easy baked ziti

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Who is ready for a non-Thanksgiving recipe? It was a wonderful evening, but I’m ready to get into the Christmas spirit! This doesn’t mean that I’ve got the decorations up, or even plan on getting a tree but I love giving gifts, lighting candles every night, and of course, the comfort food that cooler weather brings.

And baked ziti is the perfect comfort food.

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

It’s comforting, it’s satisfying and it’s easy to make. Isn’t that what every dinner should be?

Bonus: it’s five ingredients and takes only 10 minutes of active prep time. It will be on the table in 35 minutes and everyone will be happy.

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Baked Ziti isn’t necessarily the prettiest food around, but it is tasty. No matter if your taste buds lean gourmet or picky – it’s a meal that the whole family will love. I used a spicy red pepper marinara (jarred) sauce but use your favorite jarred or homemade sauce.

Serve with a green salad – it’s all this dinner needs!

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Easy Baked Ziti
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 25-oz jar of marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta as directed until al dente, drain and set aside.
  3. Mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan with half of the marinara sauce.
  5. Top with pasta, ricotta mixture and remaining sauce.
  6. (Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese if desired.)
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 538 Fat: 19 grams Carbohydrates: 62 grams Sugar: 13 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 28 grams Cholesterol: 145 miligrams

 

california-inspired thanksgiving menu

I wasn’t going to post today, because…well, my anticipated squash with curried butter recipe was NOT good.

It needs some major work before it’s ready to share (if it’s ever ready) so instead, I thought you might enjoy some Thanksgiving chat with this California-inspired Thanksgiving Menu. (You know there’s a kale salad!)

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year?

 

easy strawberry tart

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

I made you dessert!

It’s a rare occurrence.

I eat dessert, but never make it.

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

Lately, I’ve been eating a LOT of desserts. When I was in New York, I had an amazing dinner at momofuku noodle bar: brisket bun (my favorite of the night!), kimchee salad, rice cakes and of course, a bowl of ‘momofuku ramen’ (pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg). I was too full for dessert, but there was no WAY I was leaving without taking home some famous milk bar goodies so I brought back ‘the ritz’ cookies and a box of pretzel cake truffles. Uhhh, ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe them.

I’m a little tempted to get the cookbook, but when I cook at home, I like need things to be simple. Their recipes aren’t.

This dessert IS simple. It doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, and it doesn’t even require pulling out the mixer! (Unless you are an over-achiever and you make your own puff pastry.)

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

I’m partnering with Central West Produce to work on some recipes and when I was sent some beautiful strawberries, they were just begging to be made into a dessert. When I have perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious produce, I like to let it shine in recipes.

In this easy strawberry tart, puff pastry is baked, topped with a sweet cream cheese spread and finished off with fresh berries. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet and fresh!

Each of the components come together really quickly and that’s precisely why ‘easy’ is in the title.

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

But delicious also deserves a spot in the title (ultimately, it didn’t get it). Pick up this dessert with your hands and crunch through each delicious layer.

Easy Strawberry Tart
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz puff pastry (one sheet)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk or half & half
  • 16 oz fresh strawberries
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut puff pastry into 8 pieces and place on a parchment-lined pan.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, vanilla and honey until smooth.
  5. Add milk or half & half to thin out cream cheese mixture.
  6. Slice strawberries.
  7. Layer cream cheese and strawberries over puff pastry pieces.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 22 grams Carbohydrates: 22 grams Sugar: 7 grams Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 5 grams

This post is sponsored by Central West Produce. Opinions are my own. 

gorgonzola + honey crostini

I’m currently in the sky, headed back to the West Coast! I’ll call it the “best” coast if it feels more like the fall weather I enjoyed in New York, and less like the summer weather I didn’t enjoy in LA this past weekend. (I loved being in NYC, the energy feels so different than in LA – I only wish I could have extended my trip so that I could have stayed longer than 36 hours!)

But back to the weather (I am from the midwest after all, and we do like to talk about it), I’m ready for squash and soup and chili and hot tea ALL the time! Temps in the 80’s make that complicated.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

But I’ll try not to complain about the weather and continue to drown my weather woes with good appetizers. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Appetizers are the way to my heart. They are my heart.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

And easy appetizers are best. Because when you’re hungry, you’re HUNGRY!

Here, crunchy crostini is topped with creamy and slightly pungent gorgonzola cheese (I used a triple cream!) and a drizzle of sweet honey. You can’t go wrong with this combination. Crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Three minutes until crostini is in your belly.

  1. Lightly toast bread
  2. Spread cheese
  3. Drizzle honey
  4. Lightly toast again

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Perfection in a bite.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • french baguette
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or blue) cheese
  • honey
Instructions
  1. Lightly broil bread for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Spread blue cheese and drizzle with honey.
  3. Broil crostini for another 2 minutes, or until cheese has melted.