Pasta

Broccoli and Bacon Penne with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Broccoli and Bacon Penne with Cauliflower Alfredo - 21 Day Fix Approved

I saw a post recently for cauliflower Alfredo sauce and I thought, hmmm, I’ve already had success with cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower mash so why not, right? Do you ever think we are going to look back at our cauliflower and kale obsession and be like WHY? Ha. But, for now, I am going to take every chance I can get to sneak extra veggies into my meals. I took a couple different recipes and changed them up to be 21 Day Fix approved. After trying it over plain noodles, I thought it could use some texture and flavor so I came up with this broccoli and bacon penne loaded up with the cauliflower alfredo and it was AWESOME (leftovers were also terrific when reheated).

Ingredients:

For the Alfredo Sauce:
8 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 cup vegetable broth

For the pasta:
8 oz whole grain or quinoa pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
8 slices nitrate free turkey bacon

Directions:

For the Alfredo sauce:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender. Drain and set aside.

While the cauliflower is cooking, saute the garlic in the olive oil over low heat. Cook for a few minutes until the garlic becomes soft and fragrant, being careful not to overcook or brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Transfer the cauliflower, and garlic/olive oil to a blender. Add the vegetable broth, milk, salt and pepper. Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Add additional broth as needed to reach the desired consistency.

This makes roughly 5 cups of sauce. Extra sauce can be refrigerated or frozen.

For the pasta:
Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and place in a large bowl.  Cook the broccoli until fork tender, chop, and add to bowl. Cook the bacon according to package instructions, chop, and add to bowl. Add in desired amount of cauliflower Alfredo sauce and mix to combine until you reach the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

This would also be amazing with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!

Servings: 4
21 Day Fix: 1 yellow, 1/2 red, 1 green

Broccoli and Bacon Penne with Cauliflower Alfredo

 

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Zoodles with Turkey Meatballs – 21 Day Fix Approved

I am a complete zoodle convert! Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini using a vegetable spiralizer like the Veggetti. They are SUPER simple to make and you won’t even miss the pasta! I am all for something that tastes like a big bowl of comforting pasta but is actually vegetables! As someone who struggles to get all her veggies in some days, I could eat 3 zucchinis worth of zoodles in one sitting.

Zoodles with Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup 2% milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs raw ground turkey, 93% lean
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups tomato sauce
8 medium zucchini
4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

 

Directions:

Combine bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and set aside. Allow to soak for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, eggs, parsley, cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, bread crumb mixture, and onion mixture. Mix well with clean hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Using a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini onto clean paper towels. Squeeze out excess water from the zucchini using paper towels.

Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly coated with cooking spray.

With clean, wet hands, form the turkey mixture into 1 inch meatballs, arrange onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 13-18 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

While meatballs are cooking, heat tomato sauce.

Divide zoodles, tomato sauce, and meatballs evenly. Top with fresh basil and cheese.

Makes roughly 10 servings.

For 21 Day Fix:
1 serving = 1 purple, 1.5 green, 1 red, 1 blue

Zoodles with Turkey Meatballs 21 Day Fix

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Zucchini Lasagna – 21 Day Fix Approved

Zucchini Lasagna

I LOVE this lasagna, it is so delicious, you won’t even miss the pasta! Using zucchini strips in place of lasagna this is an excellent grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb alternative to traditional lasagna. It is also 21 Day Fix approved!

It is a little time consuming so give yourself plenty of time to prepare (it’s totally worth it – trust me). This makes enough for leftovers and is delicious re-heated. You can also always pre-assemble the lasagna and freeze before baking. Or prepare two and freeze one!

The key to this recipe is to get as much moisture out of the zucchini as possible by salting and then grilling them. Be sure to choose a high quality crushed tomatoes and check the label for any additives. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
28 oz crushed tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini
15 oz part-skim ricotta
12 oz shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 large egg

Directions:

In a large saucepan, brown meat until fully cooked, drain in a colander to remove excess fat. Add olive oil to the warm saucepan then add garlic and onion and saute 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover pan and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. The sauce should be thick; do not add extra water.

Meanwhile, using a mandoline, slice the zucchini length-wise into 1/8″ strips. Place the strips on paper towels, and lightly salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. The salt will remove the excess water from the zucchini. After 10 minutes, blot away the excess water with paper towels.

Preheat a grill or grill pan. Grill zucchini, 1-2 minutes per side and set grilled zucchinis on paper towels to soak up any remaining moisture.

