Turkey Bolognese with Carrot & Zucchini Noodles

I have not abandoned my blog – it sure seems like I have, but I haven’t! This year has been a wonderful whirlwind so far – traveling (I went to Las Vegas for the first time… Wow, is that town crazy, and also to Southern California) , I’ve been working and freelancing (visual merchandising), plus, I joined a boxing gym in March – Title Boxing!

I am NOT athletic by nature (I had a friend tell me once I run like a duck – whatever the hell that means), but I’m in love with this gym, and actually look forward to working out. Everyone is so welcoming and warm to anyone who joins, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. My co-worker and I both signed up together, plus I have a close family friend who attends, therefore I’m held accountable – which is something I need.

About a month and a half into boxing, I got on the scale and got extremely frustrated with myself when I didn’t see the progress I had been aiming towards. I’ve been eating “healthy-ish” the past few months, but definitely have been allowing myself too many “treat yo’self” or “cheat” days. I’m a firm believer in allowing yourself cheat meals (otherwise you’ll go insane)  BUT, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should not be a three day cheat feast… I’ve been eating a lot stricter, and am excited to see my results in the next few weeks.

Last night I decided to try something new – carrot noodles. I bought them frozen at Trader Joe’s, and they’re actually pretty tasty.

The recipe I’ve created is a fun, and a different approach to bolognese. It is NOT authentic Italian, sorry.  Don’t get offended when you read the ingredient list. Some of the ingredients may shock you (like the cinnamon), but trust me, somehow it works. Specifically, the cinnamon pairs well with the carrot noodles, because they’re a sweeter vegetable.

I also apologize for my lack of measured ingredients…  I tend to add stuff, and not measure it out! Sometimes, you just go with the flow…

If you’re currently sticking to a diet of lean meats and low carbs, I suggest you give this recipe a try! I also encourage you to add herbs or spices to the mix.

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Turkey Bolognese with Carrot & Zucchini Noodles
Serves: 4

For the sauce:
2 Celery Stalks
1 Yellow Onion, small, diced
1 Garlic Clove, large
1 Tbsp Oregano
2 cans, Diced Tomatoes (no salt added)
24 oz (3 c) of Tomato Sauce (I used a 16 oz, and 8 oz can)
1 lb, Lean Turkey Meat
Garlic Salt, to taste
Cinnamon (yes, I’m dead serious)
Cornstarch

For the noodles:
2 packages, Sprialized Carrot Noodles, Trader Joe’s Brand (3-4 carrots if you will be sprializing them!)
2 zucchinis, Sprialized
Olive Oil
*You can use fresh or frozen carrot noodles… I just used frozen! Many places (Whole Foods and some Kroger’s) sell fresh spiralized noodles

¼ c Fresh Parsley, chopped
Shredded Parmesan (optional)
Shredded Mozzarella (optional)

Directions:
Sauce:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan has warmed up, add the onion, celery and garlic; continue to cook, and periodically stir until the onions have softened and are a clear, yellowish color.

Add the turkey to your skillet, and continue to break it apart with a fork until it is no longer pink (for about 5 minutes). Add your diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir into the mixture. Next, add your oregano, and garlic salt. Sprinkle on your garlic a little at a time, until you have added enough to your liking. Next, sprinkle cinnamon lightly on top of the mixture, across the entire pan. Mix the sauce well.

The sauce will be runny at this point – to thicken it, you will add cornstarch. Sprinkle your cornstarch a little at a time, and stir. Cornstarch thickens quickly, so don’t over pour – a little goes a long way! Remember, you want your sauce to be thick, but not too much. Once you have finished with the cornstarch, let your sauce simmer on low for 20-25 minutes.

Noodles:

You can buy frozen or fresh noodles, or sprialize them yourself. I use a Vegetti, which is a handheld spiralizer. It’s about $15, and you can buy it on Amazon. I suggest you buy that, or a mandolin. Carrots are thin, and harder to sprialize, so I also suggest getting pre-made or frozen carrot noodles.

If you sprialize the zucchini yourself, be sure to soak the moisture out afterwards. Zucchinis are made primarily of water, so they obviously hold a ton of moisture. After you sprialize your noodles, put them on a plate and pat down with several paper towels, or a cloth. Do this until you’ve gotten the majority of the moisture out. Another tip: cut your noodles after sprializing, otherwise you’ll end up with super long noodles.

While your sauce is simmering, get a separate skillet, and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Turn your burner on medium heat, and let the oil warm up.

If you have frozen noodles, start cooking them first because they’ll take longer. Saute them for about 5 minutes, and then add your fresh noodles and cook together for 3-5 more minutes. The beautiful thing about veggie noodles is you can eat them raw, or cooked, but with tomato sauce, I prefer them to be cooked more.

Top your noodles and bolognese with mozzarella, parmaesan and chopped parsley, and voila!  Enjoy!

-xoxo, Amber

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