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This is one of my go-to meals for when I realize it’s after 6PM and there’s nothing to eat for dinner yet. Yes, it’s a pasta dish but it’s also 1/2 good stuff too! Carbs get a bad wrap from some folks, but I don’t care because I know that I’m one grumpy chica if there’s nothing in my tummy but veggies and protein; carbs are what make me feel well fed in a way that other foods don’t.

To me, carbs are rice (brown over white), pasta (depends on the sauce, but regular and whole wheat both have their place), bead, corn, and potatoes. Seriously, it’s not a meal to me if none of those things is present. I was NOT a happy camper during phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. Also, it is expensive to fill up on non-starchy foods. Per serving grains and starchy foods are relatively cheap compared to veg and protein, even organic grains and starches!

Anyway, here’s my newest recipe that is SUPER simple and only takes as long as it takes to boil water and make a box of pasta (about 30 minutes for me).

Kale Chorizo Skillet Dinner

  • 1 box (12 oz) of WHOLE WHEAT PENNE*
  • 1 box (10 oz) FROZEN CHOPPED KALE
  • 1/2 package (6-8 oz) SOY CHORIZO SAUSAGE (chopped up, if in link form)
  • 3 cloves GARLIC, sliced
  • 1 Tbl OLIVE OIL
  • 1/4 cup REDUCED-FAT COLBY JACK CHEESE, shredded
  • bonus ingredients: SMOKED SALT
  1. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil (I used a 4 qt sauce pan). You don’t want to use your largest pot because you want the water to be super starchy. Get your pasta in there as soon as it comes to a boil. Don’t forget to set a timer for the pasta according to your packaging!
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium.
  3. Defrost your kale in the microwave, give that “defrost” button a try!
  4. Sautee the garlic until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the chorizo to the skillet, chopping it up with your spatula, keep stirring frequently.
  6. Once the chorizo is heated through (it may or may not start to brown), add the defrosted kale (drain off any water present before adding kale).
  7. Just before the pasta timer goes off, and you’ve got your colander set to drain the pasta, add a few tablespoons of pasta water to the kale chorizo mixture, stir.
  8. Drain the pasta, combine in the skillet with the kale chorizo mixture.
  9. Serve topped with a sprinkle of cheese and smoked salt.

Serve immediately and goes well with your favorite rosé or cervesa/light beer!

Serves 6. 6 Weight Watchers Points+ per serving.

*Ben was the cook tonight and couldn’t find the whole wheat penne behind the regular penne in the cupboard, oops. I thought that it wasn’t as good as the last time we made it because it was a) lacking in the slight nuttiness of the whole wheat pasta and b) there is more regular pasta in a box (16 oz rather that 12-13.25) so the add-ins were more sparsely distributed. Oh well.

And while I still have your attention, I’d like to compose a mini love letter to my Cuisinart Ceramic Nonstick pans and dutch oven. After a few years of use they’re getting some nicks around the edges of the pans (either from moving or knocking around in the drying rack) but they cook so wonderfully! If you’re looking for teflon-free nonstick these are my #1 recommendation.

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