Recipe: 30 Minute Meals Are Nice… 20 Minute Meals Are Even Better

As much as I love to cook, sometimes, just like everybody else, I don’t want to. And for those times I am so thankful to have a few shortcuts on hand.

Last night I pulled this lovely, delicious and healthy dinner together in 20 minutes, no lie. I guess the stars were all properly aligned, because when I went to the kitchen I had no idea what we were having. I was simply not prepared. But then I remembered, I saved the extra penne pasta from the other night in a ziploc baggie. And, that extra kale that my daughter asked me to bake today – I didn’t – simply because it was wayyyy too hot to turn on an oven. So add those two ingredients to some turkey sausage, season with a bit of creativity and voila! Dinner!!!

These measurements are estimates because I don’t usually measure. And feel free to substitute kale with spinach, penne with linguine, sausage with tofu, whatever. I just used what I had on hand.

Penne Pasta with Kale and Sausage – Serves 3, or maybe 4 if nobody is ravenous.

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil
1 c turkey sausage sliced
1/2 small onion thinly sliced
1/2 red or green bellpepper sliced
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup chicken stock

3 c kale – torn
2 c whole wheat or brown rice penne or other pasta – cooked
thyme – fresh or dried
red pepper flakes

Heat about a tablespoon of the oil in a skillet on med high heat. Add sausage and cook a bit to brown. Add onion and peppers and continue to cook until veggies are slightly softened. Add the garlic and allow it to cook briefly – garlic burns quickly so be really brief. Then add half of the chicken stock and kale. Cook until the kale is wilted. Add pasta and the rest of the stock. Stir to coat and warm the pasta. Season with a bit of fresh or dried thyme and red pepper flakes – to your liking. You may or may not want to add salt and pepper. I found with the chicken stock and the sausage I didn’t need salt. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and enjoy!

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