Friday, February 10, 2012

Adventures in Cooking - Pepperoni Ziti Casserole

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe, so I thought I'd share one that's been in the rotation a for a few months now.  For some reason, I can't get the picture to rotate, but here is the Pepperoni Ziti Casserole I made this week - 

This one's super easy - I use wheat pasta, substitute the ricotta for reduced fat cottage cheese, omit the spinach (usually just b/c we don't have it on hand) and add onion.  This one even gets Tim's stamp of approval for taste and mine for nutrition! 

Its also nice because we have leftovers and gets me (or Tim) out of cooking for another night or two!


Side note - I also found a meal planning app that I'm loving so far - Menu Planner.  I have most of my go-to recipes saved as favorites so I can scroll to them quickly on my Ipad when I'm in the kitchen, but this takes it a step further.  I was able to import all of my recipes so they are saved in one place and I can edit them based on my specifications.  Then, the app will create "items" - either ingredients from your recipes or you can add other grocery/food items.  You can also create a list of the ingredients you already have in your pantry (salt, flour, etc).  You can enter your meal plan for each day and then ask that it build your grocery list for you - it will automatically exclude any items you marked off as having in your pantry.  The app also syncs to my phone, so once I created the plan and synced it, I could mark off items on my list while at the grocery store.  So simple!  It does take a little bit of time to set up and I'm only on my first week, but for now I'm loving it.  It also helps because you can label recipes by type - right now I have labeled by the type of meat, cuisine (Asian, Mexican, Italian, American, etc) and whether its carb heavy or not.  When I'm trying to create a meal plan each week, I try not to repeat the same meat more than twice, the same cuisine more than once and try to balance meals with more carbs and meals with more protein/veggies only.  This helped me scroll through quickly and pick based on the type I was looking for!  I'm sure as I add to my recipe repertoire, it will be even better.  It looks like it has ability to add prices which could be good for coupon/bargain hunters, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

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