pasta

Winter Veggie Baked Ziti from Whole Foods Market

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The holiday season is very much upon us, and that has me in the mood for all of the holiday party dishes! Naturally, I headed to my local Whole Foods to pick up some fresh and seasonal products to make a dish that I'll be serving at my holiday dinner this year, a winter veggie baked ziti. They had everything I needed from organic pasta to sauce to seasonal fresh veggies and cheese. Plus you can even order online at the Whole Foods Market E-Store! We all know how hectic the holiday season can be, so WFM is making it as easy as possible.

For this dish, I decided to go with some of my favorite seasonal veggies - brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and mushrooms. They all remind me of this time of year and would make for the perfect healthier baked ziti dish. Mix in some pasta, sauce, and cheese, and you have yourself a a veggie-packed meal that even the kids will love! It really is the perfect easy-to-make main course for any holiday gathering.

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Here's What You'll Need:

-1/2 head cauliflower cut into florets
-1 bundle brussels sprouts (~20-25), halved
-8 oz baby bella mushrooms (~10-15)
-2 cups kale, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 lb box ziti
-25 oz jar marinara sauce
-1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
-1 cup ricotta
-1 egg
-2 tbsp and 1 tsp avocado oil, separated
-3/4 tsp dried oregano, separated
-3/4 tsp dried basil, separated
-Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Toss the brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and mushrooms with 2 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp basil, sea salt, and pepper, spread the veggies on a baking sheet, and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. Once done, decrease the temperature to 375. 
2) While the veggies are roasting, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.
3) In a large pan on the stove top, heat up 1 tsp avocado oil over medium high heat. Add in the 3 cloves of minced garlic and 2 cups of kale. Cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
4) Reserve 1 cup of marinara sauce from the 25 oz jar.
5) In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the cooked pasta, roasted veggies, sauteed garlic and kale, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, marinara sauce (minus the 1 cup), egg, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, sea salt, and black pepper.
6) Pour the mixture into a large, greased baking dish. 
7) Top the mixture with the reserved cup of marinara sauce and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella. 
8) Bake the dish in the preheated 375 degree oven fro 30-40 minutes until fully cooked through. 
9) Serve, and enjoy!
 

I hope you enjoy this veggie-packed, healthier version of the classic! It's sure to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and don't forget to check out your local Whole Foods Market or the Whole Foods Market E-store for all of your holiday food shopping needs!

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Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I've recently become obsessed with making my own nut milks, specifically cashew milk, ever since coming across Ellie's Best nut milk bags. For some reason I was under the impression that it would be difficult, but it's SO quick and easy. I just soaked a cup of cashews in water for 2+ hours, strained and rinsed them, and tossed them in the blender with 3 cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt on high for a minute or two. Filtered it through my nut milk bag, and BAM delicious, creamy, unsweetened cashew milk. You can use the code Stacy10 for 10% off your own Ellie's Best nut milk bag by the way!

So basically I've been going through cashew milk like crazy these days. It's so tasty, and the consistency is nice and creamy. So I thought it would be the perfect ingredient for some creamy, vegan mac and cheese. You guys know I'm veggie crazy, so I decided to add in cauliflower because it would just soak up the taste of the delicious sauce. And I decided to keep it gluten free and protein packed with some Ancient Harvest POW! Green Lentil Penne.

Here's What You'll Need:

-7 oz Ancient Harvest POW! Green Lentil Penne
-1/2 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
-1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp sea salt + extra
-1/4 tsp black pepper + extra
-1/8 tsp turmeric
-1/8 tsp chili powder (optional)
-2 tbsp avocado oil

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Toss your cauliflower in the avocado oil with some sea salt and black pepper, and roast it in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes until it starts to brown and soften.
2) In the meantime, cook your pasta according to the directions.
3) Strain your pasta, and use the warm, empty pot to mix together the cashew milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, turmeric and chili powder.
4) Once cooked, remove your cauliflower and cut into smaller pieces.
5) Mix the cauliflower and cooked pasta into the sauce, serve, and enjoy!

Not into cauliflower? Feel free to swap it out with the veggie of your choosing! I also topped mine with a bit of red pepper flakes for some extra heat. Let me know how you play around and what you think in the comments below!

One Pan Zucchini "Pasta" Bake with Ragu Homestyle

Even though I'm not Italian, pasta was a MAJOR staple in my household growing up. And my mom always used Ragu when making anything Italian. I'm pretty sure all of my favorite meals as a child included Ragu - baked ziti, spaghetti and meatballs, you name it! So when I heard that they were coming out with a new Homestyle line, I was super excited. I headed to the store, and picked up the Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic sauce, just one of many of their delicious sauce flavors. 

