Packaged kielbasa is good for so many reasons and occasions. My father just cuts it up cold and eats it with some crackers and slices of cheese. For a long time I thought you had to cook it before you ate it but certain brands are fully cooked. The thing that’s great about the packaged kind, is that one whole kielbasa will feed all four of us (don’t think it’ll stay that way for long, though as the kids get older and chow down a lot more food!). So that means about $5 for a one-pot meal for four, more or less, and a couple bucks for spaghetti and some veggies to throw in.
Anyway, I like the lite kielbasa and have just recently discovered that the lite turkey kielbasa is really good too and has way less fat and calories. The spices in this type of Polish sausage are what I like the most. It must be the Polish in me. My father was adopted and raised by Polish immigrant parents in a small town in Nebraska and the most wonderful food aromas would waft out of his extended families’ kitchens. I can remember the smell of pickled vegetables, especially cucumbers, that they would keep down in the cool basement. The smell saturated the house and had a sort of calming effect on me as a child. The smell and sense of home. Anyway, this sausage has lots of garlic and spices that attract even children to dig in (think dressed up hot dog!).
If I need a less-expensive and time-consuming option during the week, I grab a package of lite kielbasa on my weekend shopping trip and make this quick stir fry spaghetti dish.
Here are the ingredients:
-One package of lite kielbasa, cut into thin bite-sized pieces
-1/2 to 3/4 pound of spaghetti
-One stalk of celery, cut into bite sized pieces
-Half a head of broccoli cut into small florets
-One carrot, grated
-One tablespoon of vegetable of olive oil
Start by bringing a pot of salted water to boil for the spaghetti. If you have a stacked steamer, add the broccoli to the top of the top so that it steams a bit before adding it to the stir fry. Or boil the broccoli for a few minutes before adding the pasta and set the veggies aside in a bowl. In a big frying pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat and add the cut up kielbasa. Stir around until the sausage starts to brown a bit.
Next, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and stir. Then add all of the veggies to the frying pan with the kielbasa. Keep stirring to soften the veggies until al dente (still have some crispness left) and add salt and pepper to your liking. At the very end, add about two tablespoons of soy sauce to the pan and reduce the heat. Drain your spaghetti and add the pasta directly to the frying pan. Turn the heat up a bit and mix together all the ingredients until the pasta has absorbed some of the liquid.
I usually cut up the spaghetti a bit for the little ones. They love slurping the pasta up and as long as I call broccoli “trees” they eat that too! So there you have it. A pasta dish with meat, veggies and pasta all in one quick dish for about $5.