Pasta Primavera

I am quickly falling in love with every variety of skinnypasta™ from Gabriella’s Kitchen! First was the low carb, high protein fettuccini. Now it is the gluten free and vegan Teff penne.

 

 

I am not gluten free or vegetarian/vegan but I do know many people who are and I absolutely LOVE creating recipes that they can enjoy too! Many of these people were not always gluten free or vegan/vegetarian and I constantly hear how much they miss the texture of semolina or wheat based pasta. I have tried many varieties to try to find one that I think best matches in both texture and taste and it wasn’t until I found  skinnypasta™  that I had a true winner. Once cooked it wasn’t gummy and didn’t have any weird after taste which is something  I have experienced with other gluten free or higher protein pastas.

Something I NEVER do when I cook whole wheat or semolina pasta is rise it but I have found with any other type {gluten free, chickpea, lentil, etc.} I personally find I like the texture of the end product better when I rinse it. You do you – rinse or don’t rinse!

 

 

Never heard of Teff before? Neither had I! When I am creating recipes that are comforting and satisfying but I want to ensure they jam packed with nutrients I am always on the lookout for superfood ingredients and Teff is definitely one of those! Originating from Ethiopia, Teff is an ancient grain that is naturally gluten free and a good source of protein, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. This grain is the size of a poppy seed if you can believe that but it is so packed with nutrients and is a wonderful wheat alternative.

 

 

As many of my recipes do, there is a lot of room for ingredient swaps. This dish works with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. And if you wanted to add additional protein to this it would go great with some chicken or shrimp as well! Get creative and make the dish your own to suit your tastes buds.

 

Pasta Primavera
Author: Emily Goodman
Pasta Primavera Author: Emily Goodman Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 20 mins Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 box [url href=”https://gkskinnypasta.com/product/superfood-teff-penne/” target=”_blank”]skinnypasta™ SUPERFOOD Teff Penne[/url]
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil, [i]divided[/i]
  • 1/2 cup onion, [i]diced[/i]
  • 1 cup mushrooms, [i]sliced[/i]
  • 1 cup zucchini/summer squash
  • 1 large clove of garlic, [i]mincded[/i]
  • 1/2 cup carrots, [i]shredded[/i]
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, [i]halved[/i]
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt (I used [url href=”https://siggis.com” target=”_blank”]siggi’s[/url])
  • Salt and pepper, [i]to taste[/i]
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the [url href=”https://gkskinnypasta.com/product/superfood-teff-penne/” target=”_blank”]skinnypasta™ SUPERFOOD Teff Penne[/url] according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water then drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
  3. Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add 2 more teaspoons or coconut oil and the zucchini/summer squash and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic, shredded carrots, and tomatoes.
  6. Once all the veggies are cooked through add the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, and yogurt. Use the reserved cooking water to thin out the mixture to your desired consistency.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
Notes
Portion Fix container equivalents per serving: 1 green, 1 yellow, 1/2 blue, 0.25 red, 1 spoon[br][br]If you would like to make this recipe vegan you can swap the parmesan cheese with a vegan cheese.

 

If you decide to try skinnypasta™  yourself I suggest you keep it in the freezer. Since it is fresh it has a much shorter shelf life than dried pasta and I can tell you from first hand experience that if you keep the Teff Penne it in the fridge for more than 1 week it will not last. So if you don’t plan to use it right away, the freezer will be your best friend! There is a freezer date on every box so you know exactly how long it will last!

 

 

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Creamy Pesto Fettuccine with Brussel Spouts and Bacon

I could seriously eat pasta 24/7. I love all of the different shapes it comes in and how many unique ways you can pair it with veggies and proteins to make countless dishes and never get bored.

 

 

For the longest time I thought I had to give up pasta if I wanted to lose weight and tone up. I constantly cut it out my diet trying to go carb-free and ended up feeling so deprived that I would end up bingeing on it and feeling awful after. I wasn’t seeing the physical results I wanted because I kept putting my body in shock every time I would do this and it was confused and I constantly felt bloated and puffy. Over the past 3.5 years I have taken a hard look at my nutrition and started learning about different ingredients, what foods make me feel the best/worst, and learning that if I eat all food groups in the right balance I can have everything I want, feel amazing, and see results.

When it comes to pasta specifically I have changed over to eating either whole grain, gluten free, and even chickpea or lentil pasta. These varieties of pasta typically have more protein and haven’t been stripped of so many of their good nutrients. I have also focused in on managing my portion size and if you have been following me for the beginning of 2018 I have been on an 80 day fitness in nutrition journey where I have been practicing timed nutrition.

