Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Baked Manicotti

I think now when I have something crazy that I have made for my man, I ought to title it with such to make it easier for me to reference later. Mainly because I am always tweaking things and now that I actually have a second opinion on my food, I should remember what he likes. ^_^

Breakfast:

Banana Baked Oatmeal

Taken from: http://thiscallsforatreat.blogspot.com/2012/02/baked-banana-oatmeal.html

For the Oatmeal:
2 1/2 cups oats
2 1/2 cups water
3 Tbl. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbl. cinnamon
2-3 bananas
ADDED: 1/2 of an egg

For the Topping:
2 Tbl. oats
2 Tbl. brown sugar
1 Tbl. flour
2 Tbl. butter, softened
ADDED: Walnuts and raisins

Optional Serving Additions:
milk
whip cream
honey

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine first 5 ingredients for the oatmeal in a large mixing bowl. Slice the bananas, and fold into oatmeal. Pour the oatmeal into a casserole dish (I used an 11×7 baking pan).
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your topping: mix the oats, brown sugar, and flour. Using your fingers, add the softened butter. Mix until crumbly.
Remove oatmeal from the oven, and sprinkle on the topping. Bake an additional 30 minutes, or until topping begins to brown.
Serve with desired serving additions.
If you would like to bake this the night before, refrigerate overnight-then heat in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

*YUM! I tried not to go overboard with the sugar this time around, it was sweet enough and I was VERY tempted to go dump more sugar on top of it and decided not to. I have PLENTY of sugar, sometimes I don’t need it.

I skipped lunch. I was WAY WAY too busy with other shit. I had to make an item, walk it to the post office, go to the grocery store to buy a couple more items, get back here and START COOKING! I had precious little time, about 2 hours, to get prepped. While that seems like a lot of time, I wanted to roast my tomatoes, onions and garlic which would take half an hour. Then blend them into a sauce and cook THAT for ANOTHER hour. Then during that time I had to prep some sausage and chopped mushrooms, make the ricotta filling mixture with that, prep the pasta that I use to roll the manicotti in, and find some time to take a damn shower and get dressed/presentable! *&$%^#@!!!!

Dinner:

Baked Manicotti

This was a combination of 3 different recipes. I tweaked THOSE recipes a lot. So I’ll try to add them all. 😦 If nothing else the pasta technique is from America’s Test Kitchen.

For the sauce:

Adapted from: http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2008/09/roasted-tomato-garlic-and-onion.html

  • 5-6 tomatoes (fresh from the garden if you can)
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced into chunks
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (or more)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Clean tomatoes, remove stem, then gently cut an X on the bottom of the tomatoes. Heat a large pot of water until boiling. Add the tomatoes and boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove from water and put into an ice bath. Once the tomatoes have cooled, gently peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Sprinkle the onion chunks around the tomatoes. Place the garlic cloves inside the tomato halves. This protects the garlic from burning and infuses the tomato with the roasted garlic flavor (YUM). Sprinkle the herbs and seasonings all over along with the sea salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the tomatoes, onions and garlic are tender, sweet and juicy. Be careful not to over cook them because the tomatoes will dry up.

*I didn’t have the time to roast mine NEARLY long enough. My oven sucks. It doesn’t get hot enough. I try to compensate without OVER compensating, but this time it just didn’t really work. I will have to roast them longer next time.

  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • Dried basil, to taste (I used a TON of dried basil)
  • Dried oregano, to taste (also a ton of dried oregano)
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped (I had no fresh basil. This sucked.)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (I had no fresh, so I used a ton of dried parsley)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Spaghetti (or whatever pasta you desire), cooked per instructions

Place the tomatoes in a large Dutch Oven along with a can of crushed tomatoes and puree with an immersion blender. Taste and re-season with sugar (if desired), basil, oregano, salt or pepper, if needed. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2-4 hours. Add fresh basil and parsley then serve. Top with Parmesan cheese and more basil. Enjoy!

For the filling:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Turkey Italian sausage links, casings removed (I used regular, will use Italian next time)
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (I’m certain I used a lot more)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz Ricotta cheese (I used whole)
  • Dash of fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (divided) (No fresh basil 😦)
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • Manicotti shells, cooked per instructions
  • 3 cups of marinara sauce (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • ADDED: 1/2 of an egg (egg was used in the America’s Test Kitchen one)NOTE TO SELF: MAKE MORE FILLING! Do not skimp on the filling! You will need more than you think you do! TRUST ME! If it looks like a lot, it is NOT ENOUGH! Buy 2 containers of ricotta if you must!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large glass baking dish with olive oil cooking spray then pour 1 cup of marinara and coat entire baking dish.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the turkey sausage removed from casing. Cook for 1-2 minutes, crumbling the sausage with a spatula. Add the onions and mushrooms then continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the meat is cooked through and crumbled and the onions are tender, add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
Cook the manicotti noodles per instructions and set aside to cool. In a large bowl add the cooled meat mixture, ricotta cheese, grated nutmeg, parsley, basil, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, then mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into a large zip lock bag and cut a hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe filling into each manicotti shell (I pipe a bit into each side) then place into the baking dish. Continue process until you are out of filling and shells. Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the manicotti then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Turkey Italian sausage links, casings removed (I used regular, next time will use Italian)
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, chopped (Used less as I was being sneaky with mushrooms…)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz Ricotta cheese (I used full fat)
  • Dash of fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (No fresh, used dried)
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (divided) (Once again, no fresh)
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese (divided) (I used a lot more)
  • Manicotti shells, cooked per instructions
  • 3 cups of marinara sauce (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (divided) (also a lot more)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large glass baking dish with olive oil cooking spray then pour 1 cup of marinara and coat entire baking dish.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the turkey sausage removed from casing. Cook for 1-2 minutes, crumbling the sausage with a spatula. Add the onions and mushrooms then continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the meat is cooked through and crumbled and the onions are tender, add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
Cook the manicotti noodles per instructions and set aside to cool. In a large bowl add the cooled meat mixture, ricotta cheese, grated nutmeg, parsley, basil, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, then mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into a large zip lock bag and cut a hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe filling into each manicotti shell (I pipe a bit into each side) then place into the baking dish. Continue process until you are out of filling and shells. Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the manicotti then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Cover the baking dish with a piece of tin foil and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Remove tin foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 7-10 minutes. Top with chopped basil and serve. Enjoy.

*I baked these in my cast iron skillet since I don’t have a glass baking dish right now. I REALLY need to get that back from the house. All in all, this really did turn out EXCELLENT and I used like, twice the amount of cheese called for in everything. BUT it would have been AMAZINGFANTASTIC if I’d used Italian sausage, fresh herbs, and fresh mozzarella. Next time I will. I didn’t have the budget for it this time. But I was NOT disappointed at all in this dish! MUCH better than the first time I made it!

He loved it too! ^_^

Exercise: 5 mile walk

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