Turkey Taco Pasta Skillet (Low Carb) + a Giveaway


Can you believe it’s October 1st already? Astonishing how fast the days can go, especially in the whirlwind that comes with the start of school and a new routine. Did you know that October is National Pasta Month? For once, I am actually in the know with these food holidays, and I am getting out in front by posting a pasta recipe on the very first day of the month. You may not think that as a diabetic I have much to celebrate during National Pasta Month, and it’s true that I don’t eat a lot of pasta. But this pasta is a little different. This is Dreamfields – perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s on more and more grocery store shelves these days, and as a diabetic, it’s the only pasta I eat.

I first heard of Dreamfields when I started posting on some diabetes forums, trying to figure out how to manage my glucose levels. There were numerous threads about it, because Dreamfields pasta is technically low carb. How so, you ask? Well, although a serving has 41g of carbs (about the same as other pastas), it only has 5g of DIGESTIBLE carbs. The rest are fiber and “protected carbs”, which are indigestible by the body. I don’t know the whys and the wherefores of how they make it this way, and as it’s a patent-pending process, they are not really telling on their website. But they have run clinical studies on their product and it appears to work for a lot of people. Dreamfields has a much lower glycemic index than other pastas, so it’s a good product for anyone watching their carbs. And I can say from personal experience that in taste and texture, it is exactly like regular pasta. So when they contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in developing a recipe and doing a giveaway, I jumped at the chance.

But it couldn’t be just any recipe. It had to be a Stovetop Savior recipe. Huh? A what? Dreamfields challenged a few of us bloggers to come up with a one-pot pasta dish, one that was made entirely on the stove-top and didn’t require multiple pots for the sauce and the pasta. The sort of meal you can make in under an hour, with minimal clean-up. In my house, we call these skillet pastas and we have a number of good recipes from other cookbooks. So the challenge for me was to come up with my own version, one that would appeal to my kids and could be made in a single pot. So how to put my own little twist on this? I spied a package of ground turkey in our freezer and it all came to me. My kids adore a quick meal my husband makes that we simply call Turkey Tacos, which we usually serve with tortillas. Why not put the taco fixings all in one pot, along with the pasta?

Now, before I get to the recipe and the giveaway, I want to say a few quick things about Dreamfields pasta. As a diabetic who manages her glucose through diet and exercise alone, it is imperative to me that I don’t raise my blood sugar too high. Diabetes is a strange disease, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. So while I find that Dreamfields is not bad on my glucose levels, others may not find the same thing. I also stick well within the suggested serving size, because it’s no longer very low carb if I go to town on it. It is also very important to not overcook this pasta…doing so renders the “protected carbs” more digestible and therefore more likely to spike one’s glucose. And because of this, reheating the leftovers is also an issue for diabetics. I actually undercook it by a minute or two and have found that it’s still nicely al dente and perfect for eating.

I don’t allow myself pasta very often, but if I’m craving it as a comfort meal, Dreamfields is the only one I make.

The Giveaway:

Dreamfields will send one lucky reader a few boxes of their pasta, which comes in 7 different varieties.

US residents only please!

To enter: Leave me a comment and tell me how much you love me. Or just leave a comment.

Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each):
1. Follow me on Twitter
2. Follow me on Facebook
3. Retweet this giveaway and let me know you did.

Contest will run until midnight on Thursday, October 6th, at which time I will pick a winner randomly.

***And please, please, please leave me a way to get ahold of you!!!***

And now for the RECIPE! Which, by the way, was a fabulous meal. Kids loved it, husband loved it, didn’t take overly long to prepare and there was only one pan to clean afterwards. And I tested my glucose afterwards and was in range. It’s a keeper!

If carbs aren’t an issue for you, you can make this with regular pasta too. The instructions are the same. I added some beans to this recipe, but I eat around them to stay lower carb. They are more for my husband and kids.

Turkey Taco Pasta Skillet

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 lb ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning (I use Trader Joe’s brand, just spices, no preservatives or MSG)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb Dreamfields Rotini
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (I use homemade)
2 cups cooked black beans (optional – I put these in for my kids and husband)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 avocado, chopped, for garnish

In a large, 12 -inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and salt and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the ground turkey and taco seasoning and cook until turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Break up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon.

Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices, and then add rotini. Pour broth over pasta and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, then lower heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked, 9 to 10 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Serve with avocados and remaining cheese for garnish.

Serves 8. Each serving has a total of 38g of carbs and 5.75g of fiber. But if you take the “protected carbs” of the pasta into account, each serving has only 7.25g of carbs. (Note that this carb count does NOT include the beans, as I assume that those on a low carb diet will skip the beans).

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  1. The Mom Chef says

    Oh heck, you already know how much I love you, right? But, I'll tell you again. You're awesome, wonderful and amaze me at every turn. And I love you.

    It was pretty unique to see a pasta product on your page so it must be good!

  2. Pretend Chef says

    This pasta seems like a dream for a diabetic. I agree with Mike. Why would you ever need to buy a boxed mix again with a recipe like this?

  3. Melissa @IWasBornToCook says

    I've been using Dreamfield exclusively for about 4 years. When I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes, a friend told me about it and it was a lifesaver! Even my pasta loving husband eats it with no problem. Great giveaway :)

  4. Cassie @ Bake Your Day says

    I'm with you – can't believe it's October! This sounds delicious, we would love to try this!

  5. Stephanie says

    I'm so glad you posted this. I'm on a low glycemic diet and didn't know about this pasta. I am going to look for it now!!

