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sausage stuffed tomatoes {paleo lunch idea}

so i’ve said before, i don’t embrace all the flawed philosophy behind the paleo lifestyle.  i do, however, love so much of the principle behind eating clean, and so many of the recipes just make us feel the way we’re supposed to.  this recipe is no different.  i love the protein-rich meat combined with the depth of flavor that comes out when you cook it in tomatoes.

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this actually comes together pretty quickly, too!  if you have the presence of mind, you can pre-cook your sausage (ONE of these days, i AM going to get it together enough to cook-ahead for the week!)

sausage stuffed tomatoes

want to print the recipe?  save it to your online recipe box?  head on over to   just click here.

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prefer to read it in-line?  here you go!

6 large tomatoes

1 package Johnsonville Italian Ground Sausage

(click for ingredient list  – we prefer to the original because it has fewer additives)

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh spinach (my husband doubled this)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons red wine (original recipe called for cooking sherry)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

Using a sharp knife, slice 1/2 inch from the top of the tomatoes; discard tops.  Remove pulp from tomatoes.  Reserve 1 cup tomato pulp; chop coarsely and save for filling.  Invert tomato onto paper towels to drain.

Cook and crumble sausage in a skillet till browned; drain and set aside.  In the same skillet, cook onions in olive oil over medium-low heat until golden, stirring occasionally.  Add spinach, garlic, and reserved tomato.  Cook and stir over medium heat until spinach is wilted and stir in sausage, wine, and pepper.  Cool slightly and stir in egg.

Place tomato shells in 2-quart baking dish and fill with mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until hot.

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enjoy this recipe, sponsored by Johnsonville.  🙂

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sausage, peppers, and spaghetti squash {grain-free main dish and family meal time}

they laughed when i said, “i want you to get used to the camera gear around here more.”  when don’t they see camera gear around?

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sometimes they duck when they see me coming, memory card loaded and lens aimed with precision.

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but these are the minutes that tick into hours that become distant memories and then puff into “lost.”  and they’re the minutes that matter.  when we gather ’round the table and tell our day’s stories and dare to share our dreams and poke fun in love and make funny faces and tickle bare-chested little brothers who think they’re exempt from the “shirts-at-the-dinner-table” rule.

family meal time dancing with my father a  spaghetti squash with sausage dancing with my father

and most importantly, we talk about what matters.  about the Great Truths our Papa has spoken, and how much He loves us, and about our fears and our misunderstandings and with that we challenge each other to really live.

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and if there’s good food to thank Him for, all the sweeter.

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this dish is a great hearty weeknight meal.  a couple tips:

use the Johnsonville Ground Sausage instead of the Italian Sausage links to avoid unwanted additives.  definitely use fresh fennel – it is delicious and really makes the dish.  (i meant to save fronds for “dish decor,” but alas, i have been working to romance the hubs by keeping a clean workspace while cooking, and i whisked them off with the unusable scraps before i realized it!)  try baking your spaghetti squash in advance, then scraping into a casserole dish.  warm before serving with butter on top.

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want to print the recipe?  save it to an online recipe box?  click on over to (or click on the photo!).

spaghetti squash with sausage dancing with my father c

Johnsonville Sausage, Peppers, and Spaghetti Squash

1 (19.76 ounce) package Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups sliced fresh fennel

1/2 cup diced green onion

1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper

1/2 cup diced green pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes

6 tablespoons cooking sherry

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups cooked spaghetti squash


In a large skillet, cook and crumble sausage until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the fennel, green onion, red and green peppers and garlic until tender. Add the tomatoes, sausage and 3 tablespoons sherry; cook and stir until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, stir in remaining sherry. Serve hot over spaghetti squash.

 Too cook my spaghetti squash, I cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Then I place it cut-side-down in a large baking dish with about 1/2″ water.  I bake for thirty minutes to an hour at 350 degrees.  I like to prepare my squash in advance and use a fork to scrape strands into a storage container to use the next day.  You can find alternative instructions at!

did you try this recipe?  love it?  leave a note and review!  here’s to family meal time…

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