Turkey and Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce

This hearty pasta sauce is packed full of veggies, and will keep you full well past dinner time, with turkey for protein and sweet potato for some extra carbs and nutrients. It’s a perfect addition to spiralized zucchini, and it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo. 

 This sauce is one of my favourite recipes I’ve created so far. Not only is it an amazing way to add more veggies into my diet, but I can make it at the start of the week and usually get 4 or more meals from it. It’s fairly easy to throw together – just chop all the veggies first, then everything except the spices and tomatoes go in a pot to stir fry until the turkey has browned, and then you add the tomatoes and spices and simmer until the sweet potato is soft.

My favourite ways to enjoy this sauce:

  1. On top of spiralized zucchini (zucchini noodles or “zoodles” as I like to refer to them). I used to be a bit of a pasta addict. It was my go-to meal during second year, and although it was delicious, eating it in large quantities was not doing great things to my body. After I decided to stop eating gluten because it was contributing to a lot of inflammation, I replaced my usual spaghetti with zoodles and was surprised to find that I was equally satisfied! Maybe I’m just a sucker for something you have to twirl up before you eat. Zoodles are great because you can add a lot of bulk to your meal without a ton of extra calories. This sauce is perfect for zoodles because the sweet potato provides a source of carbs, which you don’t get as much of when using zoodles instead of pasta. I use the OXO Good Grip Hand Held Spiralizer to make my zoodles, which I’ve found works well for zucchini – I haven’t tried it using other veggies.

  2. On top of gluten-free pasta. This is a more traditional use for pasta sauce, and it is definitely delicious! Catelli makes excellent gluten-free noodles. Pictured below is my sauce on top of Catelli’s gluten-free fusilli.

One thing that’s great about this sauce is that it tastes delicious cold (at least I think so) so I can take it to campus for lunch, and don’t have to worry about finding a microwave to heat it up.

Monday Eats

Zoodles and this pasta sauce were the way I ended my day today, but my other two meals were also very delicious.

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with yellow pepper, onion, and homemade salsa; roasted potatoes; tomato slices.

I made some salsa at the start of the week in my food processor from a recipe I found online, and although it was edible, it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  So next week I’m going to experiment more to try and develop my own salsa recipe! I like making my own salsa because salsas from stores often contain a lot of salt. My skin is really sensitive to the amount of salt I put in my body, so I like to reduce sodium whenever possible.

Lunch

Salad with roasted chicken, chopped Granny Smith apple, cucumber, celery, and lettuce. Topped with apple cider vinegar for dressing.

Before I left campus after my last class, I went to the gym and did a full-body circuit workout. I’ve been experimenting with Tabata-style workouts lately; today’s workout consisted of three circuits made up of 4 exercises in each circuit. Each circuit had a specific focus (lower body, upper body, abs), and combined a variety of bodyweight, cardio, and free weight moves. I’ll be posting some of my favourite circuit workouts soon!

I definitely had a large helping of sauce on top of my zoodles to refuel after my challenging workout!

Print Recipe
Turkey and Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add celery, carrot, sweet potato, and ground turkey. Stir with a spatula to combine the vegetables and break up the turkey. Continue stir-frying until the turkey has browned (about 15 minutes).
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and basil. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer and turn the heat down to low. Continue to simmer the sauce until the sweet potato has softened (approximately 30-45 minutes).

How to Poach an Egg

Growing up, poached eggs were (and still are), my dad’s specialty. He’d put them on everything, from traditional toast or English muffin, to pancakes and oatmeal (eeek!) Although I never took him up on his offers to make the latter two options, I have gotten a little more creative with my uses for poached eggs – I’ll often put them on top of roasted veggies (typically sweet potato or cauliflower), or I’ll top my salad off with an egg for some extra protein.

Being able to poach an egg is a good skill to have as a university student – eggs cooked this way are versatile, quick to make, and delicious! Poaching your eggs is also a healthy way to consume eggs, as poaching does not require the addition of fats or oils. Recipes featuring poached eggs will definitely appear on my blog in the future, so I figured it was best to start off with a little lesson on how to successfully prepare your eggs this way. Below I have included a recipe for a salad I eat frequently for lunch. This salad allows me to get some green veggies into my diet, while the sweet potato provides a source of carbohydrates, healthy fat comes from the avocado, and a poached egg on top provides protein. The recipe below includes step-by-step poaching instructions. I have also included instructions to make a simple dressing with balsamic vinegar; however, I often just have this salad dressed with apple cider vinegar.

One thing to note: some instructions for poached eggs suggest adding a splash of vinegar to the water you cook the eggs in, the reason being that the vinegar causes the egg whites to firm up faster, preventing them from spreading around in the water. Because I didn’t have any vinegar in my house when I first started poaching eggs, I’ve just been using boiling water, and my eggs generally turn out very well.

Print Recipe
Sweet Potato and Green Salad w/Poached Egg
This is the perfect salad to have as a balanced lunch, allowing you to get some extra servings of veggies into your diet!
Course Lunch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Course Lunch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Instructions
  1. Peel a sweet potato and chop into small cubes. Toss in cooking oil and sprinkle with salt (or garlic salt if you have it). Using a toaster oven or conventional oven, bake sweet potato at 400ºF for 25 minutes.
  2. While sweet potato is cooking, tear lettuce and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Dice cucumber and slice celery stalks. Add on top of the lettuce.
  4. Carve avocado into small pieces and add to the top of the salad.
  5. Mix dressing: add ingredients for dressing to a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
  6. When the sweet potato is cooked, remove from oven and add to top of salad. I usually flatten out the layer of sweet potato to create a bed to set the poached egg on. Add dressing to salad, and then cook egg using the method described below.
How to Poach an Egg
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, so the water is simmering.
  2. Crack an egg into a small bowl, being careful to keep the yolk intact (if the yolk breaks you can save it in the fridge and use it in an omelette or scrambled egg another day).
  3. When your water is simmering, use a spoon and stir the water quickly to create a “whirlpool” in the centre of the pot.
  4. Then, putting the bowl close to the water, pour the egg into the centre of the whirlpool. The egg will spin a bit before settling on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Set a timer for 3.5 minutes if you want your yolk to be runny, and increase the time if you want a firmer yolk.
  6. After 3.5 minutes have elapsed, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg from the pot and place the egg on the salad, on top of the sweet potato.