Category Archives: Main Dish

Nacho Tacos

It’s no secret that we love Mexican food around here. There’s always at least one night a week where we have Mexican food, or Mexican inspired food. I know plenty of folks who have Taco night or Taco Tuesdays. Perhaps you’re one of them? Or maybe you just like the flavors of Mexican food as much as I do? In either case, I’ve got this great, easy and fun spin on tacos for your next fiesta. Nacho Tacos!

As usual with tacos, the toppings are endless. Use your favorite toppings. To make this a Nacho Taco, you will definitely need to cheese sauce. Don’t worry it’s ridiculously easy. This recipe is super easy, not very time consuming at all, and therefore, prefect for weeknights. You know… like Taco Tuesday!

My family absolutely loved this, including the kids. They like building their own tacos, and who doesn’t like nachos?! It’s a marriage made in heaven! To go along with our Nacho Tacos, I served up some Easy Mexican Salsa Rice, a wonderful and simple recipe I found over at Six Sister’s Stuff. When you’re done here, you  might go check that recipe out. It’s incredibly simple and incredibly yummy! So what are you waiting for? Go make these delicious Nacho Tacos for your family. I hope they enjoy them as much as we did!

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Nacho Tacos Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain any fat.
  2. Stir taco seasoning mix and water into beef mixture. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. While the meat is simmering, heat soup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it's hot and bubbling.
  4. To assemble tacos, spoon taco meat into the taco shells. Top with the soup, lettuce and tomato.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Campbell's

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Tomato Mac & Cheese

Tomato and Mac & Cheese. It’s sounds like a strange combo doesn’t it?! At first, it really did sound crazy to me, but then I thought about it. One of my favorite comfort foods is grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So why not a Tomato Mac & Cheese? See, not so strange now, is it?

The entire idea behind my recipes as of late, is simplicity. Simple weeknight fall comfort foods. I’m no longer just a mom and housewife. I took a part time job at a school, and although part time, it’s fast paced. It’s a busy busy job, and by the time I’m done there and get home, I’m beat. The last thing I want to think about is dinner. This is where planning ahead, and making things very simple come into play.

This Tomato Mac & Cheese couldn’t be easier. It looks a lot like Dad’s Glop, but don’t get fooled because it’s a totally different flavor. Probably just as easy to prepare though, which is not a bad thing at all. Tired or not, I still need to bring my family around the table. Gathering my family around the table in the evenings, sharing a delicious meal, is so important to me that no matter what, it will not be compromised. With this recipe, you can do it too, and enjoy conversation and reconnecting with your family. To save on precious time, I like to chop my onions and garlic the night before and store them in an air tight container in the fridge. That way when I get home from work, and it’s time to cook dinner, I don’t have to waste precious time chopping the veggies. At this point it’s pretty much a dump and cook recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did, and enjoy some much needed reconnect time with your loved ones.

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Tomato Mac & Cheese Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain any fat if necessary. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine cooked pasta, the beef mixture, soup, sauce, and milk. Heat mixture over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Campbell's Kitchen

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Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake

There’s something about hot gooey cheesy casseroles that is just so comforting on rainy days. Like this Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake, with it’s creamy and cheesy goodness. It’s easy to and quick to put together too, which is another added bonus. There’s no chopping involved here since I use frozen potatoes O’brien which already has the onions and peppers. No need to thaw anything so that takes away a lot of the brain work, and believe me, after a long day, I don’t want to think anymore!

All you have to do is dump all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix it up. If you’re not a fan of broccoli, or don’t have any on hand, any frozen vegetable will work. Cauliflower would be great, carrots, green beans, whatever you like. Or maybe even a combination of veggies. Just try to keep it between 12-16 ounces of veggies and you’re golden. If you have leftover ham, this recipe is perfect to help use it up. However, I didn’t have leftover ham, so I bought ham already cubed and ready to go from the grocery store. No chopping involved. Just open the packages and dump.

