Veggie Pasta Bake

This dinner was one of the best I’ve made in a long time.  Pasta is definitely one of my downfalls when it comes to eating healthy just because it’s something I have a hard time controlling how much I eat of it.  This recipe helps that because it’s full of lots of veggies and less pasta.

This recipe includes:

- 1/2 bag of gluten free pasta of your choice (I used ziti from TJ’s) already cooked, but not cooked completely.  It will cook more in the oven.

- two jars of tomato sauce (TJ’s marinara and spgahetti)

- 1 bag of frozen brocolli

- 1 onion chopped

- 1 container of sliced portabello mushrooms

- 2 bell peppers, one red and one yellow

- sprinkle of garlic and crushed red pepper flakes

- part skim mozzarella cheese

- parmesan cheese

First, saute all of the vegetables except broccoli in a pan.  Once they are soft, add in the frozen brocoli and cook till warm.  I used pasta I had cooked last night and heated it up for a minute in the microwave so it wasn’t stuck together.  Put the pasta in a foil pan and top it with the vegetables, seasonings, and two jars of sauce.  Mix all of this together. 

The top this with both cheeses to your liking.  Then cook for about 20 minutes on 500 degrees until the top is bubbly and browned.  This dinner was truly delicious and was liked by all.  I will be making this again.

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Gluten Free Chinese Dinner

This dinner didn’t come out exactly how I had expected it too, but that’s ok because every cooking experience is part of learning.  You can always try and make something better next time.  This dish is shrimp stir fry.  Stir fry’s are easy to make and since gluten free chinese food is hard to come by, this is one way of getting that flavor back into your life. 

This stir fry included:

  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 chopped peppers
  • 1 bag of fresh snap peas
  • 1 can of baby corn
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • 1 bag of frozen asian vegetable mixture
  • 2 small cans of pineapple in 100% juice
  • corn starch
  • garlic powder
  • fresh ginger
  • 1lb bag of shrimp (I used cooked jumbo that I defrosted and added towards the end of cooking the remaining vegetables)
  • soy sauce (gluten free)
  • sezchwan sauce (gluten free)

 

This mixture made a ton of stir fry.  I have lots of leftovers.  First saute all of the fresh vegetables, then add in the frozen vegetables and the soy sauce and szcheuan sauce.  All of this will need to be to taste because the szecheuan sauce is very spicy and not everyone likes this style of sauce.  Towards the end add in the baby corn and shrimp to get heated through.  Then add in 2-3 tsp. of corn starch to thicken the sauce a little bit.

I served my stir fry over shirataki noodles.  You have to like the taste and consistency of these, but they are low in calories and to me a good stand if for rice in this kind of a dinner.  Do you have any gluten free stir fry sauce secrets?

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Chicken Enchiladas

This meal is usually something I do when I either have already made chicken or I cook chicken breasts in the oven while cooking another meal.  This way, once the chicken is cool, I can shred it, put it in the fridge, and easily make the enchiladas the next day.  For the chicken, I used three chicken breasts that were sprinkled with garlic, cumin, and chili powder.  I cooked these, shredded them and put them in the fridge until I was ready to make enchiladas.  The next day I simply heated 8 corn tortillas in the microwave so they would be easy to roll and work with.  As I rolled them, I put them in a foil pan sprayed with cooking spray and then topped the enchiladas with two different salsas, both from my favorite store of course, Trader Joe’s.

Once all of that was in the pan, I sprinkled 2% reduced fat mexican cheese on half of it.  Then I baked it in the oven at 400 until it was brown and warmed through.

On the side, I simply doctored up a can of black beans to make them mexican black beans.  These include sprinkles of garlic powder, onion flakes, crushed red pepper, and cumin.  This was just heated in the microwave for about two minutes, and it’s done.  Almost like a restaurant!

