Baked Ziti with a High Protein Twist

Let’s discuss ingredients:

PASTA

  1. Pick a pasta that is high in protein and it tastes and looks like your regular pasta.
    • FYI – tried on my kids, my neighbors, and my supper club.  They are now believers.
  2. I love Tolerant Pasta for its simple ingredient – Red Lentil.
  3. Protein per serving 21gm.  Fiber per serving 11gm.
    • Barilla Fettuccine – protein is 7gm, fiber is 2gm.
  4. It’s obviously gluten free since it’s only made of lentils.
  5. It has carbs, BUT because of the high fiber and high protein, it has a low glycemic index.  Wait, what???  Link Here:  Glycemic Index Explained
  6. Purchased at ThriveMarket.com where it’s half the cost from the regular health food store – $4.65
  7. Healthy does not have to taste like bark 🙂

 

SPICES:

  • I only use organic spices
  • ThriveMarket.com is a great place to order spices for 30% or less.  These spices at 0.75oz jars are $3.45.
  • Healthy does not have to be expensive.

CHEESE:

  • I only use organic full fat cheese.
  • When I find it on sale, I buy it and freeze it if it’s not on the menu that week.  It defrosts beautifully in 24hrs, no problems.  Our local grocery store Harris Teeter, has its own brand of organics and many sales.  Generally I can get the H.T. brand or other Organic Brand shredded cheese for $3.00-3.99/package.
  • Healthy eating does take some planning

 

 

ITALIAN PORK SAUSAGE:

  • Again, find it on sale, buy it and freeze it.
  • Make sure the pork product is nitrite free, antibiotic free, preservative free.  The WHO has published a statement a few months ago stating that Pork is as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes.  However, the issue is not with the pig, it is with the processing part – nitrites, preservatives, curing, etc.
  • I purchase my Italian Sausage from the meat department, freshly made, and without casings.  Much easier and faster to cook.
  • Healthy does not have to be devoid of flavor and boring.

The Baked Ziti Recipe, adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Tolerant Organic Pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb of Mild Italian Pork Sausage
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced (skip this if you are making the sauce linked to this recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning or combo of these: oregano, basil, parsley
  • 32 oz organic marinara sauce or make Your own simple Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2 lb full fat shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup full fat ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino – preferably freshly grated and not the processed pre made stuff

Instructions:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain. Toss with a bit of olive oil
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook pork sausage until no longer pink in the middle
  • While this is cooking, in a separate bowl, mix ricotta, and half the mozzarella and half pecorino
  • Once the meat is browned, add onion and cook until the onion is translucent 4-5min
  • Add garlic and seasoning and cook 1 more minute
  • Add pasta sauce to meat mixture and cook until bubbly 4-5min
  • Mix cheese with pasta sauce and meat mixture
  • Mix pasta in the sauce or layer pasta, then layer sauce.  Whichever is easier.
  • Spray 9×16 inch casserole dish with propellant free olive oil spray
  • Place ziti mixture in dish
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese
  • Bake uncovered for 20 min at 350 degrees

Serve with a Simple Salad and Homemade Greek Dressing

Bon Apetite, Ana-Maria Temple, MD


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