Spread that deliciousness into a prepared glass 13×9 inch dish, sprinkle with as much or as little Parmesan cheese as you desire, and it’s ready for the oven. I think a grated Asiago cheese would be awesome on this in place of Parmesan, or maybe even a mixture of the two. This dish is really versatile folks.

Pop that baby in the oven, and in 1 hour dinner is ready to enjoy! Add a delicious tossed crisp green salad to accompany this yummy casserole, and you’ve got a well rounded meal, with little effort.

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Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine potatoes O'brien, ham, broccoli, soups, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Mix well.
  4. Spread into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from allrecipes.com

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Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni

It’s supposed to be Fall. Right? I mean, here in Southern Indiana, it really doesn’t feel like Fall. We are in desperate need of rain, and we’re still in the mid to upper 80 degree weather! However, the evenings have become a lot cooler. Down in between 55-60. Beautiful nights for some bonfires, if you ask me. In fact, friends are starting to schedule their Fall bonfire parties. Let the potlucks and fires begin! These get togethers are why I love Fall so much. A big part of it anyway. Another reason I love fall, comforting casseroles like this Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni.

Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni is full of delicious flavor, and creamy cheesy goodness. It’s easy to fix, perfect weeknight meal for busy families. With Fall brings school and all those extra activities that come with that like sports. So having a nice comforting filling dish is greatly needed during this time of year.

What I like to do, is I look at my recipe the night before, and see what I can prep ahead of time. For instance, in this recipe, I need to chop a few things up. I’m not exactly a pro with a knife, so chopping things can take some time. I do all my chopping the night before and store them in Ziplocs, or plastic containers. That way, when I get home and I’m ready to start dinner, the time consuming chopping is already done. Just take it out of the fridge, and toss it in the pan, or mixture, or whatever the recipe says to do with it.

For this recipe, it’s real simple. Cook your elbow macaroni (or any short pasta you prefer) according to the package directions. While that’s cooking, steam  your broccoli. I get the packages of frozen steamable broccoli, and do this in the microwave. No extra dishes, you just do it right in the package and it’s quick. Just be sure you buy the packages that are steamable. Then melt some butter in a pan, and saute the onion, bell pepper and sausage until the veggies are crisp tender. Sprinkle a little flour over that, and cook it just for a minute to get that flour taste out. Gradually add your milk, bring that to a boil and cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until it’s thickened. Cut off the heat and add your cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted. Drain the macaroni and if necessary, the broccoli. Mix the cheese mixture, broccoli and noodles together.

Transfer this creamy deliciousness to a greased 13×9 glass baking dish. The dish is going to be full. If you’re worried about it spilling over in the oven, just set the dish on a foil lined baking sheet and don’t worry about clean up. It’ll be easy peasy! Sprinkle your breadcrumbs and butter mixture over the top, and bake this at at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

All that’s left, is to serve this beautiful comforting casserole, and enjoy!

 

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Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, steam broccoli according to package directions.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the onion, sausage and red pepper in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in the cheese, parsley, mustard and seasonings until blended. Drain broccoli and macaroni; stir into cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish (dish will be full).
  4. Combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Susan’s Fabulous Meat Pie

Ok, so you’ve probably seen my post for Dad’s Glop, which is my dad’s take on Goulash basically speaking. This time, I’m bringing you a recipe from my Mom that she shared with me. Her’s didn’t come with a name, but after making it, I decided we would call it Susan’s Fabulous Meat Pie. Although, this isn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever seen, it is however, big on flavor and tastes FABULOUS! This is an easy weeknight dinner, and it makes a lot, so there’s potential for cooking once and eating twice. I’m a huge fan of leftovers, so this was perfect. To make this even easier, and quicker to put together, you can make the filling ahead of time, and when ready to prepare dinner, just quickly assemble it and pop it in the oven. So let me show you how easy this is.

You’ll need 2 boxes of refrigerated pie crust. There’s two crusts per box. Open the first box, and unroll the first crust starting from the middle of the pan, all the way to edge. Then do the same thing with the second crust, overlapping the first crust, like shown in the photo. Now set that aside.