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Another Summery Meal

This dinner included so many fresh and local summer ingredients.  It was really delicious and easy and quick to make.  Here’s the menu:

  • Scallops sautéed in lemon and garlic with fresh basil and oregano
  • Baked polenta slices
  • Roasted Tomatoes and Yellow Zucchini

For the Scallops: I used a one pound bag of frozen bay scallops (these are the smaller ones) and added them to a preheated pan with 1 tsp. of olive oil, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 2 tsp. of crushed garlic.  After adding the defrosted scallops to the pan, I added fresh basil and oregano leaves.  Then I added salt and pepper to taste and the other 1/2 of the lemon.  This dish was very tasty, but the lemon made the scallops a little sticky.

For the polenta, I used an already made log of polenta you buy at the grocery store and sliced it into pieces.  I put these on a foil lined pan sprayed with cooking spray and baked these on 400 until browned on both sides.  Polenta is a great gluten free side dish.  Just make sure if you eat it at a restaurant that they don’t add flour to it.  This one is really good.

For the tomatoes and zucchini, first you have to see how nice these looked before being cooked.  To make the tomatoes, first slice the tomatoes in half from side to side.  For this recipe, I used two tomatoes.  I placed the tomatoes in a greased foil pan with the cut side up.  Simply sprinkle each half with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, fresh oregano, and pepper.  In between each tomato, I layered in the zucchini so that it roasted in the tomato juices.  Here it is before the oven.  Cook this at 400 until the tomatoes are cooked through and the cheese is lightly browned on top.

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Another Quick Dinner

One of my favorite quick dinners comes from a can.  It’s tomato soup and you would have no idea this comes from a can.  This is the Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato Bisque.  It is very similar to the Amy’s brand soup with the same name.  It is so rich and creamy and just delicious.  You would think the flavor makes it high in calories and fat, but that is not the case.  The whole can is around 300 calories.  In order to make this meal a little more filling, I always add frozen mixed vegetables into the bowl of soup and heat it all together.  Then I pop it in the microwave for about 4 minutes total and top it with pepper.  This meal goes great with a slice of toast. 

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Gourmet Un-cooked Dinner

There are some nights that even if it’s easy, cooking is just out of the question.  For nights like these I have a few staples that I turn to.  One of these is the Ceasar’s frozen gluten free vegetable lasagna.  Gluten Free or not, this is one of the best frozen meals I’ve ever eaten in my life.  This meal is very large and has real cheese and vegetables.  This meal takes 7 minutes to cook in the microwave.  It will be very hot when it comes out.  In order to plus up the meal with a few more vegetables, I added a can of mushrooms to the base of the lasagna when I turned it out on my plate.  I know canned vegetables have a lot of sodium, so I just rinse the mushrooms in water to get some of the salt off.  The lasagna is hot enough that you don’t have to heat the mushrooms.  Here’s how the lasagna looks when it’s done.  This dinner was so filling and really delicious.

Let me know what you think about this quick meal.

What are your go to “Un-Cooked” gluten free dinners?

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Barbecued Chicken Breasts

This dinner was super easy and super tasty.  Barbecued Chicken breasts baked in the oven are great.  I didn’t even premarinate these.  All you have to do is spray a pan with cooking spray.  Place the chicken in the tray and top it with a gluten free bbq sauce of your choice (some of my favorites include Trader Joe’s Classic, Dinosaur BBQ, Bone Suckin Sauce).  This chicken uses Trader Joe’s sauce.  Get the sauce all over the chicken on both sides and cook it at 400.  You will have to judge how long it takes the chicken to cook based on the sizes of your pieces.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I also flipped these in the middle. 

On the side I made a vegetable I had never made before and it turned out delicious.  This is baby bok choy.  In order to make this I used about 1 tsp. of olive oil and 2-3tsp. of crushed garlic.  heat this in the pan until it warms up.  Then add in the bok choy.  I had three stalks that I chopped and cleaned well.  saute this and add some margarine, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook until the leaves are wilted and the tough parts are just soft and crunchy.  This was a great new vegetable and gave us a break from broccoli and asparagus. 

Have you made any new vegetables lately that I should try?

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