Tag Archives: homemade

Cavatappi with Sausage, Spinach, and Marinara

Let’s admit, it’s been a lot on us to try and come up with creative meals for dinner during our stay-at-home order these last few months. To be honest, we’ve resorted to ordering in twice a week and Taco Bell on Tuesday, which tastes delicious, but nonetheless is wasting money and not the healthiest thing to do. We finally cleaned off and fired up the grill on Sunday and made homemade burgers, hotdogs, grilled vegetables, and I was finally able to try some turkey sausages a company sent to me a few months back (by the way, they are AMAZING – Great American Turkey Co.)

Because it was only my husband and I, there were a decent amount of leftovers. Last night, I decided to make some pasta and throw the sausages in, along with some spinach I had in the fridge. I also remembered I took out frozen marinara sauce I made a few weeks ago so I added that to the pasta too. It was a leftover’s dream! Not only did the marinara taste just as good as it did when I made it, but the al dente boiled pasta (I love using Banza or Jovial pasta – which can be found on Thrive Market –> click the banner to the right or click here) and the spinach and sausages were such a good combination. I hate wasting food, so for this dinner to be a homerun, I was darn proud that I was able to use up food from a few nights ago, and what I rummaged in my fridge and freezer.

If you want to make this from scratch, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package Banza cavatappi (or preferred pasta)
  • 1 package Great American Turkey Co sweet italian turkey sausage links
    • you can find where they are located on their website! Or, just use a different version of your favorite sausage
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
    • I like to make my own, but when I don’t, I use Rao’s
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Start by cooking the sausages to you preference, I like to grill them during the warmer months but you could always slice them and toss in some EVOO on a skillet. When the sausages begin to brown and cook, about 5-6 minutes, toss in the baby spinach. The spinach will cook down and wilt with the sausage. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil, and add salt when water is boiling. Cook your pasta to desired doneness, with Banza I cook a minute or two less so that it does not fall apart, so the cavatappi says 9-11m, I cooked for just around 8 minutes or so. Drain the pasta and pour back into the pot. Add in the marinara of choice, then add in the sausage and spinach and mix together. Sprinkle with a little bit of parmesan, salt, and pepper and let your taste buds dance and sing. NOMaste healthy and safe friends!

Fusilli Pasta with Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Pasta. Who says no to pasta? There’s virtually endless “pastabilities” when it comes to making pasta as a meal. You can add vegetables, a variety of meats, different sauces, different shapes of pasta, even alternative pastas such as Banza (chickpea) or brown rice pasta! It’s literally one of the most reliable pantry items that never disappoints.

I’ve wanted to try and make an easy cream sauce and figured being at home lends itself to more experimenting in the kitchen. I had a jar of roasted red peppers and some heavy cream, and decided to throw it into a blender with some dried herbs and parmesan. I will say that this sauce is heavy on the red pepper flavor, so if you aren’t a roasted red pepper fan, this may not be for you. However, I love them so this was incredibly tasty for me (my husband not so much… but hey, ya can’t win them all).

This sauce has layers of flavor: the cream, the parmesan, the peppers themselves, and then the oregano and basil added into it. Tossed with some fusilli pasta – one of my favorites – and it was exactly what my belly needed.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package of preferred pasta
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Begin by boiling a pot of water. Salt the water and begin to cook your desired pasta until al dente and strain. Pour into a bowl. For the sauce, blend the peppers, cream, parmesan, and spices together in a blender. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to combine. Sprinkle a little more salt, pepper, and parmesan and mix. Serve with fresh basil, a dollop of ricotta, or even some sautéed spinach or zucchini! Plus, this pasta and sauce tastes EVEN BETTER as leftovers the next day. #winning

Beef and Bean Chili

It’s March, and while it’s not necessarily Spring yet, it’s certainly starting to feel like it. I’ll also admit that I haven’t had my usual energy to do much cooking or prepping, so this week is about keeping things simple and delicious, and helping my husband not spend money on lunch everyday for the rest of the week. Nevertheless, chili is something that I have always loved making because you can virtually make anything into a chili. I have a traditional chili on the blog already, but decided to ramp this one up with black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and roasted corn, all ingredients easily found in Trader Joe’s. I must admit, I couldn’t stop “taste testing” this one as it simmered.