Moving over to the stove, brown  your ground beef, onion, celery and green pepper until the beef is no longer pink and the veggies are tender. In my Fabulous Meat Pie, I didn’t use ground beef. I have some ground venison in my freezer, so I used two pounds of that instead. You can pretty much use any kind of ground meat you want. Beef, turkey, venison, pork, etc would all work just fine. So use your favorite.

Now all you do is stir in the remaining ingredients, bring it to a boil. Then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Once  your beef mixture has simmered for 15 minutes, spread that over your bottom crust in your casserole dish.

Unroll the last two crusts over the top, just like you did on the bottom, and press and seal, or flute the edges and try to make it prettier than mine. 😂 Cut a few slits in the top to let steam vent and you’re ready for the oven. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

There you have it! A not so attractive pie 😂 but an extremely delicious one! Mine kinda turned out like a Frankenstein pie, but who cares?! I’m not entering it into a contest. Although, if I did, the judges would be blown away by how good this tastes! Let it stand for about 15 minutes before cutting into it, and enjoy!

 

 

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Susan's Fabulous Meat Pie Yum
Recipe by Susan Young
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray glass 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Roll out one pie pastry starting from the middle of the dish, to the end, then roll out your 2nd pastry from the middle to the opposite end of the dish, overlapping pie crust in the middle. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, onions, celery and green pepper until the beef is no longer pink, and the vegetables are tender; drain.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Pour beef mixture over bottom pie crust. Top with remaining two pie crusts just like you did on the bottom. Start in the middle and unroll to one end of dish, and then the unroll last pie crust to the opposite end, overlapping in the middle. Seal crust, and cut a few slits in the top to let steam escape.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
  7. Enjoy!
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice – #SundaySupper

When our wonderful host Em Beitel at Sunday Supper started asking for rice recipes, this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice was the first thing to hit my brain! I absolutely love this dish over rice. I know it’s mostly a chicken dish, but it just wouldn’t be the same without rice in my opinion.  I love rice, and especially in a dish like this. This dish has a delicious sauce, but it’s a thin sauce. It’s not thick like a spaghetti sauce. That’s where the rice is a beautiful thing! It soaks up all that sauce and you don’t miss a single delicious drop.

Just a few days ago, I shared an easy Individual Baked Ziti recipe that is full of flavor yet low in fat. Well guess what folks? So is this Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice. Just look at all those pretty veggies! This dish is full of bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Lots of tomato going on in there, and lots of seasoning. Great thing about cooking at home, you get to control how much seasoning. Want less salt? Use less salt. Super easy and fast for busy families. Prep  your veggies the night before and store in the fridge. In the morning, put it all in the slow cooker, turn it on low and let it cook while you’re at work, or running errands or otherwise busy. Or  heck… take a nap!

These are a few reasons why I love my slow cooker so much. In the market? This is the slow cooker I  have, and absolutely adore it! Some recipes, usually soups and stews, will say to stir occasionally, but to do that you have to open the lid, and that’s taboo when slow cooking. You’re not supposed to open the lid. Plus, the entire idea behind a slow cooker is to dump dinner in it and forget about it. You can’t do that if you have to stir every now and again. So…this slow cooker, has an auto stir system. Problem solved!

End result, you are left with a beautiful dish of deliciousness. No one would ever guess that this dish, is healthy, and since I’m a Weight Watchers girl, I calculated this recipe at only 3 SmartPoints per serving. SmartPoints aside, even if you just want to add more healthy meals to your rotation, you’re going to love this.

Of course, in my house, there’s usually a salad involved. This recipe pairs very well with a nice crisp Caesar salad. I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe as much as we did, and it brings your family together around the table too!

Simple Rice Recipes for Dinner #SundaySupper

What’s for dinner?

Rice is for dinner!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore over Rice Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker (5-6 qt), add crushed tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, Italian seasonings, salt and black pepper. Whisk together to thoroughly combine. Add chicken thighs, onion, garlic, mushrooms & bell peppers.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Mine took 4 hours.
  3. Serve over hot cooked rice, and garnish with black olives.
Recipe Notes

You can serve this over anything you like, mashed potatoes, noodles, whatever you prefer. I chose rice because the sauce is thin, and the rice soaks up all that deliciousness.

