Monday, October 1, 2007

Muffins, flaxseed and yummy casserole!

I made more muffins today! I think they are becoming a staple in our home. At least they are healthy and homemade! So, I used the same recipe that I posted before but made some alterations. Here are the changes for Strawberry Banana Muffins:

  • 1 c of frozen strawberries (chopped) + 1 mashed banana instead of 1 & 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBS milled flaxseed

Of course you can add the milled flaxseed to the blueberry recipe (and the vanilla as well). I've actually been trying to remember to add a few TBS of milled flaxseed to all of my baked goods just because it's so good for you. Here is a good article on milled flaxseed. I use Hodgson Mill Milled Flaxseed.

Friday night I made Baked Fusilli (Rigate) w/ Italian Sausage. I also made some alterations in that recipe (which I do a lot because.. well, because I can). It was really yummy. I'll make 2 changes the next time I make the recipe. Here is the original recipe out of Cooking with Paula Deen July/August 2007 issue:

Baked Fusilli w. Italian Sausage
1 pound hot Italian Sausage sliced 1/4 in thick
2 TBS butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 (8oz) package fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (32 oz) can spaghetti sauce
2 lg eggs
1 (14.5 oz) can diced Italian tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked/drained
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 4-quart casserole dish. In a medium skillet over medium low heat cook sausage until well done. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and black olives and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and eggs. Stir in diced tomatoes, salt, basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Layer half of pasta, half of mushroom mixture, half of sauce mixture, and half of cheese into prepared casserole dish. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Ok, I copied the recipe exactly from the magazine. If you will notice it doesn't say what to do with the sausage after you cook it and set it aside. I just put a layer of sausage after the mushroom mixture. Next time I make it I will probably mix in the sausage w/ the mushroom mixture. I'm sure it was a typo in the magazine. I also used extra virgin olive oil instead of the butter and used half mozzarella and half cheddar cheese. I just thought it would taste better to add some cheddar. It was really good. Next time I'll do 2 things differently:

  1. Make in 2 separate containers so I can freeze one. This makes A LOT!!! I didn't have room in my 13x9 in dish (which is only 3 quarts). I had sauce and noodles left over that I just couldn't pack in there. Next time I will probably make it in 2 smaller baking dishes and freeze one for the next week.
  2. Use crumbled sausage instead of sliced. It won't effect the taste but I think I will like it better w/ smaller crumbles of sausage instead of larger slices.

I'm a big fan of quick meals and this one was a little time consuming. It was definitely worth it though and I will make it again. With a little one at my feet it's hard to do anything that takes more than 15 or 20 minutes at the counter/stove. I have to do things in stages. Sometimes I chop my veggies while Luke naps and store them in the fridge. I do this a lot so that when it's time to cook I can just throw them in the pan.