I didn't even know what I wanted to make at first, but I knew that I had to try this sauce. Plus I'm obsessed with garlic, so it was really a no brainer. I got to thinking and figured since I was having a little twist on the sauce I knew growing up, I'd use it with a twist on the traditional pasta meal. I decided to go with zucchini and summer squash pasta instead 1) to keep it a little healthier and 2) because it's summer! No better way to get the best of both worlds than with some summer veggies and a delicious, hearty pasta dish.

Here's what you'll need:

-1 zucchini, spiralized using the ribbon blade
-1 summer squash, spiralized using the ribbon blade
-1 cup Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic tomato sauce
-5.3 oz cottage cheese
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp basil
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-1 tbsp EVOO
-Sea salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
2) In a cast iron skillet, heat up the olive oil on the stove top over medium high heat.
3) Once the oil is glistening, add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
4) Add in the zucchini and summer squash ribbons, and cook for about 3-5 minutes mixing regularly.
5) In the meantime, mix together the cottage cheese, oregano, basil, sea salt, pepper, and Ragu Homestyle sauce in a bowl.
6) Mix the sauce mixture into the pan, and top everything evenly with the parmesan cheese.
7) Move the skillet into the preheated oven, and cook for 10-15 minutes.
8) Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
9) Serve, and enjoy!

It honestly tastes JUST like pasta, but better! Plus it's super easy and fast to make and has minimal, delicious ingredients. It gave me all the feels of growing up but with a kick! That hearty, garlic flavor is just so perfect! I can't wait to give the other flavors a try. For other tasty recipes from Ragu themselves click here.

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Good Clean Summer Love Pasta Salad with Love Beets and Organic Girl

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE me some beets and organic greens! So when Love Beets and Organic Girl let me in on their #GoodCleanSummerLove campaign, I was SO excited to play around!

Before we get into the recipe deets, let me tell you guys about this amazing contest. One lucky winner is going to win an entire year's supply of Love Beets and Organic Girl (insert heart eyes and hand raising emoji here)! I'll put the full details on how to enter at the bottom of this post, so make sure you check it out!

So back to the eats. Beets and greens scream summer to me (hence the campaign I'm guessing), and of course they both go great in a salad. But I decided I wanted to kick it up a level. What else screams summer? Grilling, corn, and pasta salads. So why not bring them all together? Trust me you want to bring them all together...

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 lb pasta, cooked (I used sprouted penne, but lentil or whole grain pastas are also great)
-2 cups Organic Girl pepper greens
-4 Love Beets organic cooked beets, chopped
-1/4 cup Organic Girl pomegranate balsamic dressing
-3/4 cup feta
-2 ears of corn
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
2) Remove the silk from the corn and pull down the husks. Coat the corn in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Replace the husks back up around the corn.
3) Grill the corn for about 20 minutes, rotating 1/4 of the way every 5 minutes.
4) Once cooked, shave the kernels off the cob using a knife.
5) Toast the pine nuts on the stove top until just golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).
6) In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, beets, pepper greens, corn, pine nuts, and feta.
7) Add in the dressing (and salt and pepper to taste) and mix completely until evenly distributed.
8) Serve and enjoy!

This pasta salad is literally like summer in side dish form. It's perfect for a picnic, bbq, or even as a meal through out the week. Let me know what you think in the comments, and make sure to check on the contest rules below.
 

Caprese Pasta Salad

I have been SERIOUSLY slacking on the recipe front, and I totally apologize for that! But I'm back and just in time for Memorial Day Weekend! I'm hoping to get up a few different ideas throughout this week that you can bring to/make for any upcoming picnics and parties you might be attending over the long weekend. Starting it off with this super easy caprese pasta salad.

Here's What You'll Need:

-One 10 oz bag of penne (I used Modern Table Meals' mixed lentil penne)
-16 oz fresh mozzarella (I used two Buf Creamery containers), cut into cubes
-2 medium tomatoes, chopped
-10 basil leaves, chopped
-1/2 cup balsamic vinnegar
-2 tbsp olive oil
-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Cook your pasta according to the instructions. Let cool until it reaches around room temperature, or you can just toss it in the fridge.
2) In a large bowl, mix together the tomato, penne, basil, and mozzarella.
3) Drizzle with the balsamic and olive oil and top with salt and pepper.
4) Enjoy!

I told you it was easy! And it's sure to be a crowd pleaser! Let me know what you think in the comments below!