Per Serving: (1 thigh and about 3/4 cup vegetables): 3 SmartPoints. (Does not include rice)

Adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook

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Individual Baked Ziti

We’ve probably all had baked ziti at least once in our lives, or any kind of baked pasta with a tomato sauce, and usually those dishes are quite heavy. If you’re trying to lose weight, or watch your waistline and keep it trim, pasta is probably the last thing you’re going to want to fix. Well, folks, I have a secret. What I have here, is a delicious, healthy, filling, and not so heavy pasta dish you CAN have and eat with pride if you are like me and are watching those calories. Or, in my case, watching points. Yea, I’m one of those Weight Watchers girls. In any case, these cute little Individual Baked Zitis lack no flavor.

Another big plus, the family will love it too. They’d never know they were eating something healthy and low in fat. My kids just LOVE individual, personal sized foods, they’re fun! For me though, I love this because it’s already portioned out. I don’t have to think about it. Just scoop it right out of the pan, and you got yourself a serving!

To make these cute little things, you’re going to need a couple of jumbo muffin pans (6 oz cups) or you can use cute little 6 oz ramekins.

Don’t eat it alone though, you don’t want to forget your veggies! For us, I decided on a simple tossed salad with low-fat Ranch dressing. Steamed broccoli would be another great choice to serve alongside these cute little ziti muffins.

However you decide to serve it up, you’ll be happy to know, if you’re a weight watcher, that this recipe is only 4 SmartPoints per serving. That number was calculated by using Barilla ProteinPlus Penne pasta. I know the recipe is Ziti, but you can use Penne. Keep in mind, depending on the brand of your ingredients, that SmartPoints number can go up or down, but not usually by very much.  I hope you and your family enjoy, as much as my family and I did!

Print Recipe
Individual Baked Ziti Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  3. Meanwhile, coat twelve jumbo (6 oz) muffin cups with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano in bottom of each and tilt ramekins or muffin pan to evenly cover bottoms.
  4. After draining pasta, return to pot. While Pasta is still warm, immediately stir in 3/4 cup of mozzarella and the ricotta. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together egg white and water until smooth. Add egg mixture to the pasta and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  6. Evenly divide pasta mixture into prepared muffin cups. Press down lightly with spoon to pack it. Sprinkle each with about 1 tbsp remaining mozzarella.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and noodles begin to brown at edges. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, perfect time to toss together a salad!
  8. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan over the top. Remove each ziti from the pan using a spoon; sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp Parmesan over top. Remove each ziti from muffin pan with a spoon. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
  9. Yields 1 ziti per serving.
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook.

1 serving = 4 SmartPoints

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Dad’s Glop – #SundaySupper

Oh my we have been busy with back to school lately haven’t we?! Speaking of busy, things just get busier once school is in full swing. Before you know it there’s sports, and band, and fundraisers, and just all sorts of things going on all year to keep the kids and the parents busy! Thanks to #SundaySupper and our gracious host Em from Life Tastes Good for this back to school dinner event, we’ve got some fresh ideas for those busy weeknight dinners.

This one, is one of my favorites, and my family’s favorite too. Some people call it Goulash, others may call it American Chop Suey, but around here, we call this Dad’s Glop. Doesn’t sound appetizing does it? Well I can assure you it’s amazing. Not just amazing, but it’s quick and perfect for busy dinner nights.

There’s a reason for the unappetizing name though. There were occasional times when my dad would be in charge of dinner. I grew up with both of my parents working, so sometimes mom had to work late, or maybe wasn’t feeling well, or whatever the case that kept her out of the kitchen, and so it was up to dad. I remember asking him what was for dinner, and his answer was…. “Glop!” No joke. That’s what he said. He’s a funny guy, and apparently, this is Glop. My father isn’t just a funny guy, he’s a very simple guy, and folks, cooking doesn’t have to be a gourmet feast. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Simplicity can be so wonderful. Just like my Dad’s Glop. My brother still makes this from time to time for his family. I remember him calling me and asking me “what’s the recipe for Dad’s Glop?” I had to stifle a giggle before I told him how to make it. His response, “That’s it?!” Yea… that’s it.