 

 

Timed nutrition was an adjustment at first because it did require more food planning and prep than I typically do but when making sure I have food to eat every 2-3 hours (eating 5-6 times a day) while working full time I needed to have everything ready to grab and go! It was an adjustment the first two weeks but eventually I found my rhythm, got a good handle on how much food I needed to buy each week so I didn’t waste anything (or not have enough), and got super speedy in my prep! I usually prep 2 times a week on either Saturday/Sunday and again on Wednesday which helps me have variety in what I am eating and keeps me from getting bored – my KEY to staying on track! Now that I got through that uncomfortable time of learning and being a little outside of my comfort zone in my routine it has made my life SO much easier is something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I have noticed the biggest improvement in my energy levels from eating this way. Because each of my meals includes the correct balance of protein, veggies, carbs, and healthy fats my metabolism is running at an optimal level which has prevented any mid-afternoon energy crashes for 3 months straight. It has also given me more energy to power through workouts and increase the weights I use that I have never been able to do before.

 

 

 

What I love most about this nutrition plan is that I can eat pasta. I am eating pasta with at least 1 meal a day and then the rest of my carbs come from either sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils or sprouted grain bread. I am in legit foodie heaven yet I have the results you see below!! Eating to fuel your results is real!!

Since I am constantly on the lookout for new pasta brands I was excited to come across skinnypasta™. This high-protein, low-calorie and low-carbohydrate fresh pasta has amazing texture and taste which I find extremely important when choosing which pasta brands I eat. If it’s mushy after cooking it just won’t work for me and skinnypasta™ has the perfect al dente texture and it cooks up in 2-3 minutes because it is fresh! They also offer low-glycemic, vegan, gluten-free and other allergy-sensitive options as well. Today’s recipe features their HIGH PROTEIN Fettuccini and I will be creating another recipe using their SUPERFOOD Teff Penne which is gluten free to have ready to share with you in a couple of weeks after all of my travel I have going on!

 

 

I love a creamy flavorful pasta sauce but my waistline can only handle it on occasion so with this recipe I wanted to create a healthy alternative by making some key ingredient swaps and Creamy Pesto Fettuccini with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon was born! This recipe as NO cream and NO cheese – crazy right? But I promise you all the flavor is there and you will feel completely satisfied after eating this.

 

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give skinnypasta™ a chance to help you #NourishPassion in your life! If you make this recipe snap a picture and let me know how it comes out by tagging me on Instagram.

 

Creamy Pesto Fettuccine with Brussel Spouts and Bacon
Author: Emily Goodman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 10oz fresh brussel sprouts, [i]halved[/i]
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice [i]**If using fresh, it’s the juice of a half a lemon**[/i]
  • 1 box of [url href=”https://gkskinnypasta.com/product/high-protein-fettuccine/” target=”_blank”]skinnypasta™ HIGH PROTEIN Fettuccini[/url]
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • Pink Himalayan Salt and pepper, [i]to taste[/i]
Instructions
  1. Cook the turkey bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and crumble once cool. Set aside.
  2. Wash and halve the brussel sprouts. Heat the olive oil a skillet over medium heat and add the brussel sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and add 2 tablespoons of water but do not touch the sprouts. Cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Uncover and toss the brussel sprouts with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. While the sprouts are cooking bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the fettuccini and cook according to package directions (2 minutes) until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
  4. Add the pasta back to the pot. Add the brussel sprouts, bacon, pesto, and greek yogurt. Add the reserved pasta water as needed until the sauce gets to the consistency you prefer.
Notes
This is not a Portion Fix or 80 Day Obsession recipe so I do not have container counts for it.[br][br]If serving 8 people I recommend serving as a side dish alongside an additional protein. If serving 4 people it is enough for a main dish.[br][br]Optional adds: Toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, fried or poached eggs on top

 

 

 

If you are curious about the 80 day fitness and nutrition program I have been following, are looking to join my next online bootcamp and have me as your coach, or just have general questions please fill out this form and I will reach out to you within 24-48 hours!

 

American Chop Suey Stuffed Squash

I’m totally into any recipe where I can eat the bowl…

 

Bread Bowls

Pineapple Bowls

Parmesan Cheese Bowls

Apple Bowls

Bacon Bowls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowls

 

…I could go on forever. But I won’t because getting you this recipe is TOP of my priority list.

This was one of those impromptu recipes that came together and made me want to dance around my kitchen singing “All I do win win win” but instead I instagramed the eff outta it in my stories and took some pictures for this post.

