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This hamburger casserole was so easy and you can add whatever condiments you want just as you would a hamburger. I added some pickles and both Jim and I thought it was just what this dish needed for that little extra flavor. I also added dairy free cheese for Robby because  of his ongoing belly issues as he is currently not eating gluten or dairy. You can add whatever cheese you like. And use any gluten free pasta you like. If I did not tell anyone this was gluten free, I’m not sure anyone would have known.




1 pound ground beef
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 small white onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
8 ounces tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounce)
3-4 cups gluten free pasta, cooked al dente
2-4 Tablespoons yellow mustard
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese or your choice of cheese

Any condiments of your choice

Additional cheese

In a large saucepan on medium heat add olive oil, brown the onion and garlic. Add ground beef and cook until ground beef if cooked through. Drain any grease from pan. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, cooked pasta and stir until heated through. Stir in mustard, cheese, salt and pepper. Add your topping and serve warm.



This recipe can be found at www.veggiebalance.com

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Summer is getting started and all of the amazing fresh vegetables are starting to show up at all of the grocery stores and farmers markets! This was a simple fresh pasta dish using using some of those amazing veggies with a little bit of heat coming from the jalapeño! I don’t make many of Rachael Ray’s recipes, but I have to say I enjoyed this pasta dish, it was something totally different for us.



3 ears of fresh corn
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 bunch of scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, I used heirloom tomatoes
Hand full of basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese
1 pound penne pasta
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, I used lemon
Grated Parmesan cheese, I used about a cup to a cup and a half

Bring six quarts of water to a boil for pasta.  Invert a small bowl into a large bowl and stand the corn on its end on the small bowl and scrape kernels from the cob with a knife, repeat with the remaining corn.   Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat with extra virgin olive oil. Add corn, jalapeño peppers, scallions,garlic, salt and pepper.  Sauté 3 – 4 minutes, add tomatoes and basil, cover pan and cook 7 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the tomatoes cook, cook pasta in liberally salted water for 1 minute less that the package directions call for. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
Stir in the Mascarpone into the sauce, then add the pasta, the reserved pasta water and a couple handfuls of grated Parmesan. Toss and serve warm.


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This is a great Taste of Home recipe, but guess what? I did not make it. My Mom, Lydia, made it! We were lucky enough to get some of it for dinner one night! How lucky are we?! She made a couple small changes but otherwise followed the recipe as written below! I especially enjoyed how flavorful the broth was, not to mention all of those delicious vegetables. Perfect on a cold New Hampshire day!


Lydia used elbow pasta, packaged slaw (for shredded cabbage) and added shredded zucchini.


2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each)reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cans (8 ounces each) no salt added tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.)chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup or so of grated Parmesan, to top soup

In a large saucepan sauté the carrots, celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic and cook one minute longer.  Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, cabbage, basil, parsley, oregano,and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add macaroni and continue to cook uncovered for 6-8 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.  Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Before adding cheese, freeze cooled soup in containers. When ready to use-partially thaw in refrigerator over night. Heat through in a saucepan stirring occasionally adding a little broth if needed.



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 This week I am sharing some of my favorite things! I’m starting with this pasta dish that was delicious.  It does take a bit of work and time but it was well worth it. Jim has been asking for this again and again. I shared some with a neighbor and she enjoyed it as much as we did.  There are so many great flavors in this dish, the spicy sausage, the sweet sun dried tomatoes and the peppery arugula! Perfect on one of these cold snowy days we seem to be having!

1 pound spicy Jimmy Dean sausage
1 large onion, diced
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cups of gruyere cheese, divided
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese
1 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 cups of mixed spinach and arugula
10 lasagna sheets, cooked according to package

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan, add the sausage and start to brown, remove fat if needed and add the diced onion. Continue to brown the sausage and let the onion soften. When cooked through, Add cream, cream cheese and 1 cup of the gruyere cheese and stir until creamy. Add the nutmeg, sun dried tomatoes, arugula and spinach stir to combine. Once the spinach and arugula are wilted remove from heat.
To assemble the roll ups,  start with one cooked lasagna sheet at a time. Add about a Tablespoon of the Sausage and sauce, Roll the lasagna sheet up and place in a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Do this for each pasta sheet. Top the rolls with the remaining cheese and the remaining sauce. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until warmed through.
Serve warm.



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I love one pot dishes that come together easily with everything I have in my pantry! To make this dish even easier I used a store bought rotisserie chicken. This is definitely a great dish on a cold evening. The BBQ sauce gives it that warm flavor and what’s not to love about a pasta dish with bacon! Add a salad and your dinner is complete!

6 slices of bacon, diced
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 onion diced
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, not drained
1/2 cup milk
3 cups dry pasta shells
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheese
3/4 cup BBQ sauce, I used a honey BBQ sauce
Salt to taste

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, cook the bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan and cook stirring frequently until the onion is tender and begins to brown. Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes and the juices, milk and add the pasta shells, stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked al dente. Stir in the bacon, add the shredded chicken, corn and let warm through. Add the cheese and BBQ sauce stirring until the cheese is melted. Add salt if desired, remove from heat and serve warm.



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