So how simple? Well, let me show you how simple my dad likes to keep it, and hopefully you’ll give it a try yourself, and enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

First, grab a large pot and get some salted water started on the stove to boiling. While you are waiting for the water to boil, you’re going to want to chop up a small – medium onion and about 4 or 5 medium-large garlic cloves. I have a little hand chopper I use for both the onion and the garlic, which saves time for me because I’m really no good with a knife. I can’t do what I see Chefs on TV do. So anyway, you’ll want to brown your ground beef with the onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink.

Drain your meat if necessary. Depends on how lean your beef is. Then add your favorite pasta sauce (homemade if you can your own would be great!) I like to  use a Tomato & Basil pasta sauce. Just 1 jar will do ya. Then add some black pepper to taste, and about 1-2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning. I just sprinkle it in until it looks like that (above). It’s really just to your taste.

Stir that all up in the pan real good and heat it just until it starts to bubble. Then cover it with a lid and lower the heat to simmer. Stir occasionally. By this time, your water should be boiling, or about to. Just dump your elbow noodles in the boiling water and cook as per the directions on the package; drain.

Now combine everything together in that same large pot. Mix it all up really good. Now you are ready to serve!

You can serve this with some cheesy garlic Texas toast, and a quick tossed salad like I did and you have a very family pleasing, quick weeknight meal!

I hope you give this a try, and enjoy Dad’s Glop!

Here are some more idea’s from my #SundaySupper friends!

Back to School Dinners

Beef and Pork

Pastas, Soups, Rice and Stews

Poultry

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
Dad's Glop Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus Inspired by my Father, John Soden
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown ground beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink; drain and return to skillet.
  3. Add pasta sauce, pepper, and Italian seasoning to beef in skillet. Mix thoroughly. Bring just to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring ocassionally.
  4. Add elbow macaroni to boiling water and cook according to package directions; drain and return to large pot.
  5. Add beef mixture to macaroni and stir to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To round out this meal, serve with garlic bread and a tossed green salad with your favorite dressing.

From time to time, I add sliced black olives to the beef mixture when I add the sauce. I also like to use ground Italian sausage in place of the ground beef, or half sausage and half beef for a different twist.

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The Mama’s Ultimate Pizza

Pizza  night. Do any of you have one night a week that’s pizza night? We do around here not just because we love pizza, but because at least once a week we need something speedy. Pizza is a very quick dinner to make. Especially if you simplify things and buy the dough in the refrigerated section of the store. Super easy. Just roll it out, press to fit, and top it with whatever you like.

Here’s one of they ways this mama likes to do pizza. We call this The Mama’s Ultimate Pizza.

First I take out my baking sheet and line it with foil for easy clean up. I really hate doing dishes. Then I spray that lightly with some cooking spray. Then pop your dough out of the can, and starting in the middle of the pan, unroll the dough, and press it and spread it to fit as best you can. See mine, doesn’t have to fit perfectly. It’ll be ok, I promise. Now to ensure that the dough is cooked completely when the entire pizza is done, I slip this into the oven at 425 degrees for about 8 minutes, just to partially cook the crust. You don’t want to cook it completely through at this point. Just give it a little head start. Then set that aside.

Now I prepare my toppings. I brown up some ground Italian sausage. You can go hot or mild on this. I prefer the mild. Don’t forget to drain it.

