Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Baked Penne Pasta

Pasta. What's not to love? This is the perfect way to enjoy a nice warm dinner on a cold day. Give you and your family that special treat that is well deserved. My hubby and I love this dish. It's a little work preparing, but once it's in the oven your work is done. This is a dish made healthier, but still tasty. So, you can have your pasta and eat it too.

I notice that a lot of kids have do not like large chunks of tomato in the sauce. Make sure you use petite diced tomato, it makes a big difference.

Baked Penne Pasta

  • 1 (14.5 oz.) box of penne pasta (Ronzoni Smart Taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¾ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 pkg. ground turkey 99% lean (about 1 1/3 lb.)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomato
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup fat free milk
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. reduced fat Sargento's grated 4 cheese Italian
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile cook turkey and onion in a large nonstick skillet until meat is brown and is no longer pink. Drain fat out of skillet.

Then add to turkey: onion, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Then stir in stock, milk, and penne pasta, mix well. You may season with black pepper. Place half in a large 10 x 13 inch pyrex dish sprayed with pam spray. Cover with half of the parmesan and 4 cheese blend, then repeat. Spread Asiago on top of pasta last. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

This is a healthier version and you will not miss the fat and the high fiber pasta is delicious. Makes 8 generous portions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eggplant Fans

I love eggplant, and this is another way to try it. You will see that you don't have to be Italian to love eggplant. You may serve this as a side, or stuff it into a pita bread or Italian roll for a sandwich, add some cheese if you wish. This is so yummy and an added bonus, it is a healthy dish too. Oh, and yes, your house will smell delicious while this is baking. Buon appetito!

Eggplant Fans

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 Roma or plum tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 12 oz. jar marniated artichoke hearts in oil, drained
  • 1 can whole black olives, only using ½ cup drained
  • 2 bay leaves, broken into small pieces
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed in garlic press, or ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large glass pyrex dish
  • foil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash eggplant and slice in half length wise, then slice into fans, but not cutting all the way through to the top. Drizzle about 2 Tbsp. olive oil on bottom of pyrex dish. Add about half of the onion, then season with half of the oregano, thyme and garlic. Place eggplant fans on top of onion mixture, then stuff between fans: tomato slices, artichoke hearts and olives. Scatter about broken pieces of bay leaves around and top with the rest of the onion. Then season with the rest with oregano, garlic and thyme. Drizzle about 2 more Tbsp. of olive oil over top. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

This is a slight variation of one of my favorites, the original is from my Time/Life cookbook for vegetables.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

November is here and so is fall and all of the goodies that come with it. Add this one to your list, Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes. They will melt in your mouth. The pancakes are so light and fluffy and they absorb the syrup, so you may need a second splash of that. Oh, the aroma of the pancakes cooking will have your family come running to the table. It's a great warm you up breakfast to stop the rumbling in your tummy.

Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pam cooking oil spray
Preheat large nonstick pan over medium heat. In a large bowl mix together the first six ingredients and set aside. In a medium size bowl mix together the next five ingredients, mixing well and make sure pumpkin is dispersed throughout. Then add it to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. In a large. nonstick, oil-coated pan add ¼ cup of batter at a time. Flip when edges start to look dry and it is just starting to brown. Cook until golden brown and serve immediately with butter and maple syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.