If my husband had his way, we would eat “American Chop Suey” every night. What is American Chop Suey? It is a classic week-night dish his family served growing up consisting of noodles, ground beef and tomato sauce. I like to think of it as a homemade Hamburger Helper. In an effort to grant his wish, I decided to take one of his favorites and make a few classic Liz-swaps to boost the nutrition and flavor:
- Swap Beef for Ground Turkey Breast: This is a no brainer. He hardly noticed or missed the beef and I doubt your family will either.
- Add Leafy Greens: Frozen spinach is one of those “money in the bank” staples I always have on hand. It is a quick and easy way to make sure your family is eating their leafy greens every week. Spinach is so versatile – you can literally add it to anything from soups to stir-fries without changing the flavor profile of your dish.
- Color the Rainbow: By adding yellow peppers, onions, tomatoes and spinach – you instantly fill your plate with the colors of the rainbow ensuring that your family gets a well rounded dose of nutrients.
- Skip the Oil: Most people saute onions, veggies or meat in a little olive oil. Personally, I don’t notice the difference when I use non-stick spray or olive oil so I save the calories. Instead, I prefer to eat olive oil raw on salads or drizzled on top of a finished dish so that I can really taste and enjoy the fruity flavor of olive oil.
- Garlic, Garlic, Garlic: Garlic is the key to boosting flavor. Always use fresh and don’t go cheap. It’s heart healthy and really takes your dish to the next level.
Your fork is waiting.
- 4 oz whole wheat elbows or other small pasta
- 1 large onion diced
- 20 oz turkey breast
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tbs Italian seasoning
- 1 yellow pepper orange or red are fine too
- 14 oz tomato sauce low sodium
- 32 oz whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 package frozen spinach defrosted and drained
- 1/4 c parmesan cheese plus more to serve
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook whole wheat elbows in a large pot of salty water according to package instructions; set aside.
In a large pot, spray with non-stick spray and saute onions until translucent - about 5 minutes.
Add turkey breast, garlic and Italian seasoning to onions and cook for 8-10 minutes until turkey starts to brown.
Add yellow pepper and cook additional 4 minutes.
Add tomato sauce and whole tomatoes.
Grab a pair of scissors and cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks (in the pot.)
Add defrosted spinach, cheese and cooked noodles.
Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Excellent source of Vitamins C and A, good source of Iron.