Then I chop up my bell peppers. I like to use two different colors here just to make it pop. I love the brightness of the red and yellow, but you can choose any bell peppers you want, whatever colors you want. I also had the hubster slice up some red onion. He never cries when he cuts onions. He says “the idea is to not develop an emotional attachment.”  😂

And because we love meat so much, I sliced up some smoked sausage. We also added sliced pepperoni, which was already sliced, and some sliced black olives, neither of which are pictured, and again, those were already sliced. Notice I’m using cheapy paper plates to put my prepped toppings on? Did I mention I hate doing dishes? 🙃

Now the fun part! The layers! Slather on as much or as little sauce as you want, I used store bought pizza sauce. Then some pizza blend cheese, which came already shredded. (Gee, ready made dough, pre-sliced olives, pre-sliced pepperoni, ready sauce and pre-shredded cheese. This recipe was half done before I even got started! SCORE!) A little note about the amount of cheese used, in the written recipe, I was trying to be reasonable on the measurements. Honestly, use as little or as much as you want. Obviously I did! Then I spread on my meats and veggies, and then cover that in more cheese. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning over the top (that was my mom’s idea. Thanks mom!).  Now it’s ready for the oven.

Just look at that slice of happiness! Definitely need a fork for this, but totally worth it! I hope you try it, and enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
The Mama's Ultimate Pizza Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Starting at the center of the baking sheet, unroll dough, pressing it out to fit baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes just to partially bake the crust.
  3. Spread sauce over crust; top with 1 cup of the cheese. Top cheese with meats, olives, onion and bell peppers. Top with remaining 1 cup of the cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  4. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the crust is a crisp deep golden brown, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Recipe Notes

For a spicier version, use spicy Italian sausage, and sprinkle the pizza sauce with some crushed red pepper.

Use as much cheese as you like! If you like cheese as much as we do, you'll likely want to use more than 2 cups.

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Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

Happy Friday everyone! Wow did this week go flying by, or is it just me? I’ve been so busy with back to school stuff that it just seems like it flew by! Can you believe it’s time for back to school already?! I managed to get all of the school supplies, sports physicals are done, we’re working on clothes, and more paperwork for the schools. It hardly leaves time for anything else it would seem.

However, if you are a planner like I am, you probably plan ahead your meals. Or at least your dinners. One thing I have been doing lately is planning budget friendly meals, mostly because of the expenses of back to school. With budget friendly meals, it always helps to have at least 1 meatless dish a week, and lets not forget to keep it healthy! Budget friendly doesn’t have to mean “bad for you”.

So, I’ve got a great meatless casserole for you today! Originally I found this casserole over on Krystin’s blog, Lil Luna. Her recipe is phenomenal! Don’t get me wrong! In fact I love it so much, I really wanted to make it a bit healthier so I can enjoy it more often. Plus I made a few other minor changes to make it more of a meal. By the way, if you don’t want this to be a meatless dish, you can always add some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham to it as well.

So here’s what I came up with to lighten it up, and twist it a smidge. First of all, you want to get your ziti pasta cooking. Cook that according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. While that’s boiling away, heat your broccoli cuts according to package directions. Now I bought frozen steamable broccoli cuts, so I just had to plop the package down in the microwave and nuke it according to what the package said. Drain  your pasta, put it back in the same pot, add your broccoli.

Now, take your Alfredo sauce and sour cream and mix that together real good.

Then dump that sauce into the pot with your ziti and broccoli. Toss that together until it’s all evenly coated.

Spread half of the noodle mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 dish.

Now combine together your ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt & pepper.

Spread that evenly over the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the ricotta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake it at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Just look at that cheese! Using light roasted garlic Alfredo sauce, light sour cream, ricotta cheese made with part skim, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese, you’re still left with a rich, creamy, delicious pasta casserole. By the way, no one in this house had a clue I used light or reduced fat anything in this recipe. Now I can enjoy this casserole more often with reduced guilt!

One last note, to make it a bit more healthier, and if you wish, you can replace regular ziti pasta with whole grain or whole wheat ziti. We are just not fans of whole wheat pasta, but that doesn’t mean  you aren’t! Enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare ziti according to package directions until al dente; drain and return to pot.
  2. While ziti is cooking, heat broccoli cuts according to package directions. I used steamable, so just used my microwave.
  3. Once ziti is drained and returned to the pot, add the broccoli
  4. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti and broccoli until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  5. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to add meat to this dish if you want! Just throw in some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham with your pasta and broccoli.

Substitute whole grain or whole wheat pasta if you like.

Adapted from lilluna.com

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