Veggie Mac & Cheese

Veggie Mac & Cheese…would you expect my mac and cheese to be any other way!? You can now enjoy the goodness of the creamy classic without the packaged cheese dust and as a bonus, added veggies. 
I actually got this recipe while flipping through People Magazine…and who said those magazines are non-educational?!

Veggie Mac & Cheese
adapted from Bobby Deen’s recipe
2 C whole grain elbow macaroni
3/4 C 2% shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C skim milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 C reduced fat sour cream (or you could use plain Greek yogurt)
1 T Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) bag of frozen peas, thawed (or as you can see in the picture, I used frozen brocoli, thawed and diced, the second time I made it)
1 C finely chopped cauliflower
1/4 C soft whole-wheat bread crumbs (I used whole wheat saltines)
optional: add a can or two of tuna, drained or cooked shredded chicken breast
Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare macaroni according to packaged directions.  Drain well and set aside.  Meanwhile, combine cheeses and next 8 ingredients into a bowl.  Combine with noodles in a casserole dish that is coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake for 30-35 minutes.  J like to top his with low-fat cottage cheese or hot sauce.
This can be made and frozen for a later date!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Spaghetti squash is a great way to enjoy the taste and texture of your classic pasta dishes with out all the calories and carbs.  As an added bonus you are consuming extra veggies too!
I have posted about this is the past but like to bring it back each fall when squash is in season.

How to bake: split the squash into two halves long ways.  Scoop out seeds. Place squash upside down in pan with about 1/2 inch of water.  Bake at about 400F for 45ish minutes.You know the squash is done when you can flake the strings off the inside with a fork.
In a time crunch: try piercing the squash with a fork several times.  Placing in microwave for about 12-15 minutes.  Cut in half, scoop out seeds, and flakes strings. 
Serve with sauce, meatballs, or however you like your pasta.

What ways do you enjoy spaghetti or other varities of squash in the fall?

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Again, another “drooling after I read the title” recipe.  Talk about comfort food at its finest…cheese and pasta.  However, to keep this meal healthified, pile the veggies in, on and around.  Also, choose a nice lean protein as the main dish so the pasta is more like a side.  I choose grilled chicken. 

This recipe comes with a story….you will notice goat cheese in the ingredients which I was very excited to cook with as I never have.  I often times skip over “these ingredients” that I don’t know where to find in the grocery store. However, enough was enough, I love cheese and wanted some goat cheese.  So as Trey (6 months at the time) and I perused the aisles and I take my good ol’ time because as you imagine, I LOVE the grocery store, he decides to have a meltdown.  This occurs right before my favorite aisle…the produce and of course, fine cheeses.  I searched frantically for a toy and started making funny faces which seemed to bring joy to the shoppers around me but not to my son.  Finally, I find a bag of frozen corn in my cart and hand it to him…success!  Back to finding my goat cheese as I was determined to cook with it! 

ooey-gooey delish!

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells
w/ Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
recipe from Clean Eating Magazine
3 C chopped tomatoes
12oz roasted red bell peppers
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 packed cup whole parsley sprigs, roughly chopped (I will admit, I forgot to buy parsley at the grocery store, need I remind you of Trey’s meltdown, so I used dried parsley)
4 ears corn (or frozen bag)
olive oil cooking spray
30 large whole grain pasta shells (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Grand Shells…really good and found in HyVee Health Market)

1 1/2 C low-fat ricotta cheese
2 T fresh mint, chopped
2 T chopped parsley leaved or chives, plus additional for garnish
1 large egg, lightly beaten
fresh ground black pepper
3 oz 2% mozzarella cheese, grated
Prepare sauce: in medium saucepan, combine tomatoes roasted red peppers, rosemary, oregano, rep pepper flakes and black pepper.  Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a blender and ass parsley.  Remove plastic center from blender to let steam escape, hold a towel loosely over top to prevent splatter or just let sauce cool completely before blending.  BE CAREFUL as you will end up with explosive sauce if not!!!
Prepare shells: Preheat oven to 350F.  Cook shells according to package directions.  In large bowl combine ricotta and goat cheese, mint, parley, egg, and half of the frozen corn (11/2cups).  Season with black pepper.  Spread 1 C sauce on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Fill each shell with 1 rounded T ricotta cheese mixture and place in baking dish stuffed side up.  Cover shells with remaining sauce, corn and mozzarella cheese.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with parsley.  Enjoy!

option #2: if you can’t find the noodle shells you can use whole grain lasagna noodles and roll 1/4C of mixture into each.  Place is dish seam side down.  

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B

Pesto Pasta

I LOVE pesto so this time of year when basil is growing like weeds and my CSA supplied me with TON of fresh garlic, I make pesto. Any extra amount I freeze for a later date.

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

from Simply Recipes

Prep time: 10 minutes


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment needed: A food processor (Check’s sales on Cuisinart food processors)


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with whole wheat pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

See some of my other favorite uses for pesto here.

Yield: Makes 1 cup.

I grilled up chicken, sliced uptomatoes, and cooked up whole wheat angel hair to combine with the pesto for a delish dinner.

Check out for info on the 31 Heroes WOD this Saturday!

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Sun-Dried Tomato & Red Pepper Chicken Penne

Sun-Dried Tomato & Red Pepper Chicken Penne

from Clean Eating Magazine

With a recipe title like that how can you not be drooling and licking your chops. The cold pasta salad which I decided to make hot was delish and worth a try.


2-5 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsp dried herbs of sort, come on…get creative

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 C uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 yellow bell pepper, diced (good to purchase organic)

2 T finely chopped fresh basil

Red Pepper Sauce

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 tomatoes. coarsely chopped

1/4 unsalted raw cashews

1/4 whole fresh basil leaves

1 clove garlic

1 shallot, halved

fresh ground pepper, to taste


Preheat grill to medium -high. Diagonally score (1/4inch deep) chicken breasts and rub with a thin coating of oil, dry rub and black pepper, dividing evenly. Grill chicken for about 7 minutes per side until juices run clear when pierced with a fork (or, roast in oven for about 20 minutes.) set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, then chop. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold water to remove sticky starches; drain well and set aside. Prepare red pepper sauce: In a blender or a food processor, add all sauce ingredients; blend until very smooth. In a large bowl, toss pasta with 1 to 1 1/2 cups red pepper sauce, yellow pepper, chicken and basil.
Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Summertime Orzo Salad

This is the perfect salad to bring to all your summer picnics. I first published it last summer here: Orzo Salad, but had to let it shine again.
Summertime Orzo Salad

1 pound dry orzo pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach, torn, best to buy organic
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 fresh basil leaves, torn, gentle with these as they bruise easily
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, no pine nuts? Try walnuts!
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 & 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved
Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain pasta and spread on a large baking sheet to cool. Transfer cooled orzo to a large serving bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve chilled.
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good