Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

 “Doing what you love is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness”

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

I am so excited to share this recipe with you largely because I feel very clever. I snuck many veggies into this dish then tested it on a 7 year old and a 40 year old and guess what?….

It was a smashing hit!

They had no idea what hit them. They knew nothing about the eggplant, the zucchini, the bell pepper and the onion lurking in the rich sauce made with both spicy and sweet italian sausages. They both licked their plates clean while I smirked happily. And that is how I measure success of a dish.

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

I was looking through my blog’s recipes and came to a realization that there aren’t that many pasta recipes. What a nuisance!  That must be changed… immediately. It must be done while I am in the  pasta adoration phase, which can pass as fast as it came.

I’m not going to lie I’m also in the “I don’t have much to write about” stage and just going to leave you alone with this incredible sauce.

Hoping writer’s block is gone by the next post.

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

 Enjoy Superbowl!!!

Veggie Packed Meat Sauce over Linguine

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 5

Ingredients
  • 1 small zucchini (about 1 cup) diced
  • ½ medium eggplant (about 1 cup) diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 italian sweet sausages
  • 2 italian hot sausages
  • 1 24oz jar your favorite pasta sauce (I used Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil and Garlic)
  • 1 lb pasta, such as linguine, spaghetti or penne
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet or a Dutch.
  2. Remove casings off the sausage, crumble and brown until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon transfer cooked sausage to a plate.
  3. To the same pot add eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and onion. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in sausage and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the pasta sauce, stir, reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently for about 10 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Serve topped generously with the sauce, parmesan cheese and a piece of garlic toast. Enjoy

 

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Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

There is something satisfying about eating clean. When clean eating is combined with flavor and good ingredients that satisfaction increases to almost a euphoric sense of well being. I love asparagus. I also happen to love quinoa.  It’s popularity in my house is going strong. My husband likes it and so does my baby girl and that, my friends, is good in my book.

To think, this recipe started when I send Kurt to the store for a little asparagus instead he returned with a family size package that could have fed 8 people.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

What I mostly love about this recipe is how sturdy it is. It holds up well and does a good job keeping you full for hours. The trick to eating healthy is using the ingredients you like and turning them into recipes you love. Variety is key and it’s likely to help prevent food boredom resulting in fewer slip ups and late night trips to the snack cabinet or the junk food drive through. I haven’t had drive through junk in over 5 years and proudly admit that I don’t miss it. Briana hates drive through food as well. Last time she had it, she proclaimed it tasted nasty and spit it out. She was 4 then, three years later she is still drive through junk free.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

Have a fun day everyone! I’m off, thanks to the Winter Storm Juno we have a snow day.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Chickpeas

Rating 

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup italian dressing (more if needed)
Instructions
  1. Bring two cups of water to a boil and cook quinoa according to the package instructions. Let stand uncovered, fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  2. In a separate pot bring a cup of water to a boil, add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. The asparagus should be slightly crunchy.
  3. Combine quinoa, asparagus, carrots, chickpeas and parsley in a bowl.
  4. Stir in italian dressing. Season with salt, pepper and enjoy.

 

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Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

The hardest part in training for the half marathon is adjusting my nutrition, specifically when it comes to eating carbs. Over the years my diet consisted of few carbs, high fiber, good fat and lean protein, now I’m struggling to convince my conscious self otherwise. It’s like my body is telling me one thing but my brain refuses to listen.

Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

Since we are on the subject of carbs let’s talk about this delicious dish. Pasta, a delicious carb,  covered in slowly braised short rib ragu is the latest rage around here. Seriously short ribs, aromatics like herbs, onion and carrots simmered in tomatoes and vermouth is sinful. Sinful dishes like such are a complete allowance once a week, since the rest of the week we eat super healthy.

Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while then you know I don’t like to take it easy on Sundays specifically when it comes to food. Sundays are for family. Sundays are for comfort. Sundays are for delicious suppers, allowing indulgence and satisfaction. After all who wants to be “good” all the time. Not this gal and not on a Sunday. I think my husband would divorce me if I didn’t cook his favorite dinners on Sundays. Well maybe not divorce but he would certainly complain a lot and since making him happy pleases me, I don’t mind cooking dishes as such. I know… I’m so selfish.

Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

We’re supposed to get some major snow here in Jersey this weekend. Secretly I welcome it. I love watching Briana play in the snow. She gets so happy.

Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs short ribs, bone in
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 oz can organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dry rosemary
  • ½ cup dry vermouth (or white wine)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or more if needed)
  • salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven. Season short ribs generously with salt, brown on each side for a few minutes (about 3 min per side). Do not overcrowd the pot. Do this is two batches, removing the ribs to a plate.
  3. To the same pot add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, mushrooms and herbs. Add red pepper flakes if using. Season with a little salt. Cook until veggies are soft.
  4. Pour in vermouth and let cook for about 5 minutes on low.
  5. Nestle the ribs into the veggie mixture. Top with tomatoes and chicken stock. Gently stir, cover and bring to a simmer.
  6. Transfer the pot to the oven and braise for about 1 hr 45 min.
  7. Serve over penne.

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