEGETARIAN/VEGAN: Substitute the ground beef for 1-2 cans of lentils for a healthy protein serving.



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