Pumpkin Pasta Bake

It’s finally starting to feel like fall and I love it!! With the colder temps comes pumpkin everything! This recipe sounded delicious so I decided to give it a try, and believe me it did not disappoint!! The entire family loved it! Give it a try…you won’t be sorry you did!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (don’t use pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs( I just used my own homemade regular breadcrumbs. I also added a bit more breadcrumbs)
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cook penne to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet oven medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the pumpkin puree, almond milk, cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine ingredients until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the drained penne and stir to evenly coat noodles in the sauce. Pour into prepared dish.

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  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl and add breadcrumbs. Stir to combine and sprinkle evenly over top of the penne. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan and parsley before serving

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Chicken and Garden Veggies Skillet

I’ve been trying to eat extra healthy lately because I can’t seem to lose these last 5 pounds of baby weight so I’ve been packing on the veggie dishes. Here is the original recipe. I modified it a bit for my family. It’s delicious…though quite messy to clean up if you have an almost 1 year old who likes to throw quinoa on the floor. Seriously I love quinoa but it is THE worst thing to clean up off the floor. It’s up there with cottage cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers, finely chopped (I used 1 green and 1 red pepper)
  • 2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas( I don’t measure this I just grapped a couple handfuls at the grocery store. You could use snow peas as well)
  • 1 bunch parsley/dill/basil, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat large deep skillet or dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers and saute for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add quinoa, water, bay leaves and stir. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to lower medium and cook for 12 minutes.

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  • Now it’s time to add vegetables. At this point quinoa should be cooked al dente. Add carrots and broccoli. Stir, cover with a lid and cook on low-medium for 15 more minutes. Add sugar snap peas and parsley, stir and remove from heat. Serve hot.

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Vegetable Pasta Bake

This one takes a little bit of prep but it’s delicious and a great way to fill your family up on vegetables! I love it because you can customize it to add whatever veggies you have on hand and you can add and subtract ingredients according to your families tastes. I also love any recipe that gives me a chance to use my new Dutch Oven!!! Le Creuset Dutch Oven for the win!!

Ingredients: 

  • 8oz whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup corn(frozen or canned, I used canned because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

**You could add spinach, kale, broccoli, celery, mushrooms, green beans….Whatever your heart desires!!

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large dutch oven cook pasta; add cauliflower during the last 4 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

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  • In the same dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add carrots; cook until carrots are tender. Stir in pasta mixture, peas, and corn.

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  • For cheese sauce, in a small saucepan melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; add cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until melted. Stir sauce into pasta and vegetables. Transfer to a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake covered for 35 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake 5 more minutes.

 

 

Broccoli and Apple Baby Puree

Here is another fun baby food puree recipe. This one has more of a thick texture due to the broccoli, so it is best to use when your baby is ready for that. My baby is a little over 7 months old. He loved this one. I was surprised how good it tasted as well!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped

Directions:

  • Wash and chop your broccoli into small florets. You can either place them into a pot of boiling water or use the microwave steamer bags. I use the bags because it is faster. It takes about 3 minutes in the bags. Steam until soft.
  • Wash, peel and chop your apples. Place them into boiling water or use the microwave steamer bags. Steam until soft.
  • Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. You can add water to get your desired consistency.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop mixture into ice-cube trays. Freeze.
  • Once frozen you can pop out and place into freezer ziploc bags and store in the freezer until you want to use them.
  • This recipe made almost 3 ice-cube trays for me.

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Blueberry, Apple, Spinach Baby Puree

It’s so fun to mess around with recipes when making baby food. My baby is at a fun age and he is loving trying all the different things I’ve been making him. He loved this one!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • Handful of spinach

Directions:

  • Wash, peel , and chop your apples. Either put them into a pot of boiling water and steam until soft or use the microwave steamer bags.  Steam your blueberries as well.
  • Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth and the consistency you want. You can add water if needed.
  • Use a tablespoon to fill ice-cube trays with the mixture and then place in the freezer.
  • Once frozen you can pop them out and put into freezer ziploc bags to store in the freezer until you need them.
  • This recipe made about 2 1/2 ice-cube trays for me

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Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

I think we have some version of fried rice at least once a week. I love a recipe where you can basically add whatever you have leftover in your refrigerator, so feel free to modify and add whatever veggies you have and love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, (about 2½ cups chopped in a food processor)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup sugar peas( I honestly don’t measure, I just grabbed a big ole handful)
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (I use coconut aminos)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

I love all this color!!

I love all this color!!

Directions:

  • Rinse and chop the cauliflower into florets and put into a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is small and resembles rice.
  • Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Pour sesame oil in the bottom. Add onion, peas, carrots, bell pepper, and sugar peas and fry until tender.
  • Slide the veggies to the side and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.
  • Add the cauliflower to the veggie and egg mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir to combine. Cook until heated through and cauliflower is tender
Finished Product!!

Finished Product!!

Spinach, Peas and Pears Baby Puree

Now that my baby is getting older and we have gotten through most of the stage 1 fruits and vegetables, I am starting to make fun concoctions for him. Here is one I just made that my 7 month old loved.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 pears
  • 1/2-1  cup frozen peas( I didn’t really measure)
  • Handful of spinach

Directions:

  • Peel your pears and chop them into pieces.
  • Put the pears and peas into some boiling water to steam until softened or use thesteamer bags. I use the ziploc zip n’ steam bags and they are so easy!!
  • Once softened throw everything into your food processor and process until the consistency that you want for your baby.
  • Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays to freeze. I use these.
  • Once frozen I pop them out and put into freezer bags for easy storage in the freezer.
  • This made a little over 2 ice cube trays for me.

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Quinoa Mac & Cheese

Let’s face it…most of us love mac & cheese, but it isn’t necessarily the healthiest choice. This recipe uses quinoa instead of noodles and adds in some healthy veggies. I love the fact that you can basically use any vegetables that you have lying around and it sneaks them in if you have children who aren’t veggie lovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • veggies of choice(I use whatever I have around. This time I used red bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • breadcrumbs

Directions:

  • Lightly saute and veggies you are using.
  • Cook quinoa according to package
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together eggs and milk in a large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir well to let cheese melt.
  • Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake 30-35min

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Easy Baked Ravioli

If you have ever been to St. Louis then you have probably had toasted ravioli because it was created there. If you haven’t had it then you need to! This recipe is a version of the toasted rav that we all love just a bit easier to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs( I make my own out of organic rice krispies)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional( I didn’t use)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 24 cheese ravioli, frozen( I bought mine from Trader Joes)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add ravioli, returning to a boil. Cook for 4 minutes. Drain.
  • Add 3 or 5 ravioli to eggs, flip to coat. Transfer to dry mixture, toss to coat well.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ravioli. Spray lightly with baking spray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce or plain.

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Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf

I have a confession….I love meatloaf. People often cringe when I say we are having meatloaf for supper but if you make it right, it is so delicious! I’ve made it with sweet potatoes, with apples and then this delicious spinach recipe. Try it and you won’t be sorry!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs( I make my own and add basil and oregano to them as well)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 5×9 loaf pan.
  • In a bowl, mix beef, spinach, breadcrumbs, eggs, and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.

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  • Bake 1 hour. Top with remaining cheese.

This is my husband’s favorite meatloaf recipe!