Holy smokes! I can’t believe it’s already Monday again. I know that the previous week was short because of the holidays but I’m still trying to gather myself together enough to start this week. I intentionally posted this meal today because it is Meatless Monday and my version of this pasta does not have any meat. Who needs it?! There’s enough flavor in the “sauce” as is. If you feel you must have some sort of protein, feel free to add chicken.
Anytime I know a meal is a skillet-cook, I get excited. My husband bought us this fancy s’mancy gas range for the new place and I am dying to cook on it. I absolutely love the taste of anything gas cooked. Some don’t think there is a difference; oh there is, and I compare it from cooking on an indoor grill to cooking on an outdoor grill. You know the difference once you take that first bite.
I imagine a gas grill also makes a skillet picture just a little more fancy s’mancy looking too.
My favorite part about this meal is that you’re using all fresh produce. The only thing really considered processed is the noodles and you can make those yourself if you want to be COMPLETELY clean and have a lot of spare time on your hands! I have a pasta maker. I’m not quite a pro at using it yet so I will save myself the embarrassment and just use store bought penne pasta until I have correctly learned how to use it to create presentable noodles.
A delicious serving of pasta that is sauteed with homemade clean sauce over a hot stove.
- 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2½ teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
- 5 roma or 2 cups of tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup tomatoes, chopped and slightly pureed (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced
- ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- Cook pasta accordingly.
- In the meantime, using a large skillet combine olive oil and butter over med-high heat. Allow to cook, stirring frequently 1-2 minutes or until it begins to sizzle. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, followed by tomatoes and basil. Allow to cook for 2 minutes so that juices combine well.
- When pasta is finished cooking and has been drained, add to skillet and stir well to mix. Add parmesan cheese and stir again. Serve immediately.
We’re in the process of moving here shortly. Movin’ for the most part is fun because you’re either getting your own place, upgrading to a bigger home or about to live in a whole new city/state. We bought a home, had it gutted and added on additional square feet so it’s basically a brand new build. That makes it twice as exciting. But the packing up is not exciting at all. You don’t realize how much junk you own until it’s time to divide between what to box up and what to throw away. I guess that’s why most hoarders don’t move.
Inbetween packing this week, I will be spending a few hours here and there at the local pool to get some vitamin d for my pale skin. I have planned a easy sesame noodle bowl for my lunch and while some would prefer such a meal hot, I will be eating my chilled from sitting inside a portable cooler. Still same taste, but the being served cold will definitely help a cool down from the heat – it’s in the 90’s this week!
Easy Sesame Noodle Bowl
An easy meal made in 15 minutes tops that can be served cold or hot and with or without vegetables.
- 12-ounces lo-mein egg noodles, cooking accordingly
- 4 green onions, sliced thin
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- snap peas, optional
- cabbage slices, optional
- green pepper slices, optional
- diced cucumber, optional
- Cook noodles according to package directions. In the meantime, cut green onions. When noodles have finished cooking, drain in strainer. Using a large bowl, add noodles and set aside.
- Add remaining sauce ingredients into a medium size bowl. Whisk well and pour into large bowl of noodles and green onions. Use a large spoon or tongs to combine noodles and sauce well.
- Sprinkle with green onions and any additionally vegetables you like.
I restarted the BBG (Bikini Body Guide) program by Kayla Itsines a couple weeks ago and have been trying to watch what I eat so it doesn’t cancel out all my effort that I put into the daily workouts. I always seem to feel more satisfied with my meal-plan when it consists of lots of greens and vegetables. This week I have two similar salads scheduled, this BLT Pasta Salad and a BLT Caesar Pasta Salad. Yes, someone likes bacon in their salads. I will eat the BLT Pasta Salad Monday thru Wednesday and the BLT Caesar Pasta Salad Thursday and Friday. This weekend is much too eventful with the kids getting out of school, graduations and birthday parties so I will be trying to behave to the best of my advantage during such. Keyword, “trying.”
Now before you think “this recipe calls for ranch dressing AND barbecue sauce, it can’t be that healthy”; hear me out. This is 6 servings. I cut my servings in half since I’m only having this from Monday thru Wednesday. While you can choose to find a more healthier alternative to the ranch dressing (ie lite ranch, fat-free ranch, yogurt ranch) just know that you’re going to be mixing the portion of it with 6 cups of tossed romaine lettuce. Feel better?
There’s something about mixing ranch with barbecue sauce. When I didn’t watch what I ate, I used to ask for a side of ranch and a side of barbecue to dip my french fries and chicken nuggets in. It still sounds good. But not having to run for an hour and a half to work it off doesn’t, so I think I will just stick to having that ranch and barbeque in this salad.
BLT Pasta Salad
Your favorite go-to-sandwich just became a salad with pasta.
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2½ cups uncooked bow-tie pasta
- 2 medium size tomatoes, diced
- 4 turkey bacon strips, fully cooked and crumbled into small pieces
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
- In a medium size saucepan over med-high heat, cook pasta according to package directions. When finished cooking, drain in a strainer over cold water to cool down completely.
- In a large bowl, add pasta, tomatoes, bacon and romaine lettuce.
- Using a small bowl, add ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. Stir to combine first, before pouring overtop pasta salad mix. Toss gently and serve immediately.
- This can be stored for 3 days in an air-tight container. Just don't add the romaine lettuce until right before serving.
I had been sick the duration of this past weekend. During what was the nicest weather weekend that we’ve had in months, at that. So while I sat in my dark, dreary bedroom; lonesome with my magazines and my HGTV, I also didn’t cook. Understandably, no one wanted my germs. I didn’t want my germs either but I didn’t get to vote on that one. So when I started to actually feel like I could leave my room without chancing the possibility of spreading my cold plague, I planned out the food menu for the week and happily headed to the grocery store.
Most people find peace on the ocean, in the library, or in the bathtub. I find peace in the grocery store. I’m a little strange like that. I was also a little cheery that I had planned to bake a Lasagna for dinner this evening. We haven’t had Lasagna in quite some time. The sin!
There’s a reason why Lasagna is a family favorite. Be it that it’s because anyone can make it or that it’s a quick recipe; Lasagnas are the kind of meal that you can prepare mid-day and foil up in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. That’s perfect for 99% of parents whose schedule revolves around their children’s’ schedules or work.
And while there are a lot of ways you can prepare and dress your Lasagna, the good ole Meaty Lasagna way never actually gets old.
Meaty Lasagna Casserole
- 1lb ground turkey
- package of Lasagna noodles
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, boil water. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package.
- Spray a large skillet with no-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, cook ground turkey until brown, draining excess juices. Return to stove and add marinara jar, allowing to simmer.
- In a medium size bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg and parmesan cheese. Mix well and set aside.
- Add ½ cup meat sauce to the bottom of a 9x9 casserole pan. Layer lasagna noodles length-wise, letting them slightly overlap. Next add cheese mix followed by lasagna noodles. Top with meat-sauce. Repeat layers once more.
- Sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese onto, if desired. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.