I tried playing around with fennel a few times last year to use up what we got in our CSA, but I have to admit, I sort of hated it. That’s why I was *so excited* when I made this dish and it turned out to be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The original recipe is more of a side item with no protein except the cheese, but I wanted to use up some of the sausage I had in the freezer. I’ve made this dish twice using two different kinds of sausage– Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage first and sweet Italian sausage the second time. I would highly recommend the former, as odd as it may seem. Both times were delicious, but there was something extra rich about the breakfast sausage that just felt so savory and plain yummy. The other plug I’ll make for this dish is that it makes *excellent* leftovers for lunch at work the next couple of days.
(Adapted from Simply in Season Greek Fennel Skillet)
1/2 lb sausage (breakfast or sweet Italian)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb avocado oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced
1 large onion, julienned
1 Tb lemon juice
3 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (if you want to go super Greek, you can use feta instead)
1/2 cup olives (I used garlic stuffed ones)
1.) In a medium sized pan, brown sausage.
2.) In a large frying pan saute garlic in olive oil for about a minute.
3.) Add fennel and onion and saute until tender, 5-10 minutes.
4.) Add lemon juice and tomatoes and cook over medium heat until part of liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Pepper to taste. Partway through, add in the sausage.
5.) Stir in cheese.
6.) Slice olives 3/4 of the way through and fan olives out as a garnish on top.
Weight Watchers Points: 9
This one I’m really proud of. It was incredibly delicious, made use of tons of random stuff we had on hand, and was a 100% original creation of my mind. I hope you love it as much as we did! Also, it made excellent leftovers for lunch at work the next day!
Note: You can totally get creative with this, and even leave out the kielbasa, but it really gives the sauce an incredible flavor. If you can get your hands on the Costco kielbasa links (they were recently sampling them at our Costco, and they were *so good* we had to get them), that’s what I used and it was amazing.
Summer Vegetable Pasta with Kielbasa
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
4 cups whole wheat pasta (I used linguini)
1 clove garlic
1 Tb avocado oil
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
1 link kielbasa (ours is like large hot dog size, from Costco)
2 cups bottled pasta sauce
2 Tb heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, shredded
1.) Cook pasta according to instructions.
2.) Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add whole grape tomatoes and cover, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
3.) Add zucchini and summer squash to skillet. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Add kielbasa to skillet after a few minutes.
4.) Pour bottled pasta sauce over veggies and meat, stirring uncovered and continuing to cook to heat the sauce through. Add heavy whipping cream and stir to combine.
5.) Dish up pasta and sauce, then sprinkle with desired amount of cheese.
Nutrition: Unfortunately, since this was all in my head and I didn’t do the math, I don’t have the full nutrition facts.
Weight Watchers Points: 14 (Totally worth it!)
3/4 lb steak, cut into pieces
1 Tb grapeseed oil
4 cups napa cabbage, chopped
1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup garlic scapes, chopped
1 large red radish, sliced (thick)
1 1/2 Tb Stir fry sauce
1.) In a wok, cook the steak until medium doneness. Remove from wok and keep warm.
2.) Add grapeseed oil to wok and let heat briefly. Then add garlic scales and cook about 1 minute.
3.) Add radish, napa cabbage, and radish and toss to cover in oil and garlic. Then cover and cook, tossing frequently with a wooden spoon.
4.) When the vegetables are mostly cooked down and wilted, add stir fry sauce to the top edges of wok and toss then vegetables to coat.
5.) Add steak and toss to combine.
Total time: About 30 minutes
We were bigs fans of this meal, especially since we used some quality meat. I think I would redo this with a bit more stir fry sauce and rice next time around and that would really make this a total meal.