Tag Archives: #italian

It’s an Impasta!

My fellow Italian friends……

Wouldn’t it be so fab if pasta was good for you? One can wish, right?

Since I started making healthier changes and coming to realization that I have a gluten intolerance, I have been on a mission to find as many healthy versions of Italian inspired recipes that I possibly can. There’s one that has been on my radar for awhile, and I FINALLY made it last night: Zucchini Ravioli!

You guys…..these were so delicious! Here’s the recipe!

ZUCCHINI RAVIOLI
Ingredients:
-4 zucchini
-1/4 cup fresh parmesan
-1 cup low fat ricotta
-1 egg
-2 Tbl fresh oregano
-1 clove garlic
-1 1/2 cup marinara (unless you prefer more sauce)
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

To make:

-Preheat oven to 375, greasing 9×13 baking dish. Spread some marinara on the bottom of the dish.

-To make the “pasta”, cut zucchini in half (lengthwise), then use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into thin “noodles”, peeling until you reach the center. It’s okay if they are thin or uneven.

-For the filling, mix the ricotta, egg, oregano, and parmesan in a bowl. You can use other spices if you prefer (many recipes call for basil in place of the oregano).

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-To assemble the ravioli: layer two pieces of zucchini with another two, placed perpendicular. Your zucchini noodles should look like a plus sign. Spoon about a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into center of zucchini, then fold toward the center, starting with the the vertical pieces, then the horizontal. Once folded, place the ravioli seam side down in the baking dish.

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Your ravioli should look like this:

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Once ravioli have been placed in dish, top with marinara and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Top with parmesan if you like and serve!

****A few things to share****

-Don’t go for large zucchini. I made the mistake of trying to use a homegrown one that was ginormous, and because of the size, it was harder to make the noodles. Medium sized work best. Size does matter!

-You can use a mandolin over a vegetable peeler if you want. I personally found the peeler much easier.

-You can change up the filling. Next time I think I will mix in some Italian sausage because I typically do a meat/cheese option in my ravioli. You could also use spinach or veggies.

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This was a fabulous swap, and I highly recommend it. You’ll be seeing this on my meal plan many many times!

Enjoy!

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Katie Carbonara!

When you have Italian heritage in your blood, you tend to be all about that pasta life. This girl…..she sure loves her pasta, lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti…you get the picture.  I love a lllllllllllllll the pasta and don’t discriminate.

However….there’s this little thing called gluten intolerance, and I have it. Several years back I went completely gluten free because I was misdiagnosed as having Celiac disease, only to find out that I didn’t, just the intolerance. Still inconvenient, but whatever. I deal with it. Sometimes I really want something that is full of gluten, and it is worth the suffering and appearance of being 9 months pregnant after consumption to enjoy the carby heaven in that moment.

Besides the fact that gluten hates me, I know it isn’t the best option on my meal plan. As I’ve learned more and more about nutrition and how to fuel my body, I’ve found amazing substitutes that are much friendlier on my stomach. One of those: Banza pasta!

For those that haven’t tried Banza yet, it is a pasta made of chick peas and pea protein….and it also has about 25 grams of protein in a serving. Best part: it tastes like regular pasta. I am obsessed with it.

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Don’t worry…it comes in other pasta forms, not just shells!

It came in handy tonight when I started craving Carbonara like a crazy person! Since I am on a specific meal plan, I knew that legit Carbonara would not work. But…..I could make Katie Carbonara and still enjoy this dish while sticking to my meal plan!

Here’s how you make this easy and tasty dish:

Katie’s Carbonara
Ingredients:

-One box of Banza
-Ghee
-1 egg
-Olive Oil
-Italian Seasoning
-Cherry Tomatoes
_Meat (optional)

To make:

Cook Banza pasta in a salted water until cooked to your desired taste. Drain. In a saucepan, sautee tomatoes in olive oil, then mix in the pasta, a small bit of ghee, an egg, and a little more olive oil if needed. I like to get a little heavy-handed with the Italian seasoning, and sometimes I mix in a meat (cooked, drained lean ground beef or sausage). The egg makes it a little creamier, and it ends up being a satisfying meal. You can even mix in some spinach if you need to sneak some veggies in!

I love this recipe, and I hope you do, too!

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Look at this beauty!

 

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Squash the stereotype….Italians can survive without pasta!

Little Pop Quiz for Ya….

Q: What is the one food item that is the most difficult to give up when you are trying to eat healthy AND have Italian in your blood?

A: Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Don’t get me wrong….pasta isn’t entirely bad……especially when you eat the proper portions. However, what Italian do you know that actually eats the proper portion of lasagna, spaghetti, etc? I know I struggle with it.

Until Now!!!!

I found a way to disguise vegetables as lasagna!

It was a squash kind of week!

This week I made the most amazing lasagna that allowed me to have a pretty substantial portion. Since I am now obsessed with this recipe (I think I will be making it weekly), I had to share.

                                                      Katie’s Bombdiggity Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

         (I know what you are thinking….spaghetti squash, yeah right. Be openminded. Veggies are good for you!)

What you need:

-1 cup ricotta cheese
-2 1/2 cups of Italian turkey or chicken sausage ( I use the Fit and Active brand at Aldi’s)
-1 spaghetti squash (cooked)
-2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce (I use a family recipe or the one in the Fixate cookbook)

To cook the squash:

-I place mine on a cookie sheet and bake for about 55 minutes at 400 degrees. I literally do nothing to the squash other than plop it on the cookie sheet.

***Sidenote….Aldi’s presently has squash on sale for about $1.29 each! Stock up!

While squash is cooking:

-Brown the sausage (make sure to remove the casing….what a fun, slimy, gross job) and spray a casserole dish.

Once you remove the squash from the oven, set it to 375 (the temp for baking the lasagna). Cut the squash in half, remove those blasted seeds, and use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”.

Then break out your inner Italian and assemble the lasagna in the casserole dish as follows:

– Spoon about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish
-Place spaghetti squash on top of sauce
-Add the sausage (make sure it is drained…no one likes that extra grease)
-Add 1/4 cup sauce, then 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese
-Spread ricotta
-Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella

Bake for about 15 minutes at 375.

So freaking good!

That’s it! Super easy, and it is absolutely delicious! You can change this up if you want…maybe you don’t want the meat; you can go without. Pair it with a nice salad, and your Italian heart can be happy.

21 Day Fixers, one portion of this is equivalent to ONE GREEN, ONE AND A HALF RED, HALF A BLUE, and ONE THIRD OF A PURPLE.

Don’t be a squash snob…..spaghetti squash is so versatile. And with this recipe the Italian in you doesn’t have to feel guilty about lasagna!

Enjoy, my fellow health conscientious Italians!

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