Fat-Fighting Whole Wheat Pasta, Veggies, and Ricotta

Fat Fighting, Filling and easy pasta, veggies, and ricotta cheese

So I bet you made some new years resolutions. You want to get healthier, eat better, lose weight, and take better care of yourself. Here’s a recipe to help!

Well if you’re anything like me, then you’re always searching for easy, cheap, and tasty healthy meals to make during the week.

This one is packed with nutrient rich veggies. Don’t shy away just because it contains pasta – we can’t live off of veggies alone. After a few days of eating only veggies and fruit you’ll find me at the grocery store in a starving carb deprived daze filling my cart up with carbs and then eating an entire bag of chex mix on the drive home. Oh, is that just me? Nevermind then.

Nevertheless, this is an easy meal that is full of energy rich veggies. It makes a ton, so I like to make it on a Sunday so that I can have half a week of lunches left over. It’s filling and delicious. Your stomach and brain will thank you.

Whole Wheat Pasta, Veggies, and Ricotta

Ingredients
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta (I like to get the kind with extra fiber!)
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
1.5 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh if you have it)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions
2. Add broccoli florets and asparagus or green beans during the last 6 minutes of cooking; drain.
3. In a large serving bowl, combine ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
4. Add cooked pasta and vegetables to ricotta mixture. Add chopped tomatoes. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with grated cheese

Enjoy!

xoxo Katie

 

 

Straight from the White House!

cauliflower mac and cheese

I present you with a super duper easy recipe straight from Michelle Obama’s kitchen!

This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a favorite of Malia and Sasha and is now my go to comfort food dish. At first I was little apprehensive, I like cauliflower and all, but why ruin something as wonderful as macaroni and cheese? I was wrong – it is delicious. The cauliflower masks itself as additional cheese so  you think eating extra gooey and warm cheese when you’re actually getting a dose of healthy cauliflower. It is also man approved as Ryan said “gotta save this recipe!” (which I believe also means kid approved) Wohoo for being able to sneak veggies into something that is typically void of nutrients.

This was such a fast meal to make too – took me all of 20 minutes to prepare and then another 25 to bake. Perfect for a busy evening!

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my new favorite:

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces of pasta shells
1 cup skim milk
1 pound of your favorite mixing cheese (I used 1/2 a pound of skinny gouda and 1/2 a pound of sharp cheddar)
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
  2. Steam the cauliflower until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Puree the cauliflower, add some of the steaming liquid to thin the puree a tad bit.
  3. In a large casserole dish, combine the pasta and hot cauliflower puree. Add the milk, both cheeses, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the butter and breadcrumbs with your fingers until it resembles damp sand. Sprinkle across the top of the pasta mixture, then place the dish in the oven for about 25 minutes until the top is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.

Serves 4 to 6.

Enjoy!

xoxo katie