Calamari can be friend or foe

The delicious breaded and deep fried calamari served as an appetizer isn’t doing you any favors.  Don’t even get me started on the oil it’s cooked in.  (That’s not to say I don’t indulge from time to time…I do.)

But calamari in marinara sauce is another story altogether.  Just as delicious, and actually doing something for you.  In fact, you may be surprised to hear that calamari is a great source of collagen.  So you’re giving your skin, hair and nails a boost while enjoying a delicious Italian meal.

calamari eliz
Use frozen, pre-cleaned calamari.  I found it in the freezer section by the seafood department.

The best part is, it’s really easy to make at home.  Here’s what I used:

🍝   Olive oil gives great flavor to this sauce, and it also contributes healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.

🍝   I usually shy away from fresh garlic, but I used one clove to give this dish an authentic taste.  Feel free to add more…I just don’t like to smell bad!  Garlic contains sulphur compounds that have so many health benefits I could be writing all day.  It is awesome for you and I’m going to try to start using it more frequently.

🍝   Crushed red pepper adds a welcome kick to this sauce.  It contains capsaicin, a potent anti inflammatory, and also has cardiovascular benefits.

🍝   Oregano helps give this sauce a traditional Italian flavor, and also contains phytonutrients like thymol and rosmarinic acid that are potent antioxidants.

🍝   A big can of crushed or diced tomatoes is the base of this sauce.  It’s getting easier to find organic tomatoes in BPA free cans.  If you had a lot of plum tomatoes on hand you could certainly make this with fresh tomatoes…I plan to try that over the summer!  Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and other antioxidants.  Vitamin C brightens the skin and supports your body in producing more collagen.

🍝   Calamari is the star of the show here.  I was able to find frozen calamari which I thawed in a colander.  The hardest part of this whole meal was slicing the bodies into the rings, but it really only took a few minutes.  And as I mentioned above, calamari is a great source of collagen which keeps your skin firm and your hair and nails strong.

calamari pan

🍝   Instead of pasta, I used zucchini noodles, but feel free to use your favorite pasta substitute.  Lentil and bean pastas are becoming easier to find, and not only are they grain free, they are much higher in protein than traditional pasta.

calamari plate

So here’s how I did it:

happy, healthy and hot calamari in spicy marinara 

makes 4-6 servings

one tablespoon olive oil

one clove garlic, peeled and diced

one 28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes

two teaspoons crushed red pepper

one teaspoon dried oregano

one teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

two 10.6 ounce packages frozen calamari, thawed and drained

pasta substitute of your choice

Heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat for just a few minutes (you will start to smell the garlic).  Don’t let the garlic brown.  Carefully pour in the tomatoes, and add the crushed red pepper, oregano and salt.  (It’s best to taste the tomatoes…you may need less salt depending on how much was added.)

When the sauce comes to a simmer cover and turn it down a little bit.  It should simmer for about 20 minutes so the flavors can blend.

While sauce is simmering cut the calamari.  The little tentacle parts separate really easily from the body.  Then take the body and slice into approximately half inch rings.

You can also use the time while the sauce is simmering to prepare your pasta.  My zucchini noodles just take a few minutes.

When sauce has simmered for at least 20 minutes, add the calamari and stir.  Bring back to a simmer and cook just until the calamari is completely opaque.  This should only take a few minutes.  I left the lid off and stirred so calamari would be evenly cooked.

Do not overcook it…that is how calamari gets tough and chewy.  

Serve over the pasta of your choice.  Enjoy!


So, can this calamari in spicy marinara help you feel happy, healthy and hot?  You know it!

You’ll be happy enjoying a delicious meal made with healthy ingredients.  This meal is loaded with nutrients that support firm, bright and glowing skin and healthy hair and nails.  Very hot!


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