I’ll keep this blog post super simple and cut right to the ingredients and recipe directions, because mama’s tired and needs her sleep (after all, we only have 10 more days until bub is due and I’ll need as much sleep between now and then as possible!).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn
  • 2-3 tbsp Chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A shake of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large pot (I love my Staub cocotte), add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Add in chopped onions and saute until fragrant.
  2. Add in ground beef and brown until done. Add in can of crushed tomatoes, and seasonings (you’ll more than likely need more seasonings as the chili builds).
  3. Rinse and drain black beans and garbanzo beans, add them to the chili and stir to combine. Add in the cup of frozen corn and add a second round of seasonings (as desired, taste the chili first – when I did this I noticed it needed more smokey flavor so I added more chili powder).
  4. Turn heat to low/simmer and cook for another hour, stirring occasionally as to not burn the bottom.
  5. Serve with rice, potatoes, or quinoa!

Blueberry “On the Go” Breakfast Muffins

It finally happened, I caught the plague. The frustrating part about being sick is that you think you’re getting better one day, and the next it comes back in full force with the worst nasal drip, cough, and congestion. Thankfully, I am on the mend and had enough energy to retest a recipe I’ve been dying to perfect: blueberry muffins.

I’m always trying to make recipes easier and easier, and not over complicate with a bunch of different ingredients, and the beauty of these muffins is that while there are at least 8 different ingredients that go into it, the amount of blueberries is not compromised, leaving the end result as perfectly moist with a texture similar to a store-bought muffin, except they’re relatively bite size, hence “on the go.” I’ll be making these in a rotation for sure now that I figured out the ratio of baking soda to baking powder.

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
    • My dairy products are always Organic Valley products, and to learn a bit more about Organic Valley, head here.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour – I swear by Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour, which can be found on the amazing Thrive Market
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1 cup blueberries

In a large bowl add in all of the wet ingredients and whisk/mix with a hand mixer until just combined. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined again. Fold in the blueberries and let the batter sit for a good 20-25 minutes. This will allow the baking soda and powder to marry and build a solid base for the muffin (this will also help the muffins rise instead of fall when they come out of the oven).

Preheat the oven to 375*. Spray your muffin tin or liners with non-stick spray. Use a cookie scoop or a large spoon to ladle the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20-23 minutes. Cut one open, spread some almond butter or grass fed butter on them and you’ve got an amazingly delicious, gluten free and low sugar breakfast treat for the week! Plus, they freeze nicely too! NOMaste.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cacao Cake Brownies

It’s snowing. We are halfway through the first month of the new decade and it’s snowing here in New York. It’s actually quite peaceful to watch the snow fall, sitting inside, enjoying the quiet with my husband and my dog, sipping some coffee and developing new recipes.

I’ve been obsessed with trying to bake more, and play in the kitchen on the weekends, although my back is pretty tense today, and I desperately need to clean the bathrooms. I’m also 31 weeks pregnant and currently this babe is the size of a head of romaine lettuce, which is not small. Nevertheless, I baked (and cooked) on and off since 10am this morning. I saw one of the amazing bakers I follow on Instagram make these delectable brownies, and decided I wanted to try making brownies myself. This particular recipe is on the cakier side than fudge, even though I do plan to try a “fudgie” (fudge brownie) in the near future. Personally, I prefer a cake-like brownie as they’re a little less sweet, dense, and I can cube leftovers up and make a brownie trifle.. *wipes drool from side of mouth* This recipe is gluten free and dairy free, employing the help of Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour and Chosen Foods avocado oil instead of butter.

Here’s what you’ll need for these brownies:

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Flour found on Thrive Market
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened chocolate powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup organic granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 375*. Spray or pre-grease an 8×8 baking pan and set aside. Take a medium sized bowl and crack three eggs in, and add in the sugar, vanilla extract, and avocado oil. Whisk together until combined.

Add in the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, salt, and whisk again. The batter should be fairly thick as these brownies will be cake-like. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 20m.

I had three of them today, and two of those I added a *large* dollop of whipped cream on top and OMG it was heaven. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner… forget dessert 🙂 NOMaste.