 

 

I really love taking pictures of food if you couldn’t tell so I am anxiously awaiting the next iPhone release so I can upgrade from my iPhone 7 and finally get on the portrait mode bandwagon. Check out portrait mode if you haven’t yet. It’s LEGIT.

And if you are looking for a hearty, warm you from the inside out type of recipe then this is for you! And don’t forget to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram so I can see what you are making > @emilyjgoodman

 

American Chop Suey Stuffed Squash
Author: Emily Goodman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8, 1/2 squash each
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and flesh.
  3. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay flesh side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. While the squash is cooking heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large deep skillet.
  5. Add the onion and carrot and saute until soft and translucent, approx. 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add the ground beef and break up with a spoon until browned and cooked through, approx. 5 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant.
  8. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently making sure it doesn’t burn.
  9. Add the can of whole tomatoes, agave nectar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Gently break up the whole tomatoes with a spoon so they start to break down and become liquid.
  10. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool slightly.
  12. Add the cooked macaroni to the meat sauce.
  13. Ladle in 3/4 cup servings of the American chop suey into each squash half.
  14. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Notes
Portion Fix container equivalents per serving: 1 green, 1 yellow, 1/2 red, 1 spoon[br][br]> Since I use an extremely minimal pinch of Parmesan cheese I do not count it[br]> Also I know people are going to ask me how I calculated the meat to be 1/2 red and honestly, I eyeballed it because it was not super simple to calculate. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making good healthy choices!![br][br]Optional: top each with 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese and place back in the warm oven to melt. If you do this count the mozzarella as 1/2 a blue if following the portion fix container system.

 

 

 

 

Ricotta Mac and Cheese

These cold winter nights has me craving my all-time favorite food…mac and cheese! There is nothing more comforting than a steaming hot bowl of pasta and cheese right? However, that comfort tends to come at the cost of my waistline so I am constantly trying to find a recipe that hits the spot but has a healthier twist. This ricotta mac and cheese does just that!

 

The ricotta really helps to give this dish the thick and creamy texture that makes a mac and cheese so great. And I feel so much less guilty digging into this since there isn’t a drop of heavy cream in site ? The addition of broccoli helps to sneak in those veggies. Shredded chicken would make a great addition as well!

 

Mac and cheese is such a versatile dish you can really add in whatever YOUR favorite ingredients are!

 

 

I just finished my first round of Core De Force on 12/13/2016 and I am extremely excited to share my results with you!

 

3.6 lbs ⬇️
9.5 inches ⬇️

 

 

I purposely chose to commit to this program during the holiday season to help me stay on track with my health and fitness and to not let myself slip into the “I will start again after the new year” mentality. The first two weeks of this program I was doing GREAT with my nutrition. It was 80/20 all the way baby!!! Then came Thanksgiving which I had a planned splurge day for because, well, potatoes ??

 

While I never missed one workout during the 30 days my nutrition was more like 80/20 some days, 70/30 others, and even 50/50 at points during the last two weeks. The one constant that helped me to still get results while not having complete control over my eating was that I drank my chocolate Shakeology EVERY. DAMN. DAY. So no matter what was going on I knew at least one meal of my day was helping to nourish my body, provide me post workout protein to help my muscles repair and recover, and aid in my digestion (because let’s face it, I needed that if I wasn’t being better with what I was eating).

 

I am beyond proud of my commitment to this program these past 30 days and I actually just started Round 2 this Monday 12/19  These pictures just go to show that the fitness part of your journey can only take you so far. Nutrition is KEY when it comes achieving your goals!

Is health and fitness on your resolution list for 2017? If so, let’s chat!

Start by filling out this form and I will be in touch with you!

 

 

Since my Day 30/30 with Core De Force was on 12/13/2016 and I had a few days off from kicking and punching before I started Round 2 this week and dabbled in some other workouts I wanted to try out on Beachbody On Demand such as the new 21 Day Fix workout Remix the Fix. I also dabbled in some some new recipes such as this ricotta mac and cheese.  This recipe was honestly something I made up on the spot because I had a lot of leftover ricotta in the fridge and a head of broccoli. I love when a recipe I make up on the spot comes out SO GOOD!

