Oh Italian food, how I love you! Let me count thy ways! (Ok, I’m not gonna count anything, Math is hard 🙂 )
I work in an Italian restaurant, Mike is Italian, yet I have little to no experience in cooking Italian food (unless you count spaghetti or lasagna!) I honestly don’t even know that much about it (shhh…don’t tell anyone!) besides what I’ve learned working these past few months. Before we moved to California our Italian food restaurants were very limited and well, not actually worth going to, so that’s my excuse! 🙂 I have however, had the full fat version of this dish, and LOVED it, but felt so incredibly guilty with each bite! Let’s see how this one stacks up to this simple Italian dish!
PER SERVING (entire recipe) 295 calories, 8.25g fat, 905mg sodium, 35g carbs, 7.25g fiber, 18g sugar, 22g protein
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/4 cups thickly sliced onion
1 1/2 cups thickly sliced red and green bell peppers (for pictures sake, I wish I had green bell peppers, but for tastes sake I used yellow and orange)
1 precooked 3-ounce chicken or meatless sausage link with 8g of fat or less, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (I didn’t want to go meatless since yesterdays dinner was meatless, and couldn’t find any chicken links low in fat, so I went with lean turkey kielbasa, close enough right?)
Optional: Salt and black pepper
Combine crushed tomatoes, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl, and stir well. Set aside.
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 4 minutes, until veggies are slightly softened. (A few suggestions for those making this at home: 1. Add the onions and peppers at the same time, in my opinion they both cook at the same rate. 2. I don’t know why this recipe suggests the peppers and onions to be thickly sliced, I honestly would have preferred them pretty thinly sliced, maybe it’s just me)
Add sausage and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until heated.
Add tomatoes and stir. Once heated, season to taste with salt and black pepper (or not). Now chew!
My first bite reaction: Um, these peppers are too thick!
Mike’s first bite reaction: I’ve never had this dish with tomato sauce, it’s different but (wait for it…………………….) I like it!
Taste: Like Mike said, it is different having the veggies and sausage smothered in tomato sauce, but it works! In restaurants they usually saute with oil and wine (adding extra fat and calories) I like the addition of extra vitamins from cooked tomatoes! Besides the fact that I really was wanting thinly sliced peppers this was a great low-fat swap! I really liked the large dose of oregano flavor. Made me add less salt (oh my!)
Texture: I’ll only say this one more time, don’t thickly slice your peppers. The texture would have been so much better if everything was more uniformly thin!
Creativity: This gets 4 out of 5 for creativity for adding tomatoes instead of fat and calories! It’s a super simple yet delicious comfort food dish!
Satisfaction: 6 weight watcher points? (Mine might have been less since my kielbasa only had 2g of fat per 2 ounce serving) I wasn’t fully satisfied. I do like though that it was loaded with at least 3 servings of vegetables! I ate it with steamed broccoli and was ever so slightly wanting more! 2 out of 5. (Mainly because it was so high in weight watcher points!)
Would Mike make it himself? Probably not. Would he eat it again if I made it? Only if I cut the veggies smaller. And maybe if I actually used a sausage instead of kielbasa. (I like kielbasa, screw you Mike. Haha! I’m Polish, kielbasa is our “thing”! Since he’s Italian sausage is his “thing”!)
What’s your favorite Italian dish?