Recipes using Balanced Bites spices Recipes using Balanced Bites spices
In this recipe:
ITALIAN Spice Blend ITALIAN Spice Blend

ITALIAN Spice Blend

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes, + 50 minutes for polenta
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 2 servings
Make this bowl when you're looking for a warm and comforting dish — also makes great leftovers!

This recipe also contains one of our Balanced Bites Spice Blends - ITALIAN Spice Blend - which you can shop here!


  • 1 pound ground pork or other higher-fat ground meat of choice (see Note) 
  • 2 tablespoons ITALIAN Spice Blend
  • 2 packed cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup marinara 
  • 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)


  • 1 head garlic 
  • 4 tablespoons cooking fat, divided 
  • 2 small heads or 1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped into 2- to 3-inch pieces 
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper 
  • Melted ghee, for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Slice the tips off of the head of garlic, then place it cut side up on a large square of foil. Top with 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat and wrap the foil around the garlic. 

Roast for about 45 minutes, until the skin is darker in color and cloves are golden brown and soft. When the garlic is done and cool enough to handle, gently squeeze each clove out of the skin. 

While the garlic roasts, steam the cauliflower: Place the cauliflower pieces in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water, or in a large pot with about 2 inches of water, on medium-high heat. Steam until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. 

While the cauliflower steams: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Combine the meat and spice blend in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks. Add the spinach and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the spinach begins to wilt and the meat is cooked through. 

At the same time, in a separate small saucepan, warm the marinara sauce over medium heat. 

Remove the skillet with the sausage-and-spinach mixture from the heat. 

Place the steamed cauliflower in a food processor and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking fat, the roasted garlic cloves, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Drizzle with melted ghee, if desired.

Assemble the bowl: Divide the cauliflower polenta among two serving bowls. Top each both with equal amounts of the sausage-and-spinach mixture and marinara sauce, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. 


For the polenta, if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, or mash the steamed cauliflower by hand with a potato masher.

If you’re not using ground pork, you may want to add 2 tablespoons of your preferred cooking fat to the skillet. 


Add a poached egg for a satisfying breakfast bowl. 

Mix things up by using kale instead of spinach.

Time Saving Tip

Make the polenta with 2 to 3 teaspoons of garlic powder instead of roasted garlic if you want to save time, but know that the flavor will not be as rich and amazing.