Summer Veggies

Confession time:

The list of vegetables I like is pretty short.  More specifically, the list of non-starchy vegetables I like is very short.

I was born in the Dominican Republic and raised pretty much in the South where our vegetables include stewed beans, plantains (fried, of course), potatoes, potatoes with cheese, fried potatoes with cheese, and corn swimming in butter.

That’s what I’m talking about, right? 😉

Unfortunately, my waistline, cholesterol level, and little ticker can’t handle a constant supply of those kinds of “vegetables”, as much as I may love the $5 plate at the Cracker Barrel.

Don’t get me started on the dumplings.

For clean and healthy eating, I am a firm believer in the theory of the “nutritionist’s plate”.  I don’t know if that’s what it’s really called, but that’s what I call it in my head.  All nutritionists that I have seen throughout my life have told me that the rule of thumb for a properly fixed plate is to divide it into 1/2 non-starchy vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 good carbs.  Obviously, throwing in a tiny bit of dairy and a good helping of fruit never hurts, either.

Therefore, when I plan out our weekly meals, you’ll notice that I always include those three.  As an example, I’ll give you the run-down of our latest and greatest pasta concoction, Summer Squash & Zucchini with Sausage.

Very rarely in the wee Rader household do we have pig products (except for bacon, of course, hello) like sausage and pork, but on occasion, we will indulge for some added flavor and fat.  Turkey sausage and chicken sausage, however, are excellent substitutes with less fat and just as much flavor.

Brown up about a pound and a half of your favorite spiced sausage (not necessarily spicy, just not plain).  It doesn’t have to be fully cooked at this point because it will be cut up and go back in the pan.

Yummmm.  Once they’re ready, take them out and cut them up into about 1/4 of an inch slices.

While those are cooking, slice and chop up about half a cup of onion, two small zucchini, and one small yellow squash.

Throw everything back in your big skillet for about two minutes… let everyone get to know each other…

And then add a can of stewed tomatoes.

If you have some favorite Italian seasoning mix or a few pinches of basil and oregano, throw that in now.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cover for about 10-15 minutes until the sausage is cooked all the way through and the veggies are tender (to your liking, of course).

We served ours over whole wheat rotini, but it’s great by itself with a slice of crusty bread or on top of a bed of brown rice.

Full recipe:

1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage links
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the Italian sausage until the inside is no longer pink. Cut sausage into 1/4 inch slices, and continue cooking until browned.
  2. Stir in the zucchini, yellow squash, and onion; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, with liquid. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy your summer!


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