I love to cook, but this Whole30 business has me at the limits of enjoying my time in the kitchen. If I didn’t get bored eating the same thing so easily, it would be easier because I would just make huge batches of things and eat them for several meals in a row. Unfortunately, I’m not that
I’m still not feeling all that different to be honest. Whole30-ers speak of “tiger blood,” but I haven’t really experienced much of that. I do have less of that afternoon crash, and I have been sleeping amazingly well. I am still really craving a big hunk of artisan bread and a craft beer, so that’s pretty much the same as usual. Grant and I love going out to local restaurants, and now the thought just gives me a headache because of all the thought I would have to put into my order (and how tempting all of the other stuff would be). All of that to say that while I am enjoying some benefits (my clothes feel better), this definitely isn’t a way of life for me. I made this orange blueberry cake for a Project Eden event last week that I’m dying to share here, but I didn’t have any of it so I can’t, which means I’ll have to make it again after the 30 days is up. And I can’t wait!
Back to the spicy red sauce. This sauce is one of my go-to recipes all year long. It comes together fast and is a bit of a comfort food for me. It works well over spaghetti squash (or zucchini “noodles” in the summertime) or regular pasta when we’re eating grains. I even use it on pizza and stromboli. Add it to your repertoire and make it your own!
- 1 onions, diced
- 1-2 sweet peppers, sliced
- 1 pound happy ground pork (or Italian sausage)
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fennel
- 2 tsp oregano
- 3 oz tomato paste (half of a small can of tomato paste - you can freeze the other half)
- 1/2 cup red wine (I replaced with water for Whole30)
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic powder (or 2-3 garlic cloves, minced)
- Salt and pepper
- Saute onions over medium heat in a large saucepan. When the onions are translucent, add ground pork and continue cooking.
- Once the meat has browned, add the peppers. Cook for a few minutes more.
- Add garlic, spices, and tomato paste. Cook until the spices are fragrant (a couple minutes).
- I hate using separate pans when it isn't necessary, but I like to saute the mushrooms in a separate pan with some fat, garlic, and salt and pepper because they crisp up better. Feel free to try it both ways - either put them in the pan with the onions or do them separate - and see which you like better. After the mushrooms release all of their liquid and they have begun to get a little crispy, I dump them into the main saucepan. I like to use a bit of wine/water in the mushroom pan to make sure I get any leftover bits (and flavor) from the pan.
- Add the red wine or water to the main saucepan, and continue stirring until the liquid cooks down a bit - about 3-5 minutes.
- Cook at a low simmer for an additional twenty minutes or so and serve. Add more wine/water if you like a thinner sauce and add less if you like a thicker sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Split the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds into your compost bin, and put a teaspoon or two of extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper into each half on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Once the squash cools a bit, use a fork to shred the spaghetti squash into a bowl.
- Serve into bowls, and ladle some of the red sauce on top.
A SarabytheSeason original.
P.S. I’m posting this today because it’s my dad’s birthday (happy birthday, Pops!), and his birthday meal is nearly always spaghetti with meat sauce.