Archive for October, 2013

Italian Baked Ziti

I know, I know….. I led you on in my last post with the promise of an amazing pasta recipe to use up the Nomato Sauce you just made! By the way…….how was it?! I’ve made like 3 batches since I posted the recipe and countless casseroles and other dishes using it! Which kind of explains why I haven’t gotten to posting anything yet! LOL  My freezer is slowly filling up (yay!) so I’m hopeful I’ll have a good variety and stash of meals ready to go before baby gets here! The countdown has begun….. down to just 1 more month…although it could technically be any day right?! You just never know! Between that and being crazy busy with work lately, posting has kinda got put on the back burner. So…..I’m going to live up to my word now and give you one of the best and yummiest Italian recipes that you’ll ever eat! Again…… gluten free, tomato free, and dairy free (if you sub out the cheese with soy cheese).  I’ve made this a couple different ways, and this one is the by far the best, although they’re all really tasty! Having the Italian sausage really adds to the Italian flavor, and using the penne instead of spaghetti gives it a little more sustenance and holds up better…no one likes soggy pasta! LOL This dish is super addictive, or maybe its just me since its been so long since Ive had anything like this!? And as bad as it sounds, and as bad as pregnancy indigestion can be, this is something I don’t mind tasting the rest of the day! Haha…..sorry, tmi right?!  Anyhow….. give this one a try! Its quick and easy to make, especially if you have the sauce already made. If you don’t, you can find the recipe for homemade Nomato Sauce here. Enjoy 🙂

Italian Baked Ziti (Printable Version)

Italian Baked Ziti

Ingredients:
•    2 Tablespoons Oil
•    1 & ½ teaspoons Minced Garlic
•    1 small Onion, Diced
•    1 & 1/2 pounds Italian Sausage
•    1 pound Ground Turkey
•    2 cups Nomato Sauce (see recipe)
•    2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
•    Salt & Pepper, to taste
•    16 ounce Package Uncooked Gluten-Free Penne Pasta
•    1 to 2 cups Shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
•    ½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
•    Minced Dried Parsley

Directions:

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until it starts to soften. Add the Italian sausage and ground turkey and cook until browned. Stir in the salt, pepper & Italian seasoning.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions until not quite al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Place the pasta back in the pot and stir in the meat, sauce and cheeses and toss to combine.
Place pasta into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish OR (2) greased 8×8 inch baking dishes.* Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*** If making 2 pans, bake one and cool the other before freezing. When ready to cook the frozen casserole, defrost overnight in the fridge and bake normally or until cooked through.

Advertisements

“Nomato” Sauce: Tomato-Free Red Sauce

Having food allergies can make cooking a pain in the butt! If you have any at all, or multiple, then you definitely know what I’m talking about here! It has been years since I had anything with tomato in it. The other day I had a craving for pizza…..and not my typical no sauce, low dairy pizza, but a REAL pizza! And, as it gets closer to baby’s due date, I’m trying to get some things made and put in the freezer ahead of time. Looking at freezer meals I’m finding that most of them have tomato sauce. And let me tell you how good a classic Italian lasagna sounds! I had heard of this amazing product called “Nomato sauce” which sounds like a great idea, but who wants to pay that much money for a little jar of it, and then still have to wait for it to actually get here after you order it!? I wanted immediate satisfaction for this wonderful preggo craving, so I decided to just make my own. After searching online for awhile, and reading lots of reviews, I came up with this super tasty and easy tomato-free red sauce. Its hard to actually believe that it doesn’t have tomatoes in it…. even hubby was impressed at how similar it was to the “real” thing! It’s got to be much healthier for you too, since there are no preservatives or additives like the jarred stuff. You can adapt the spices as needed for whatever dish you want to use it in!

We used it for pizza, which was a nice change for me, as we usually just skip the sauce part. I even splurged on the new Pillsbury pizza dough in the refrigerator section, which I have to tell you was a waste of time and money! I figured it would be yummy and more like what i remember the wheat-based pizza dough tastes like. This was dense and heavy and doughy and just plain gross! I had read the reviews even and cooked it based on them to make it better, and we just ate the toppings off and threw it away! So…….don’t waste your money!

There was still plenty of sauce leftover so I froze a couple small jars AND made a double batch of baked spaghetti (which will be my next post, so stay tuned!) which turned out amazing!! It totally hit the spot, was even better then i remember, and the best part? NO TOMATOES!! I made a pan for the freezer as well, so feeling especially productive! LOL Only 6 more weeks or less to go, guess i better get going on stocking up that freezer! With so many food allergies it’s hard to let anyone else cook for you, so if you have any great freezer meal ideas please let me know! In the meantime I’ll hopefully be trying out some new recipes to share with you, cause once baby arrives who knows how much time I’ll have to cook! So, for those of you non-tomato eaters and even those who just want to try something new and different, this sauce is quick and simple to make,not to mention delicious and healthy, so give it a try and enjoy! 🙂

“Nomato” Sauce: Tomato-Free Red Sauce (Printable Version)
Nomato Sauce
Ingredients:

•    6 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
•    1 (15 oz) can of sliced beets, drained
•    ½ of a  large onion, cut into large pieces
•    3 celery ribs, chopped into 1 inch pieces
•    1 & 1/2 cups water
•    Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper & sugar to taste

Directions:

•    Put all the veggies and water into a covered pot and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until veggies are soft.
•    Pour into blender and blend until smooth. Blend in spices to taste, spicing appropriately for the dish you are using it in.

Easy Oven-Baked Country-Style Pork Ribs & Gravy

It’s finally fall, things are super busy, and there’s just something about the combination of apples, onion and pork that’s cozy and comforting, especially as the seasons change. Hubby is a big pork ribs fan, but I don’t like chewing meat right off the bone, so I’m more in favor of the boneless ribs. The country-style ones are nice and meaty, and work great for oven baking or crock-potting. This is a really quick and easy recipe that tastes like you slaved all day in the kitchen! Ive never been great at making gravy, but using the juices from this  for the gravy was simple and delicious! Serve this up with a big batch of mashed potatoes and veggies and you’re set! The amounts are up to you, and you can use onion soup mix that’s pre-made if you want, but why would you with all that msg and stuff?! Give this one a try when you need a tasty meal and are strapped for time! Enjoy 🙂

Easy Oven-Baked Country-Style Pork Ribs & Gravy (Printable Version)
pork ribs
Ingredients:
Boneless country-style pork ribs
Seasonings: salt, pepper and garlic powder
Onion soup mix: minced dried onions, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley and paprika
Applesauce
Water

Directions:
Heat up a dash of oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Place the pork ribs in the pan and sprinkle with seasonings. Brown, then flip and season again. Brown on all sides. Place in a greased glass baking dish. Sprinkle with the onion soup mix seasonings and top with applesauce. Add water to about halfway up the pork. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 F. for an hour. Flip the meat over, cover and bake another hour.

For the gravy: Pour the liquid into a pan and heat over med-high heat. Make a roux with flour/starch and whisk it in until it thickens into gravy. You can add (almond) milk to it to make it a little creamier if you want. Season to taste and serve over the pork ribs.

%d bloggers like this: