Posts Tagged ‘meatless mondays’
Ah summer… the sun is shining, days seem longer and gardens are producing tons of fresh fruits and veggies. There is nothing better than garden fresh veggies. Crisp peppers, corn on the cob, zucchini for days and vine ripened tomatoes. However living in Pittsburgh we have all but a brief window of time where we can grow our own veggies like that. Nothing is better than homemade pasta sauce with garden fresh garlic, herbs and those juicy tomatoes. Well thankfully RAGÚ came out with their new Homestyle pasta sauces! You can get garden fresh taste with that rich homestyle way just like Nonna! So when the great folks from RAGÚ reached out to me to check out their new RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces I was ecstatic. You see RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauce is about tradition, family and amazing flavors. So today I’m sharing with you my Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats Starring Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Pasta Sauce. Get on the boat to YUMVILLE with this dish!
This time around I decided to go with their Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic pasta sauce. Since this dish was meatless I really wanted to give the veggie filling tons of flavors. This sauce was the perfect way to go! Rich, thick, bold and the roasted garlic flavor was amazing!
Macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes that has a near and dear spot in my heart. Wait before I go on let me state a few things:
1. Yes I know it’s not true macaroni noodles (I used cavatappi cause they are my favorite) so it’s truly not ‘macaroni and cheese’ per se. Sure I could have titled this post “Pasta and Cheese Sauce Extraordinaire” but yeah, that’s boring and not many would type that in to search for it.
2. This is NOT your boxed mix as my cheese does not glow in the dark nor is it neon.
3. It’s not baked but good ol’ fashioned stove top. The only time you bake it is if you want that crispy crunchy crust.
Now back to what’s important… shoveling forkfuls of this luscious cheesy goodness in your pie-hole! Mac ‘n Cheese is a source of comfort for me as I’m sure it is for most of you all. See I was that child who, while fat, was the pickiest eater EVER. I mean EVER. Mom knew, however, that I would always eat mac ‘n cheese.
See the thing is for me I didn’t grow up on the boxed stuff. We simply couldn’t afford it. At times we’d have to get food from the government (I don’t care what people say that gov’ment cheese was awesome. Granted I’m not sure if it really was actual cheese though.). Mom would make up a roux (melted butter then add in some flour, cook that for a minute). Next she’d whisk in the milk to make one of the Mother Sauces (bechamel). Once she had that in went pounds of cheese.
More cheese please!
So get this… Mr. Fantabulous hates zucchini, yellow and spaghetti squash (well okay hate is a strong word. Let’s just say he greatly dislikes it but will eat it if I force him to. But here’s the kicker he loves butternut and acorn squash. Now to me a squash is a squash is a squash. Okay maybe the spaghetti squash is the exception here as of it’s texture is unlike the others but to me they are all pretty much equal. I mean is he the weird one here or am I? Remember you love me more than him so think before you answer *wink*. LOL
Anyway the other day on our way home from the doctors I told him we needed a few things from the store. Me, being me said “just park and I’ll run in real quick” thinking he’d forget my whole being under quarantine. Apparently he’s been taking his ginko crap or whatever you take to help improve your memory because I got the look (you know the look you get when you try to be sly and someone catches you) and he just huffed and said “Make me a list and I’ll get it while you stay in the car”.
<insert major grumbles here> I think I’m the only person on the planet that is going through grocery shopping withdrawal! It’s not that I buy a boatload of stuff but rather I just enjoy it. And don’t get me started on how much I miss my Food Porn Props store! I fear HomeGoods may go out of business for my not being there every Saturday! OMG I think I’d die! Please tell me you have visited one…
This dish was honestly one of the easier recipes for me to come up with. I’ve made regular lasagna – heck, that’s part of my vows to Mr. Fantabulous. “To honor, love, cherish, know how to make killer lasagna…in sickness and health..” No, seriously! *wink*. As I was saying I make regular lasagna, lasagna roll ups but then I also make zucchini lasagna for those nights when pasta just isn’t something I want. Heck I’ve even made unstuffed cabbage lasagna for those days when I have zero desire to roll 9,000 stuffed cabbages! Well this night I had a medium sized zucchini on hand and a good sized spaghetti squash. I had cooked my spaghetti squash like I normally do – TYVM microwave. I shredded it and there it sat in the fridge for 2 days. I actually forgot about it.
Well I was making stuffed shells that night and realized I had too much ricotta filling. So honestly this recipe came out of excess of an ingredient. Since I had extra but not quite enough I whipped up a little more filling and opted to go with this lasagna. This seriously was so easy to make I’m almost embarrassed to share it. Like seriously if you can slice, mix, layer (not even well mind you) and bake you can make this. Heck even Mr. Fantabulous could make this… well, that is if he liked stuff like this. He’s still a traditionalist when it comes to his lasagna. It’s the Italian in him. Plus while he’ll eat zucchini he’s not a huge fan of it. It’s more like if I make it and put it on his plate he’ll eat it while complaining he really doesn’t like it. LOL
So the name, pretty ingenious, right?
So remember that Chunky Portabella Veggie Burger I shared with you guys? Well let me tell you what.. that recipe has gone on to get worldwide attention and has fast become one of the most gawked, favorited, pinned and shared recipes on the net. Thing is it wasn’t all vegans and vegetarians either! You meat lovers, the people that must eat meat raved over this thing. You fooled your carnivore steak lover with it and when they asked for their 2nd or 3rd helping you told them they were eating all veggies. Trust me I know, I got the same reaction from folks. The look of “NUH UH!” was priceless!
“But this is too awesome to not have meat in it! It takes just like beef!” Fooled ya didn’t I! Told ya that thing rocked! Well this veggie meatloaf is right up there with it being equally awesome!
After posting that recipe I had to work on a meatless meatloaf recipe. For you.. and for me. The requests came pouring in asking how to make one. Now you’ll see this recipe differs from the veggie burger as this, like traditional meatloaf, has more binder (bread/breadcrumbs) but what’s awesome about this recipe is that it’s not heavy. That meatloaf doesn’t sit in the bottom of your stomach.