Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pizza Macaroni Casserole

     I made this recipe up last night and it turned out delicious!  I had some smoked sausage that I needed to use up but only had about 6 oz. of it left so I threw this casserole together and used up the last of lots of other ingredients I had as well! It really worked out great and had amazing flavor.  Jackson named it Pizza Macaroni Casserole and gave extremely high reviews.  Maybe I should make up my own recipes more often! In all honesty I didn't measure anything so the only exact measurements I can provide is the size of cans I used for the sauce.  For those of you who don't feel comfortable shaking spices and adding ingredients "until it looks good" I'll go ahead and try to estimate what I used.  Here goes!

6 oz. smoked sausage, sliced
2 cups dry macaroni noodles 
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 - 1 1/2 cups mozarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese.
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. dried onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook macaroni according to package directions.
2.  Meanwhile, in a casserole dish combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, sliced sausage, sugar, and spices.  Mix well. 
3.  When noodles are done, drain them and then add to the sauce mixture.  Mix well and coat noodles with sauce.  Taste test the sauce and adjust seasonings to your taste. 
4.  Place a layer of pepperoni on top of noodle mixture.  When I did this I just made sure each pepperoni was touching and created a solid single layer on the casserole.  It's the best part so don't go light on the pepperoni! 
5.  Top with mozzarella and paremesan cheese.
6.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 min. or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. 

Serve this up with some garlic bread and enjoy!  It's simple, fast, and you only dirty one pot and one casserole dish!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blueberry Oat Waffles

Wow I have slacked off on posting recipes this month!  I blame the new job- 7 less hours in my day to get this done, as well as my recent landmark of reaching the 3rd trimester - I'm getting tired much more often!  Anyway, I've still been cooking something different every day and we've eaten a LOT of great food.  This was our Saturday morning breakfast.  Blueberries were on sale at Sprouts (the Farmers Market) for only $1.99 a pint.  Yes, a full pint.  Incredible.  So, we ate a lot of blueberries last week!  These waffles were amazing and much more healthy than the normal white flour ones!  Here's what you need: 

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour  (I used 1/3 white flour and 1/3 wheat germ)
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans (I didn't have these but I bet they're delicious)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the milk, egg, oil and lemon juice; stir into dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in pecans and blueberries. Let stand for 5 minutes. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown.

My husband and I LOVED these.  So much more than normal waffles. I felt so nutrition-savvy as I substituted in some wheat germ and coconut milk.  I'm trying to incorporate more whole foods into my cooking and am having a LOT of fun.  Once I have some extra cash I'm going to go crazy buying glass jars to store all of my dry goods in (like wheat germ!).  Anyway, these were dense and didn't rise as much as white flour waffles but we actually liked it a lot more that way.  Try these, they're so good and don't leave you feeling sick afterwards.  Just very satisfied and full of oats and wheat and blueberries! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Almond Mandarin Salad

     Sometimes Jackson and I feel like we eat a LOT.  Especially when we visit our parents' houses where there is always an abundance of food and dessert.  As a result, we are going through a phase where we are craving lighter foods so we can stop feeling like our stomachs are about to burst from all the food we've shoved in them.  I had this salad planned (thank-you and just added chicken to make it a meal.  We ended up having company over so I made a quick loaf of bread as well to make sure everyone got enough to eat.  I recommend grilling the chicken, especially if you have a George Foreman.  I cooked mine stove top because it was my only option but I envy those of you with grilling power.  

  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dry hot mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 bunch green onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • grilled chicken (optional)

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until evenly brown. Drain, cool, and crumble.
  2. To make the dressing, thoroughly blend the vinegar, honey, dry mustard, celery salt, paprika, and olive oil.
  3. Place lettuce, oranges, green onion, bacon, and almonds in a serving bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.

This salad is DELICIOUS.  The dressing is perfect and the whole thing comes together in a jiffy.  Feel free to serve it up as a side dish instead, and be sure to serve it to company, they'll love it!