 

Serve as a main course or a hearty side dish and I guarantee you will have clean plates all around. It may even become that last minute holiday dish you have been searching for all week ❤

 

Ricotta Mac and Cheese
Author: Emily Goodman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 lb whole grain penne
  • 3 cups of broccoli florets, [i]chopped small[/i]
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 4 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta
  • Fresh nutmeg (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground dried nutmeg)
  • 1 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground mustard
  • Himalyan pink salt and freshly ground pepper, [i]to taste[/i] (you can use regular salt as well)
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously right when the water starts to simmer. Once it is at rapid boil add the pasta and cook until al dente (2 minutes less than what the package directions say since the pasta will continue to cook in the oven).
  2. Add the broccoli to the boiling pasta for the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a large sauce pot over melt the butter over a medium heat.
  5. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 2 minutes to form a roux that is light golden in color (turn the heat down while whisking if the roux starts to burn).
  6. Add the almond milk and whisk continuously until it comes to a boil.
  7. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until thick whisking occasionally.
  8. Once thick remove from the heat and add the ricotta and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  9. Add the cheddar cheese and ground mustard.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add the pasta and broccli and stir to combine and pour into a large casserole dish.
  12. Mix the panko with olive oil and sprinkle on top of the pasta.
  13. Cook for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the panko has browned.
Notes
Add garlic powder and parsley to the panko for an added depth of flavor

 

Jalapeno Cheddar Beef Chop Suey

I have been obsessed with a recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Burgers that are part of my Core De Force eating plan. The burger form of this recipe is SUPER tasty and easy to make but I found myself cutting up the leftover burgers and mixing them with additional veggies and rice which was also SUPER tasty.  So I thought “I bet this would be amazing with some pasta.” And Jalapeno Cheddar Beef Chop Suey was born.

 

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Jalapeno Cheddar Beef Chop Suey
Author: Emily Goodman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8oz of whole wheat elbow macaroni, [i]approx 4 cups of cooked pasta[/i]
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, [i]diced[/i]
  • 2 jalapenos, [i]seeded and chopped[/i]
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground sirloin
  • 1 small tomato, [i]diced[/i]
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Himalayan pink salt, [i]to taste[/i]
  • Fresh black pepper, [i]to taste[/i]
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook that pasta according to the package directions[br]
While the pasta is cooking,
  1. In a large non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. Add the red onion and jalapenos. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the ground sirloin.
  4. Using a wooden spoon break up the meat to brown it and start to mix it with the onions and jalapenos.
  5. Once the meat is almost completely brown add the diced tomato, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
  6. Turn the heat off and mix in the cooked pasta and cheddar cheese.
Notes
21 Day Fix container equivalents per serving: 1 red, 0.5 green, 1 yellow, 0.5 blue

 

I had a lot of leftovers of the meat since this recipe makes 4 servings I also made another version where I omit the cheddar cheese completely and top it with a dallop of ricotta instead. The warmed noodles and beef help melt the ricotta and when all mixed together it makes a really yummy sauce!

If you replace the cheddar with ricotta and are following the Fix nutrition plan your container equivalent will be: 1.5 red, 0.5 green, 1 yellow.

 

jalapenoxbeefxchopxsueyxwithxricotta

 

If you use more than a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta for your serving just adjust your yellow container count as needed!

 

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This time I cooked a package of RP’s Pasta Red Lentil Fusilli. I do not follow a gluten free diet but this pasta is SO GOOD. Since it fresh it cooks up in 3 minutes and I honestly can’t tell the difference between this and regular pasta. It even packs a little bit more protein per serving than your average pasta which is a win in my book as well!

 

rpxsxpastaxredxlentilxfusilli

 

I am a big fan of their spinach fettucini as well and used it regularly as a base for my cauliflower alfredo sauce!

 

Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is hands down my favorite food of all time. If you told me I could only eat one food for all 3 meals for the rest of my life it would be mac and cheese. But mac and cheese is not my waistlines favorite food. While I wish I could shove my face into a gooey, cheese bowl of heaven every single day I also want to fit into my clothes. Which brings me to talk about this lightened up version of Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-title

 

Not only is it gorgeous to look at but it totally hits the spot when you are craving something warm and cheesy. And it is loaded with veggies so you can enjoy without the guilt! ? ? If you still in need of a side dish for your Thanksgiving table this week this seasonal take on mac and cheese is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-6

 

I was inspired to create this recipe when the awesome folks at Banza sent me some samples of there delicious chickpea pasta to try out. While I am not gluten free I do enjoy trying out gluten free foods and adding them into the rotation of my meals. Did you know Banza is made from 90% chickpeas and that chickpeas are naturally gluten free food!

 

Banza also has  double the protein, four times the fiber and nearly half the net carbs of average pasta!! You can check out their full nutrition label here.

 

banza

 

You cook Banza just like you would any other type of pasta. However you may notice a little bit of foam in the pot that develops while cooking. This is the same foam that occurs when you boil chickpeas and is the result of a naturally occurring plant compound in beans called saponins. If you want to decrease the foam add a splash of oil to the water, or just scrape some foam off the top during cooking. It does not effect the taste of the pasta at all.