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan and egg until smooth and mixed.

Once all ingredients are prepared and sauce is done simmering, assemble the lasagna in a 9×12 casserole dish. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish (using about 1/4 of the sauce). Cover evenly with a layer zucchini strips. Top with a layer of ricotta cheese mixture (use about 1/3 of the mixture), then sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top (use about a 1/4 of the mozzarella). Cover with another layer of sauce (another 1/4 of the sauce), a layer of zucchini, a layer of ricotta (another 1/3), then mozzarella (another 1/4), a layer of zucchini, a layer of ricotta (the final third), more mozzarella (another 1/4), then finish with the last 1/4 of the sauce and top with the last 1/4 of the mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into 8 slices and serving.

Servings: 8

For 21 Day Fixers: 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue

Zucchini Lasagna 21 Day Fix

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Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

This recipe is all over Pinterest but when one of my favorite people and blogger, Mrs. in Training blogged about it I knew I had to try it. Plus, I liked her changes better than the original recipe (which can be found here). The recipe is simple, spicy and delicious. I added plenty of extra red pepper flakes to ours since we like heat and I added a bit more of each of the sauces to make the final product saucier. In the future I think I will make this even easier by just adding pre-cooked shredded chicken instead of cooking the chicken in the sauce.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped garlic
6 oz uncooked chicken, chopped into 1″ pieces
1.5 cups bottled marinara sauce
1 cup bottled Alfredo sauce
2 tsp butter1 lb Rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
Additional 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, for garnish

  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Directions:
Set a large pot of water to boiling for the pasta.

In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add red pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic and saute until fragrant about 1 minute. Add chicken and saute briefly to coat in the spices.

Add marinara sauce, then Alfredo sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165. While chicken is cooking, cook and drain the pasta.

Remove chicken and sauce mixture from heat, add butter, and stir to incorporate. Combine the cooked pasta and sauce in a large bowl, reserving the majority of the chicken to place on top of the pasta. Garnish with additional red pepper and Parmesan.

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Macaroni and Cheese

Mmmm…. mac and cheese. Carbs and cheese? Seriously? Who invented this? You deserve a medal. I decided to try out the Pioneer Woman’s versions since I usually trust her whenever calories are not a restriction and butter is a necessity. You can serve this without baking it for a creamy, succulent version, but I decide to bake it. I’m not sure which way I prefer. Baking it dries up the sauce some so you don’t get the same creaminess but it does have the added bonus of a crunchy topping.

Ingredients:
4 cups dried macaroni
1 egg
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard
1 lb cheese blend of your choice, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Directions:
Cook macaroni until very firm. The macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot melt butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk together. Cook for five minutes, whisking constantly. Do not let mixture burn. Add milk and mustard, whisk until smooth. Cook for five more minutes, until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Beat egg in a small bowl. Scoop 1/4 cup of the sauce out of the large pot and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to temper the egg. Whisk until smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly until smooth. Add in cheese and stir until melted. Add salt, seasoned salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt as needed. Do no under salt.

Add cooked macaroni to sauce and stir to combine. Serve immediately for creamy mac and cheese or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra grated cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 or until bubbly and golden on top.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta

I loved this perfect autumn pasta dish. The flavors are spot on. Sweet butternut squash, caramelized shallots, salty, smoky bacon, sharp provolone cheese, and aromatic rosemary combine to make a delicious and highly flavorful pasta dish.
There are a lot of steps to this recipe making it a little time consuming and it does dirty a lot of dishes, but trust me it is worth it! This is worthy of a special occasion or a dinner party. Yum! 
Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
Cooking spray
6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Fresh rosemary, chopped for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread squash cubes on the foil-lined sheet. Sprinkle squash with 1/4 teaspoon salt, dried rosemary, and pepper. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 450.
When squash has been roasting about 30 minutes, put a large pot of water (omitting salt or fat) to boil for the pasta while you cook the bacon and shallots. 
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until slightly crispy. Do not overcook. Remove bacon from pan and reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon into a medium bowl and set aside. Increase heat under pan to medium-high. Add the shallots to the reserved drippings and saute 8 minutes, or until tender. Add cooked shallots to the bowl with the crumbled bacon. Once squash is cooked, add it to the bacon and shallots, tossing gently to combine. You may also wish to add chopped fresh rosemary to the squash mixture for additional flavor. Set aside.
When the water for the pasta comes to a boil, add pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain well. 
Spray an 11×17 inch baking dish lightly with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil then cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone and stir until melted. Add the drained pasta to the cheese mixture, tossing well to combine.
Spoon pasta and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Top with additional fresh rosemary before serving.
Servings: 5
Calories: 469
Adapted from Cooking Light.

