So as part of this whole new direction I’m taking for Primal Bites, some of my recipes are going to push the boundaries of “Paleo.” I’m thrilled to see more leaders in this space take a step back from the dogma and start sharing more flexible dietary lifestyles. I’m not strict Paleo and I haven’t been for a loooong time. The majority of my meals are still essentially Paleo, not because I’m trying to follow any rules or restrictions, but because I’m a nutrient seeker attempting to eat whole, nutritious, real foods most of the time. But sometimes nutritious meals aren’t 100% Paleo, like this Spanakopita Pasta Bake! So I’m now making space for these sorts of dishes on Primal Bites
This grain-free recipe features my pasta of choice, Banza, because it’s higher in protein and fiber than regular pastas, and the ingredient list is uber short: chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein, xanthan gum (non-GMO). A lot of Paleo-ites like Cappello’s, but it’s way out of my price point, so that’s another reason I vote for Banza (which is almost 1/3 the price of Cappello’s!)
And the other wicked cool thing is that Banza was founded by Venture for America Fellows, and for those of you who don’t know (a.k.a. like all of you), that’s the same entrepreneurship fellowship that I will be doing post-graduation!
For the record, this is not a sponsored post. The Banza team has no idea that I’m even posting this– I just really like Banza and want to share the love
- 8 oz (one box) banza
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½-3/4 lb ground Italian sausage (optional)
- 8-10 oz baby spinach
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ C heavy cream or full fat coconut milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ c fresh dill (optional)
- 1 heaping C feta crumbled
- 3 oz grated fontina cheese, grated
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, then cook the pasta for half of the prescribed time. Drain.
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan (preferably a cast iron pan or dutch oven) over medium heat. Once warm, add the diced onion and minced garlic to the pan, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Then add the ground Italian sausage. Brown the sausage. Break it up into smaller pieces if necessary.
- Next add the spinach, stir to combine, turn the heat down to low, and wait until it wilts. Then add the lemon juice, cream/coconut milk, salt, and dill, and stir to combine.
- Lastly, add the pasta, feta cheese and half of the fontina. Stir until evenly combined. If you’re using a separate baking dish, transfer the mixture now; if you used a cast iron pan or dutch oven you can leave it in there. Sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese on top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden. Best if served immediately.