Quinoa Pasta Bake with Turkey & Kale

Quinoa Pasta Bake with Turkey and Kale

This recipe is comfort food…pure and simple.  I am accustomed to transforming foods my family enjoys into clean, healthy, mom-approved versions, and this is no exception.  My children love pasta and when we prepare it, it must be a healthy version.  With this dish, I combine lean ground turkey, a big bunch of kale and add them to my spiced tomato sauce.  I use goat cheese in this dish and want to introduce you to a local goat farm where we purchase goat cheese.  Split Creek Farm is a grade A goat dairy located in Anderson, SC.  They specialize in award winning goat cheese, goat fudge, and goat yogurt.  Please take a look at their website at www.splitcreek.com.  If you are in the area, it’s worth making a trip to see the farm at work.  But, if you can’t, you can purchase products online or at Whole Foods Greenville.

Goat milk products are easier to digest than cow milk products.  I am lactose intolerant and as with most people who have this ailment, I am able to tolerate goat products.  The fat molecules in goat cheese are shorter than those in cow cheese, thus making them easier to digest.  Some people who have not been diagnosed as lactose intolerant still prefer goat milk products as they feel it’s easier on their digestive system.  As a family we use goat and sheep products pretty exclusively.  No one else in my family has shown an intolerance to cow products, but we enjoy the flavor of goat cheese, so it is used most often.

 

Quinoa Pasta Bake with Turkey & Kale

1 box quinoa pasta – cook according to package directions

1 1/2 TBSP coconut oil

1 lb lean ground turkey

2 cloves fresh garlic – chopped

1/2 white onion – chopped

2 cups fresh mushrooms – chopped

3 cups fresh kale – chopped

2 15 oz cans organic tomatoes

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp herbamare or celtic sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3/4 cup grated pecorino cheese

2 TBSP plain greek yogurt

crumbled soft goat cheese for topping – I use Split Creek Farm

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook the quinoa noodles according to package directions.  In a large skillet, add 1/2 TBSP of oil and brown the ground turkey.  In another large skillet, add the remaining 1 TBSP of oil and sauté the garlic, onion and mushrooms.  Add the tomatoes, spices and cooked turkey to the sautéed vegetables.  Simmer on medium for about 10 minutes.  Add the chopped kale and simmer just until it wilts.  In a large baking dish combine the cooked noodles and the meat/kale mixture.  Add the pecorino cheese and the yogurt and stir until well combined.  Crumble the soft goat cheese along the top and then stir to incorporate.  Bake for 30 minutes or until brown around the edges.  This dish pairs really well with a large bowl of fresh salad greens.  Enjoy!