Tag Archives: homemade

Baked Ziti

Happy fall everyone! Gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here blogging but I have had a pretty good excuse… I’m 15 weeks PREGNANT! Which then means, for my first trimester I was having a significant problem with keeping food down and even wanting foods other than bagels, pizza, and snacky foods. Now that I am cruising into the second trimester, I am slowly getting back into cooking and experimenting with a variety of different foods, and have always wanted to create a simple but delicious version of Baked Ziti.

This recipe features two of my favorite products from Organic Valley, a company that I hold dear to my heart. I love their values and mission to ensure all of their coops are pasture raised and do not cut corners, which is clear when you drink their milk or use their eggs. For this particular baked ziti, I opted for regular pasta, marinara, some dried seasonings (oregano and parsley) and ricotta and eggs from Organic Valley.

To start, I boiled a pot of water and cooked the pasta to al dente, about a minute less than what the box suggested. I strained the pasta and added it to a 9×13 pyrex baking dish, pre-lined with some marinara. I mixed in the ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and more sauce. I repeated this step until it was fully coated with sauce and ricotta. One thing I’ve learned from experimenting with baked ziti in the past is ensuring that there is plenty of sauce and ricotta so that it does not dry out.

Preheated the oven to 375 degrees. I dolloped some ricotta on top, sprinkled my Organic Valley cheese on top. Once the oven preheated, I baked the ziti for 15 minutes, then turned the oven to broil and broiled the ziti for 7 minutes just into most of the cheese turned brown. My husband, who is a pasta aficionado, even commended me for this one. Looks like I’ll be making this again soon. NOMaste 🙂

Baked Ziti

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword baked food, baked ziti, pasta, traditional
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 2 containers Organic Valley ricotta cheese
  • 1 box Pasta (I used mezzi rigatoni)
  • 1 24oz jar Rao's marinara
  • 2 cups Organic Valley shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to water and pour in pasta. Cook to desired doneness or box directions. Once done, drain pasta.

  2. Line a 9×13 pyrex baking dish with marinara sauce.

  3. Pour drained pasta into dish. Pour more marinara sauce, scoops of ricotta, and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese into the pasta and mix well.

  4. Continue to add marinara and ricotta until the pasta is fully coated and wet. Sprinkle with dried oregano and parsley.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  5. Spread mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

  6. Turn oven to broil and broil for 7 minutes until cheese is melted and browned. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Use gluten free pasta if you desire!  Banza works very well!

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip “Health” Cookies

I am not a baker. I don’t pretend to be one nor do I play one on television. I just love food. Today, I received my first ever Kitchen Aid hand mixer and was super excited to make homemade chocolate chip cookies. For the most part, I have an idea of what goes into making chocolate chip cookies and was able to gather ingredients easily. However, I always like to alter ingredients and see what I can substitute with healthy ones.

The finished product!

A few years ago I fell upon a type of sugar called coconut sugar and I swear by it when baking. It is relatively a 1:1 substitution for regular cane sugar and is made from the heart of the coconut. I actually use it for a substitution of brown sugar as well, but this recipe calls for both coconut sugar and light brown sugar. It’s low glycemic and has a beautifully sweet smell, except it doesn’t yield such a strong sugary flavor *disclaimer: I did mention these were going to be healthy chocolate chip cookies, so if you’re a sugar-fiend or really enjoy a traditional Toll House cookie, this may not be for you, but in fairness, give it a try and see what you think!* 

I started with my dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisking the flours (1 cup cassava, 1 cup A.P (all purpose)) salt and baking soda. Setting that aside, I took my butter, brown sugar, and coconut sugar and whisked together with my fancy new hand mixer *ooooh, ahhhhh* until it was fully blended and smooth.

After the mix blended, I cracked an egg into the brown sugar and butter mixture and blended on medium speed one at a time (two eggs in total) until fully immersed. I slowly added in the flour and mixed until all the flour was fully blended in and the batter became sticky. I decided to throw in two kinds of chocolate chips: milk chocolate chips and stevia dark chocolate mini chips because #yolo.

On two separate baking trays, cut parchment paper and scoop a tablespoon of batter into your hands and form small balls with the batter. Place on the rack and fill with three rows of four balls (12 in total per rack, 24 balls altogether). Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, switching the top and bottom cookie trays halfway to cook evenly (and NOT do what I did and have one batch be perfectly brown while the other had black bottoms, sigh… I did say I’m not a baker…)

Let cool and enjoy 🙂 Again, these are not your typical chocolate chip cookies; they will be chewy, a little doughy, definitely healthy, and altogether quite tasty! I can’t wait for you to give these a try! ~ Nomaste

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip “Health” Cookies

Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American, Cookies
Keyword cassava, coconut, cookies, healthy, paleo
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter (or 1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and make sure oven racks are in the middle of the oven.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside

  3. In another large bowl, blend together on medium speed the unsalted butter and two different sugars until fluffy and creamy. About 4-5 minutes.

  4. Crack in one egg at a time into the butter mixture and continue to beat until fully blended.  Add in the vanilla extract and mix.

  5. Slowly begin to pour the flour into the butter mixture and blend on medium speed.  Add in the chocolate chips and mix well, about 2-3 minutes.

  6. Scoop some of the cookie batter into semi-wet hands to form balls and place on two baking trays lined with parchment, making 3 rows of four balls each tray (24 balls altogether).  Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through.

  7. Take trays out and let cook on the baking trays for 5-7 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onion

Sometimes there are things that just come to mind the night before, or even the same night when trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.  This recipe is no exception.  I love cooking with and using turmeric in a variety of ways, as turmeric is great for inflammation and overall health.  This is a dish that calls for marinading the chicken the night prior so that all the great herbs and spices get fully absorbed into the chicken, leaving it nice and juicy when cooked.  I used garlic powder, turmeric powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and chipotle powder.  I blended the spices in a Ziploc bag and let sit overnight.

I chose to use chicken thighs for this recipe.  What most people forget is that darker meat of a bird is actually more nutritious than the chicken breast.  The darker meat has loads of vitamins and essential fatty acids our bodies need to function and to stay healthy.  I love thighs because they are meatier than drumsticks, and cook for varied length of time (especially boneless).

To prep, I julienned (thinly sliced) the peppers (one orange, one yellow) and sliced the onion and let them start to sauté in a large pan in some oil.  After they started to get soft, I added the chicken and some butter and water.  I covered the chicken so it can cook in its own juices (instead of adding tomato sauce or a broth, it simmered in water and its own juices). This simmered for just about 45 minutes and was ready to serve with some rice on the side.  It was kind of awesome!

 

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken thighs
  • 1 orange pepper 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Turmeric powder
  • Paprika
  • Chipotle pepper
  • Coriander
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a ziplock bag, add the chicken thighs with all spices and let sit overnight in fridge.
  2. Cut the peppers and onion in thin slices. In a medium pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil on medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Stir to coat and let sauté until soft.
  3. Add in chicken thighs and layer the peppers and onions on top of the chicken. Turn chicken over after five minutes to sear on both sides.
  4. Add butter and 1/4c water to the pan and cover. Bring heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure that chicken is beginning to get tender and fall apart.
  5. Serve with a side of your favorite rice, pasta, or potatoes and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you want to make a gravy from the leftover sauce in the pan from chicken:
-- Add a tbsp and a half of flour to the pan and whisk until thick
-- Layer on top of chicken