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Pasta Bolognese

When the weather gets cooler, I always love a good, hearty pasta. This bolognese is super delicious and I knew Casey would appreciate a meaty sauce. The leftovers were wonderful, too, this  sauce tastes great the second day. I served it with my favorite Alexia Garlic Bread and topped with plenty of fresh basil

 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup grated carrots
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
3 oz tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes. with juice
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Fresh basil, for garnish
Directions:
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Push the carrots and onions to the side, exposing the bottom of the pot. Place ground beef in the center. Cook for several minutes, gradually breaking down the ground beef and mixing it with the carrots and onions.
Add oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Continue to cook until meat is browned and combined with the other ingredients. Make a well in the center of the pot and add tomato paste to the exposed bottom of the pot. Let the tomato paste heat for 1-2 minutes, add garlic, and stir to combine.
Make another well in the center and add the red wine, stir to combine. Add Worcestershire and canned tomatoes, stirring to combine. Pour in the milk, stir, cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Serve over pasta and top with fresh Parmesan cheese and basil.
Serves: 4
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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Grilled Italian Vegetables with Pasta

This is a great pasta chock full of fresh summer veggies. Next time I will add some olives to give it another layer of flavor. We actually ended up liking this best with some fresh tomato sauce over it.
Ingredients:
1 (1 1/4-pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 pound zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
Cooking spray
4 plum tomatoes, halved
4 cups green onions (about 2 bunches), sliced into 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
6 cups hot cooked penne (about 12 ounces uncooked)
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Directions:
(Optional step to remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant): place eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
Prepare grill.
Place eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 10 minutes, turning as needed. Add tomatoes and onions to the grill and cook all veggies and additional 5 minutes, turning often, until softened and slightly charred.
Remove veggies from grill and cut all into 1 inch pieces except for the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise.
In a large bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, oil, zest, and basil. Add the pasta, the veggies, and the cheese. Toss until well incorporated. Serve.
Servings: 6
Calories: 333
Adapted from Cooking Light.
 

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Summer Vegetable Skillet Lasagna

This recipe was so delicious, definitely a keeper! I haven’t been eating a lot of pasta recently so that might have made me love it all the more. Mmmm, carbs… But, Casey loved this too, and for once didn’t even suggest that it could use some meat like he usually does when I serve him meatless meals. No, this is so chock full of veggies that you won’t miss the meat. It is summery, fresh, and creamy.
I usually use part skim ricotta but for some reason grabbed fat free so I can’t even imagine how good it would be with part skim or even (gasp) full fat. I guess I will just have to make it again soon to see.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese, divided
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet (or dutch oven) over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion and cook about 3 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Drain the liquid from the tomatoes into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add water to tomato liquid to make 2 cups. Add tomato/water mixture and 1 teaspoon salt to the skillet.
Scatter the noodles into the skillet and top them with the drained tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Stir in zucchini and squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles and squash are tender, about 8 minutes.

Add basil, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to the noodles, stirring until cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. Dollop remaining ricotta cheese over the noodles. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
 
Linked to Ekat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck and Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club.

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Pasta with Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Oregano

I saw this recipe posted on The Lushers blog and knew I had to try it. It was delicious, light, simple, and a perfect spring pasta. I try to incorporate meatless meals into our weekly menus and this one fit the bill perfectly.
 
Ingredients:
1lb broccoli, cut into small florets
1lb dried linguine or fettuchine pasta, uncooked
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested, juiced & divided
8oz soft goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped, divided
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt liberally. Add pasta. When the pasta is a few minutes shy of al dente, add the broccoli florets & cook until pasta is done. Scoop out 1 cup of cooking liquid and set aside. Drain pasta and broccoli.

Return the pasta and broccoli to the pot and add the olive oil, lemon juice, half of the zest and toss to coat. Add the goat cheese and half of the oregano. Turn the heat under the pot on low and toss the pasta to coat, adding the reserved pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide among 4 plates, top with remaining lemon zest, oregano, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Servings: 4

 
Linked to Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club and FTLOB Tasty Tuesday.

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

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