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-1

 

I found the Banza pasta to have a great consistency and was the perfect texture for this heartier pasta dish. The ridges on the penne shape were great for holding on to the gooey cheese sauce I poured all over it.

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-2

 

MMmm cheesey pasta ? I could eat it just like this right from the pot!

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-3

 

I have made countless mac and cheese recipes over the years but cauliflower may just be my favorite vegetable to pair with it. Cauliflower eaten raw or steamed can be very bland so I am not surprised when people tell me they don’t like it. But coat it in some olive oil, Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt), fresh black pepper, roast it in the oven and be ready to be have your whole outlook on cauliflower change. Roasting it helps to bring out it’s natural sweetness and don’t be afraid to let it get good and brown in some spots.

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-4

 

Cauliflower has so many health benefits including being a great source of vitamin C and K, dietary fiber, and can help your body to detoxify. It is a great ingredient to use in place of mashed potatoes, rice, or even to make a healthy alfredo sauce.

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-5

 

Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Author: Emily Goodman
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, [i]cut into florets[/i]
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 8oz box of Banza pasta (or 8oz of the pasta of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons organic grass fed butter
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 0.5 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 0.5 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat panko bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Coat your cauliflower with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes until you have nice caramelized brown spots on the cauliflower florets.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt.
  5. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes until al dente.
  6. While the pasta is cooking melt the butter over a medium heat.
  7. Add the flour and whisk continuously for one minute to form a roux.
  8. Add the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, approx 5 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the Dijon mustard, cheddar and Parmesan.
  10. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  11. Place the pasta back in the pot and add the cheese sauce. Stir to combine adding the reserved pasta water as needed to help thin out the sauce consistency to your liking.
  12. Add the roasted cauliflower and parsley. Stir to combine.
  13. Pour the pasta mixture into a large baking dish and top with panko bread crumbs.
  14. Turn your broiler on high and broil for 3-4 minutes until the panko has browned (or bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes).
Serving size: 1.5 cups
Notes
21 Day Fix container equivalents per serving: 2 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 spoon

 

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-7

 

Since this dish is packed with protein and loaded with veggies means I can eat mac and cheese for all 3 meals now right??

 

roasted-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-8

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

There is no ingredient that screams “FALL” to me more than butternut squash. It is one of my favorite ingredients of the season and I use it to make soup, stews, salads, lasagna and now butternut squash stuffed shells.

Butternut squash is such a great ingredient because it is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E. The riper the squash the more orange the flesh will be.

 

butternut-squash-stuffed-shells-1

 

If you are looking for a fall twist on your classic stuffed shells recipe than look no further!

I love this recipe because it makes enough to serve 8-10 people or you can freeze the leftovers to have at another time if you are serving less people. I freeze mine about 6 shells per freezer bag so I don’t have to defrost them all at once. You can also assemble the dish ahead of time and bake later which is always a plus! This is one of those dishes that I find the leftovers to just get more delicious as all of the flavors meld together.

If you wanted to add meat to this dish sausage would make a great addition because it pairs so well with the squash. I would saute it right along with the shallot and before adding the blended butternut squash.

 

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
Author: Emily Goodman
Serves: 30 shells
Ingredients
  • [b]FOR THE SAUCE [/b]
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, [i]optional[/i][br][br][b]FOR THE FILLING[/b]
  • 1lb box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 15oz fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and reshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese [i](plus more for topping)[/i]
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped or dried
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft, approx. 15 minutes.
  2. Remove squash with a slotted spoon into a blender, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.
  3. Blend squash until smooth adding 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid to thin out as needed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, approx. 4 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  6. Add pureed butternut squash. Season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little more of the reserved water to thin out to your liking.
  7. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and nutmeg (optonal) and keep warm over a low heat.[br][br] Preheat oven to 350°F.[br][br]
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the shells for 3 minutes shorter than the package directions. They will finish cooking in the oven.[br][br][i]While the pasta cooks…[/i][br][br]
  9. Squeeze the defrosted spinach in a clean kitchen towel to drain out any excess water.
  10. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  11. Drain the shells and run them under cold water to stop them from cooking any further.
  12. Ladle 1/2 cup butternut sauce sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
  13. Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish. Top with the remaining butternut squash sauce.
  14. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
  15. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts and everything is hot and bubbly.
  16. Top with parsley and serve.
Serving size: 8-10 people
Notes
I used pre-peeled, cubed butternut squash from the produce section for a little shortcut

 

What is your favorite way to enjoy butternut squash? Leave your answer in the comments!

 

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