One of my favorite comfort foods is pasta. And although I have a gluten sensitivity, I still love to get my spaghetti or lasagne on every once in a while, but I use a great trick to avoid the gluten as well as the carbohydrates in pasta, and level up on the healthiness factor of this meal.
I kinda made this recipe up as I went, and it turned out pretty darn good, so I thought it was worth sharing. 🙂
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours on low in your crock pot
Serving size: 1 – 1.5 cups
Shopping List / Ingredients
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey for a leaner protein)
- 1 onion – chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper (I also used a piece of orange pepper that I had left over in the fridge)
- 2 carrots – chopped
- 2 stalks of celery – chopped
- A handful of mushrooms – chopped
- 2 cans tomato paste – try to use one that has the least number of added ingredients.
- The Italissima brand (in the photo) contains only tomatoes and salt.
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add ground beef (or turkey). Cook until the meat is browned (4-5 minutes), making sure to crumble the meat as it cooks. Drain excess fat and transfer to slow cooker.* This process helps melt off excess fat and water from the meat, which helps make it healthier before transferring it to the slow cooker.
- Get rid of the excess fat and add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet. Add vegetables to the skillet and cook until the onions are soft (about 3 minutes). This process helps release the flavours from the veggies before adding them to the slow cooker. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and herbs and seasoning to the slow cooker and mix well.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on LOW.
- Stir well and serve with your choice of pasta or zoodles.