Friday, July 29, 2011

Baked Ziti - You Can Cook Pasta and Eat it Too!!

Before we get started, I must give credit where it is due for this delicious dish.  Miss Carmen of This is My Fibro, created this recipe for me about three years ago and it has been my all-time favorite ever since!! It is filling, delish and quite frankly, one of my comfort foods.  I mean, take a look the finished product...aren't you comforted just looking at it??

Anyhoo, here's what you need to do to create your own fabulous Baked Ziti.  And you thought you'd never get to eat Italian food again :)

Baked Ziti
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce (make sure you purchase a brand with as little sugar added as possible)
  • 2 boxes rice penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

First, brown your beef halfway, then thow your chopped onion in to start softening it. Continue cooking until your beef is completely browned.

This is the rice pasta I use.  It is made from brown rice and has a slightly grainy texture, which becomes less noticeable once it is mixed with the spaghetti sauce and meat.

 Boil a big pot of water and cook your rice pasta according to the package directions. Drain, dump all ingredients into your pot and toss well. 

Place in a 9x13 casserole dish...

... and top with mozzarella cheese. (If you react to cheese you could also top with fresh chopped tomatoes.  They have a wonderfully roasted flavor when the ziti is finished baking.  Fresh chopped basil can also be added during the summer months as a garnish to increase flavor.)

...and bake in the oven for 30 minutes as 350 degrees.

Let stand for 10 minutes and serve with a side salad. Ahhh...I'm drooling over here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crockpot Chili

Ok, folks, here's a quickie but a goodie.  Crockpot Chili is one of my favorite recipes because it super easy and my munchkins devour it!!

Crockpot Chili
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

 Toss all ingredients into your crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serves 6-8.

Since not all crock pots are created equal, I suggest you taste test this from time to time the first time you make it.  My crock pot BOILS this chili on the lowest setting so I only leave mine on for about 4 hours. 
Scoop into a bowl, top with chopped cilantro and serve!! YUM!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Candida Friendly Breakfast Casserole Recipe!!

My husband grew up in the South an ADORES breakfast know, the ones full of bread, Bisquick and all that starchy, yeasty goodness.  I scoured the internet, unable to find any recipes void of breads, baking mixes and tons of cheese.  Can you say frustrating?!?!?! I fnally discovered a Cheesy Eggy Casserole recipe in my Taste Life! Organic Recipes cookbook which I modified to fit in with my anti-Candida diet.  May I just be honest for a moment and say, "It's fabulous!!"  Here's what ya do:

Breakfast Casserole
  • 1 lb. sausage, browned
  • 1 bag chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 9-11 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups cooked rice
I start by getting my rice cooking.  I use brown rice and it takes about 45 minutes to cook. This time, I had leftovers of my Lentils and Brown Rice and tossed that in instead of cooking a new batch of rice. 


Then, brown your sausage, drain and let it start to cool.

Scramble your eggs.

Mix all your ingredients together.

Put it all in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese**.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the center of your casserole is no longer jiggly.  Pull it out and enjoy!!

** Now, I know you're thinking, "Cheese?? We can't have cheese!!" However, in her cookbook Healthful Eating, Lynette Hall addresses the subject of cheese.
"Most cheese making is via a process involving bacteria and use of vinegar.  To acidify the milk bacteria is added so the rennet (either an enzyme from a calf's stomach or derived from molds and yeast) will work and aid in the curing.  The only cheeses usually allowed are fresh mozzarella, feta and ricotta.  These are the only cheeses you will see in this cookbook.  Mozzarella uses citrus acid for processing, ricotta uses lemon juice and feta ripens in salt to brine.  As in all other foods, get the freshest you can from an organic source."
I mostly use mozzarella cheese and have not had a reaction to it.  Obviously, if you have a reaction after eating it, omit from this recipe. 

This is a perfect option for a quick, easy breakfast once you have it cooked.  It keeps wonderfully and my entire family loves this casserold (especially my munchkins!!).  Hope you enjoy it, too!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lentils and Brown Rice

I wasn't particularly excited about this recipe but it is acceptable and sounded like it would be filling.  I found it in The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book, which I've relied on heavily for the past month in my meal planning.  There are tons of great recipes that work perfectly as sides on my dinner menu.  

Lentils and Brown Rice
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bouillon cube (vegan, chicken or beef)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat, cove pan and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.
4. Turn off heat, let sit 5 minutes covered, then fluff and serve.

It just dawned on me as I was typing up the recipe that I forgot to include the olive oil, which would explain why it turned out slightly dry (sigh).  I served this with steak and baked sweet potatoes.  It had a slightly sweet taste to it, which I'm assuming came from the carrots.  My hubby and I liked it, although the girls turned their noses up at it.  Oh well!!