Tag Archives: quick dinner

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Pasta has to be one of my favorite foods – carbs covered in sauce with some delicious meats and veggies in there plus a mound of cheese on top! *insert drool face here* Honestly, what’s better than a flavorful pasta dish? How about a pasta dish that is dairy free and gluten free – leaving you with zero tummy troubles?! I’d wholeheartedly consider pasta a comfort food, but the after effects of sugar, dairy, and gluten are anything but comforting. With this delicious, creamy, warm baked ziti recipe I can have my cake (noodles) and eat it, too, and so can you! Okay enough with the rhyming, let’s get to the recipe.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb of gluten free penne pasta
  • 1 lb of chopped smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 28 oz of crushed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of salt, divided
  • 3 tsp of dried basil, divided
  • 3 tsp of dried oregano, divided
  • 2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 2/3 cup of avocado oil mayo
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook your pasta for one minute less than the minimum time on the box.
  • While your pasta is cooking, sautee your mushrooms, onions, and garlic in olive oil
  • Once pasta has cooked, drain excess water and return to pot
  • In the same pot, add sausage, cooked mushroom/onion mixture, crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp each of basil, oregano, and parsley. Stir to combine.
  • Place pasta mixture in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine mayo, nutrtional yeast, coconut milk, and remaining seasonings. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour cheese sauce on top of pasta mixture.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until warmed through and bubbling.
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge.

That’s all! A comforting pasta dish without all the discomfort later. You can order avocado mayo here, coconut milk here, and nutritional yeast here – I know those are sometimes tricky to find in your local supermarket.

For more comfort foods, be sure to check out my Zoodles with Meat SauceBBQ Chicken, Bacon, Ranch PotatoesOven Baked Fries, Microwave Molten Lava Cake, and of course, Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I hope you can find some healthier comfort foods you and your family love! Feed your family healthy, tasty food…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you – just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me! 

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Taco ‘Bout a Rough Day

Do you ever have one of those days? One of those days filled with toddler tantrums and tears, time outs, a power outage during potty time, resulting in toddler pooping on the floor, then everyone just eats PB&Js on old bread for lunch, and you sweat (because of no power) and cry while rocking the little one to sleep, wondering if you can start the day over? Yeah…me neither, and those are absolutely not examples from my actual day today…

Just kidding. This has been my day today, combined with the stress of our upcoming move and transition out of the military, plus the mom guilt over not being gentler with Zemirah during these stressful times. Whew!

Praise the Lord we are all healthy and safe, but on these kinds of days, you just need a quick dinner to throw together. Giant stuffed potatoes are such an easy, filling, and cheap dinner that everyone loves, and these Taco Stuffed Potatoes have just the right amount of spice combined with all the comfort of a baked potato. Top them with Avocado Chipotle Ranch for extra creaminess with a kick! I love making homemade sauces when I can, but if you would like to buy some you can purchase some of my favorite Avocado Ranch here; which always comes in handy on those pinch of crazy days!

No matter what kind of day you’re having, these stuffed potatoes will put a smile on your face and warmth in your belly; I hope your family enjoys!

Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the Avocado Chipotle Ranch:

For the Taco Stuffed Potatoes:

  • One potato per person eating (I used sweet for me and russet for my husband)
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Optional toppings:
    • salted pepitas
    • pickled jalapenos
    • chopped cilatro
    • chopped scallions
    • avocado

Directions:

For the Avocado Chipotle Ranch:

  • Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor
  • Blend until smooth
  • Keep leftovers, covered, in fridge for a week

For the Taco Stuffed Potatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Poke holes all over potatoes (make sure you gave them a good scrubbing!) with a fork or knife
  • Place directly on rack
  • Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until soft and skin is easily pierced with a fork
  • With 20 minutes left on the potatoes, start your taco meat
  • Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat
  • Cook onion and garlic for a few minutes, until onions are translucent
  • Add ground meat, stirring to break up meat (or use one of these)
  • Add seasonings, stirring to combine
  • When meat is cooked through, drain fat if using beef
  • Add tomato paste, stirring to combine
  • Let mixture simmer for 10 minutes
  • Cut open potatoes and fill with taco meat
  • Don’t forget a drizzle of Avocado Chipotle Ranch and extra toppings!
  • Store leftover meat, covered, in fridge for a week

Be sure to check out my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale SoupOne Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasSheet Pan Salmon, and Roasted Chicken with Carrots for other quick and healthy dinner ideas! Everyone has those crazy days, you are not alone. Don’t forget to count your blessings…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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