Friday, October 26, 2012

Foodie Friday

Yesterday we got our first snow of the season.... oh the joys of living in Minnesota. Nothing really "stuck" to the ground but Hadley and I watched out the window and pointed at the huge, wet flakes over the few hours that it was falling pretty steadily. How is it already winter and more importantly why can't winter be shorter?

On Wednesday, I ventured into the world of homemade tomato sauce via my new {totally created by me} recipe for Baked Macaroni. I think it turned out pretty great especially since I combined different parts of recipes that sounded good to me but needed to be lower fat or more kid-friendly, etc. Admittedly, Hadley liked it better reheated as leftovers but she might have just been suspicious of the tomatoes.... much like her daddy.

Brittney's Baked Macaroni
Easy Tomato Sauce (below)
1 package Jenny-O 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey
2 cups uncooked elbow noodles
2 small yellow onions
1 8-ounce block Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese)
1 bag part skim Italian shredded cheese mix
1 tbspn butter or margarine
4 tablespoons reduced fat Parmesan style cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup canola oil
Salt and Pepper
1.  Boil noodles for 7 minutes (al dente), then drain and set aside.
2.  Cook ground turkey in a saute pan until it is white all the way through, then add Easy Tomato Sauce and remove from heat.
3.  Chop 1 yellow onion finely (I used a Cuisinart food processor to make sure it was chopped as finely as possible). Move onion to microwave-safe dish and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Microwave for 4 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Mix cooked onions with the Neufchatel cheese until the mixture is well combined and smooth. **Setting your Neufchatel cheese out when you first start cooking makes it much softer and easier to work with in this step.
4.  In a 13x9 baking dish sprayed with olive oil or PAM, add a 1/4 cup of the turkey/tomato sauce mixture. Next, add all of the cooked noodles. On top of the noodles, smooth on the onion/soft cheese mixture as evenly as you can (it may not spread evenly -didn't for me!- but when it bakes it all liquifies so don't worry). Add all of the remaining tomato/turkey mixture, then top with the bag of Italian cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake on middle rack at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
6. With remaining yellow onion, slice thinly into strips. Soak in the milk for 5-10 minutes. Put flour on a plate and heat the canola oil in a saute pan and heat to medium-high. Add the onion slices to the oil and cook for 30 seconds tossing in the pan. Use a slotted spoon to remove to paper towels to cool and drip-dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
7. Add fried onions to the top of the pan and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes (watch that you don't burn the onions).

Easy Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tspn italian seasoning
1 tspn onion flakes
2 tbspns olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
Combine in a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste after cooking.

This is a great dish to prep ahead and put in the fridge or freezer. It's also an easy recipe to double and make two pans of at the same time if you are looking for something to take a friend or if you'd just like an easy meals to throw in the oven after a busy day.
Today, I'm making Bourbon "Crack" Chicken in the crock pot (of course!) and I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back and haven't tried it yet. My philosophy with Pinterest is that if you Pin it, you should try it otherwise, what's the point? If you haven't been on Pinterest, I highly recommend you check it out.... and FOLLOW ME to see all of my crazy recipe/craft/art/decor inspirations!


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