  6. Kim Bee says

    Not entering as I am a Canuck. But just wanted to pop in and say how yummy this looks. I love these type of dishes.

  7. Foodiva says

    I LOVE you (or rather, your blog)! And this one pot pasta is something I could easily rustle up for a weeknight meal. I've mentioned a charitable cause linked with diabetes on my latest post, so if you have time, it'll be great if you could come by!

  8. Jillian says

    Love your blog and love your recipes! I also love Dreamfields pasta and it is my pasta of choice.

    This recipe looks awesome.

    I already follow you on Twitter and Facebook. 😀

  9. Mitch says

    i'm also a diabetic, and was thrilled when i found Dreamfields pasta last year. i checked my blood glucose an hour after eating, and it was a bit high but not bad–considering i had just eaten pasta for the first time in 6 months! i checked again at 2 hours and still OK. thinking i was good, i put Dreamfields in my rotation for several weeks.

    then, one day, on a whim, i checked my blood 3 hours after eating Dreamfields and saw a huge spike. the issue is that the carbs are not truly "indigestible," but rather, take longer to digest. and when they do, they are digested just like regular carbs are–because they are, indeed, regular carbs.

    needless to say, no more Dreamfields for me. most diabetics i know have found the same results, so please be careful with this product. its not at all what it seems. and the worst thing for a diabetic is to be thinking a food is "safe" when its really not.

    • Pat Miller says

      I make the same Taco pasta salad. The only difference I cook the mac than rinse it .Cool the meat put all together than pour on a bottle of Catalina dressing .I also add peppers and any thing else I have on hand . It goes good for a picnic.

  10. Carolyn says

    Hi Mitch,
    I appreciate your input. This is exactly why I made sure to add the caveat that what works for one person doesn't always work for another. Eat to your meter, as they say. I, thus far, have had good luck with dreamfields. Mind you, I only eat it on occasion (maybe once a month) and I stay well within the suggested serving size. I also cook it even less than they say. I've been in target glucose ranges even 2 to 3 hours later. I don't consider any pasta "safe" but when I want to fulfill that comfort food craving, this is what I choose to do.

  11. Karen says

    I love that you cook the pasta in the broth with all the other ingredients…I was wondering how you would get around having a second pot to boil the pasta in. Great idea and must add tons of flavor.
    And no, I cannot believe it's October. Or that there is already Christmas stuff up at Costco. Sigh.

  12. Becky says

    I love your blog, and now that I have to watch my carbs, this recipe is perfect. Thanks for all of your hard work.

  13. Jeanette says

    What a super kid friendly pasta dish – and I'm so glad there's a diabetic friendly pasta – you got my curiosity going on how they managed that!

  14. Cake Duchess says

    Hi sweets. It's a surprise to see pasta here and it looks wonderful. I never tried their brand before. I'm happy you get to occasionally enjoy pasta. :)

  15. Claudie says

    I love you, and I love your pasta recipe 😉 I haven't used any Dreamfields pasta before, but now I'm definitely going to look for it in my grocery store… it'd be too much of a sweet deal to miss :)

  16. Emily says

    I didn't know about pasta month. Happy I do now. I am going to use it as a reason for why it is necessary to have at least 3 pasta dinner a week.

  17. Shirley says

    I've glanced at the Dreamfields packages for years but wasn't sure about them, but I think I'll pick up a box next time! This dish sounds great for a weeknight, and one-pot dinners are always a winner in my book.

  18. kita says

    This is my kind of skillet – I am a sucker for any variation of taco-y goodness!
    I have weened this household of of standard pasta since I moved in and am working to teach us to make healthier choices! I think a diabetic friendly option is great! I will have to keep that in mind for when I am entertaining. I have a few friends with severe diabetes and always try to take that into consideration when I am cooking.

  19. Jill Colonna says

    Didn't realise just how much you have to be careful with pasta but makes sense. Always have such great admiration for you, Carolyn. Great recipe and sounds like a super product.

  20. icancookthat says

    Wow I had no idea this product even existed. As someone with a diabetic father, I'd love to try this out on him!

  21. Jenna H. says

    I would love to try Dreamfields – I've read alot about it.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    jmhamlin826 AT yahoo DOT com

  22. Erin says

    This looks like a great pasta dish! I love you and your blog! I am not a diabetic, nor do I really have anyone close to me that is. But that doesn't mean you don't make great recipes we can't all enjoy!

  23. Kim - Liv Life says

    Dear Carolyn… We all love, love, love you!! You are truly the best blogger, mother, marathon runner, diabetes manager on the internet! You low carb recipes make me, a carb-aholic, want to try them. I use them for my mom who is diabetic, recently so. Speaking of which I am going to forward her this info on the pasta. She too loves pasta, and truly misses it as she has cut down to manage her blood levels as well. We didn't know such a thing existed. So glad you wrote about it!

    How was that for love??!! OXOX!

  24. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family says

    How do I love thee let me count the ways: 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand. You get the point! Your blog is amazing and I think you should know it and be told on a regular basis.

  25. Debbie says

    Am anxious to try this as it sounds really easy for making as a large batch. My husband and I fee 60-70 homeless on the street for a Homeless Street Church on Sundays. So as you can imagine I spend a lot of time cooking on Saturdays. I love the simple recipes. Bet it would be just as good with hamburger. A little tip I do instead of browning hamburger I always cover with water and boil, then drain well and rinse thoroughly to get rid of all the grease.

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