Faux Lasagna

Don't worry there isn't any tofu and yes, there is still cheese.

This is something that my mom made and ever since I've been itching to make it - however this is not something the man of the house would be very interested in. So with him being gone on a ski trip it was the perfect opportunity. 

Welcome to [Italian turkey] sausage & sweet potato zucchini lasagna from Pinch of Yum

It takes a little bit of work, but the hardest part is the 15 minutes after it's done baking and you have to wait to let it cool. PURE TORTURE. I just had this for leftovers and y'all...you just need to have it. Who knew something that resembles baby food (this sweet potato puree) could be so damn amazing...but I'll still hold off on the baby part please. 

Here's a quick play by play - sweat out the zucchini, layer the zucchini, sweet potato puree, ground Italian turkey sausage, zucchini, puree, sausage, zucchini, puree & cheese! 

  1. INGREDIENTS
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 lb. ground turkey Italian sausage
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut the zucchini into thin strips lengthwise. I did this with a normal vegetable peeler & resorted to a knife once it started to become too difficult.
  2. Lay down the zucchini on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let them rest & "sweat it out"
  3. In a skillet, brown the ground turkey with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  4. Wash the sweet potatoes, poke/stab/pierce whatever you want with a fork and wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 7 minutes. (BTW this is my go to way to cook sweet potatoes in a pinch!) If you prefer you can bake them too. 
  5. Chop up the sweet potatoes and place in a blender with the milk, chicken broth, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt - puree until smooth & delicious. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  7.  Now its time to layer! Start with the sweated zucchini noodles, then the sauce, sausage - repeat as many times as you'd like and end with a zucchini layer, sauce & some cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes. ** I promise let it cool - it makes the whole process so much easier

Eat your soul out because it's healthy and you can!

Tortellini Bake

I wouldn't say that I am a big pasta eater, I rarely will go to a restaurant and order a pasta dish. However, that doesn't mean I can't take down a big bowl of noodles.Now, Ethan on the other hand is a big pasta eater, I think he could probably eat variations of pasta every day (as long as there was meat and cheese involved). In order to feed his carb cravings, I tend to make a pasta dish once or twice a week.

I have become of a huge fan of one pot dishes - the only thing that would make them easier would be one of these bad boys.  I mean, a girl can dream. But with or without a gorgeous dutch oven, this meal is practically fool proof. 

Start sauteing the onions & garlic in oil on medium high heat. I love when Ethan is home while I'm starting to cook because this is his favorite smell in the world. 

Toss in your ground turkey (or beef) and season to your liking. For me, that's usually just salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until browned. 

Add in the diced tomatoes & sauce and get it simmering. 

Stir in the spinach until wilted. At this time feel free to add any more seasonings to your mixture - salt, pepp, garlic seasonings, etc. 

Add in the tortellini and transfer to a baking dish if your pan has hit its limits. Ethan was watching from a far and reminded me..."don't you need to boil that". I just stared at him until he realized I knew what I was doing and went back to his business. Don't be concerned about adding in raw pasta, it will cook in the oven. 

Cover the noodles with mozz, which we already conveniently had shredded from pizza making, and the grated parmesan. Cook for 20-30 minutes with foil on top for the first 10-15. 

Your only job now is to devour! 
We pushed our bellies as far as they could go and still managed to have a decent amount of leftovers - which Ethan gladly ate for lunch the next day. 


Baked Tortellini
- serves around 2-4 people (depending on how much you eat) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey (we get lean 93/7% but feel free to use beef too)
  • 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 14.5oz can of tomato sauce (use any sauce you like)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 package of tortellini
  • Shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan*

*who really even measures their cheese anyways

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Sautee garlic & onions in the olive oil in pan until fragrant
  3. Add in ground turkey and cook until browned (if using beef or fattier turkey make sure to drain most of the grease)
  4. Add in diced tomatoes (drained) and can of tomato sauce
  5. Stir in baby spinach until wilted and let simmer
  6. Turn off heat & add in tortellini and cover with cheese
  7. Transfer to baking dish (or place your pan in oven if large enough). Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes then uncover and bake for another 5-10 until cheese is melted

Time and time again I tell myself that I will just have a bite or a small bowl, but I think I end up eating more than him every single time.