“Spaghetti” and Homemade Meat Sauce

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Who doesn’t love a delicious plate of spaghetti and sauce? I know I sure do! ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, now that I have discovered how wonderful it is to use spaghetti squash in place of noodles, I can’t say enough about this dish. Of course, if you are still craving noodles with your sauce, there are plenty of gluten-free options out there. In fact, Trader Joe’s sells an excellent brown rice noodle which actually cook up quite nicely. Without further ado, here is the recipe for homemade meat sauce! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meat Sauce Ingredients:

1 pound organic ground beef (grass-fed is best)
1 pound organic italian chicken or pork sausage (I get ours from the local health food store.)
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves of crushed garlic
*1 (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes (If you can find the crushed tomatoes with basil, this is definitely the best option.)
*2 (6 oz.) cans of tomato paste
*13 oz. canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons organic white sugar
1/2-2/3 cup chopped, fresh basil (This is so much better than dried! Trust me! ๐Ÿ™‚
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 tablespoon sea salt (If you can, choose the Himilayan Pink Salt for the health benefits.)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

*Note about canned tomato sauce: Make sure you look for BPA-Free cans. The acidity in the tomatoes causes this chemical to be leached a lot more easily.

Directions:
In a large pot, brown the beef, sausage, onion, and garlic until the meat is no longer pink. Add the crushed tomatoes, paste, sauce, and water. Stir. Add the remaining ingredients, and combine well. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure there is no burning on the bottom of the pot. Your house will smell amazing!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Serve over spaghetti squash or gluten-free noodles. This makes a very large batch, so it works well to freeze the leftovers. It also works well as the sauce base in lasagna. This meat sauce recipe has actually been adapted from John Chandler’s Recipe: World’s Best Lasagna. If you feel ambitious, go ahead and make the entire lasagna recipe, subbing the lasagna noodles for your favorite gluten-free option. You still will have leftover sauce! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Why Grass-Fed Meat?

In my quest to share the passion I have for wellness and healthy living, I have talked with several women who are looking to make positive changes, but don’t know where to start. I agree. It can oftentimes seem incredibly daunting with the wealth of information out there. While I am not saying that much of the information is invalid, I do believe that we can quickly become quite overwhelmed when we try to do all at once. Moms especially face an overwhelming amount of information as they seek to keep their children healthy and well; it can be downright exhausting. Yet, the truth is, there is grace, and the most important thing to remember is that “baby steps” toward healthy living are to be celebrated. So when it comes to diet, where is a positive place to start?

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As I mentioned, several people whom I have spoken with ask me, “Where do I start making healthy changes?”.ย  My answer is simple: start eating high quality, grass-fed meat, and avoid gluten as best as possible. I am going to take some time in a future post to share my convictions on why gluten should be avoided by all people, not just those with diagnosed celiac disease, Crohn’s, colitis, and a host of other conditions irritated by consuming gluten containing products. So, why grass-fed? First of all, I can attest to the fact that, hands down, the taste isย superior. The flavor is richer and the product is far less greasy. I love that I don’t have to drain so much fat from my meat as I am preparing my family’s meal. I have had the opportunity to buy our meat from Northstar Bison, which is owned by people whom I have the privilege of knowing, and is sold nationwide.ย  Their meat is both grass-fed and organic; in my mind, it is the best of the best! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Yet, suppose I did not have the option to choose both grass-fed and organic. Which is better and why?ย  Aren’t they the same? In her article, “Beyond Organic,” New York Times bestselling writer, Jo Robinson of Eat Wild, explains the reason behind going grass-fed and takes time to decipher between the characteristics of pasture raised meat and grain-fed meat. Even organic, grain-fed meat is far less nutrient packed than non-organic, grass-fed meat. I’d encourage you to take some time to read her short article as you consider the meat your family consumes. Check out her article here. I think you will find it very informative and helpful. Happy grocery shopping! ๐Ÿ™‚