An easy way to switch up your standard pasta dish is to play with your food - literally - by breaking your lasagna noodles into bite-sized pieces. Cheese, chicken sausage, and a white wine sauce tie it all together for a lovely, healthy dinner!
Whenever I reflect back on my high school experiences (aka when I run into people I tangentially knew back then and they freak out and hug me and I die inside), I shudder a bit.
Now, don't get me wrong - I loved my awkward high school days. Blossoming from a strange girl who spoke too loudly through braces-bound teeth to a beautiful (?) social butterfly who got a stellar SAT score* and crushed her IB exams? What more could you ever want?
*I should probably stop bringing this up now that I've graduated college??
...a healthy relationship with food, maybe? Yeah.
Courtesy of my dance team coach aka SATAN INCARNATE, whose favorite activity was telling me I was fat on a daily basis, I developed a nasty case of orthorexia. Not as severe as anorexia - I did eat, thank God - but I would only eat foods that I deemed 'healthy.'
JUST ASK ME HOW MUCH BROCCOLI I ATE IN HIGH SCHOOL. I DARE YOU.
By the time senior year rolled around, I was mere skin and bones, had lost my period for two years, and... wait for it... hadn't eaten pasta for THREE YEARS.
Ima let that sink in. The starchy goodness that is spaghetti and meatballs, or lasagna, or tortellini, or literally ANYTHING ELSE had been absent from my life for far too long, replaced by vegetables, cottage cheese, and plain grilled chicken breasts.
I'm dying on the inside just thinking about all the missed carb-portunities. Pour one out for me, guys.
LUCKILY, the introduction of alcohol to my life in college, PLUS a torn meniscus because I was extremely undernourished, turned my life around. I discovered powerlifting and swapped out hours of cardio for yoga, and have never been stronger or happier than I am now!
And thank heavens I'm eating pasta again, because if I wasn't, I would never have experienced the goodness that is this broken pasta with chicken sausage and kale in a white wine sauce! Ohh yeah, let that sink in.
To make this dish, you will need:
- 8 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces of various sizes
- 1/2 cup kale, removed from stem and chopped
- 6 oz artichokes, chopped (I used canned)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 links chicken sausage
- 3 T butter
- 1/2 cup sauvignon blanc (or similar white wine)
First, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add the dry noodles. Let them cook for about 8 minutes, until soft.
While the water comes to a boil, steam your kale in a pan with a bit of water over medium heat, until it has wilted.
Drain the kale and added the artichokes and minced garlic. Luckily I wasn't kissing anyone after this meal, although Amanda may or may not have tried. Why you so obsessed with me, A? ;)
Allow them to sauté for a few more minutes, then remove the veggies from the heat. Grab a slightly smaller pan and add chicken sausage links. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned.
Once the sausage has browned, add it to the cooked artichoke-kale mixture, then add the butter to the pan. Let it cook over medium-high until foamy, then whisk in the sauvignon blanc (HOLLA) and the juice of half a lemon. You could also add seasonings, but my chicken sausage and artichokes were pre-seasoned, so I opted not to. Whisk this mixture for about three minutes, then add it to the veggie-sausage mixture. Drain the cooked pasta and also add that to the pan, then tossed everything to coat.
To finish, I served it up with another squirt of lemon juice and some parmesan cheese on top. Ta da! It was wonderful! And, I bet you can guess what happened to the rest of that bottle of wine...
I love you, wine. Thank you for saving me from my sad, pasta-less life!
*The tone of this post is very light because I don't think any good comes from dwelling negatively on the past; that said, eating disorders are very serious and affect a large portion of the population. If you are going through this, please reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or professional. Stay strong!