Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meaty Baked Rontini

One thing I really like about the Trim Healthy Mama approach to eating, is that I don't have to deprive myself of some of my favorite things.

Like the other night when I was craving something Italian. I wanted meaty. I wanted cheesy. And I wanted pasta.

Oh, I just love it when I can have my cake and eat it to.

Try this on for size.

Okay, now that I've tempted you, let's go back to the beginning.

Let's start with:

  • One package sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • One package lean ground turkey
  • 1 - 24 oz. jar no sugar added pasta/spaghetti sauce
  • (optional) 1 can diced tomatoes (I ended up not using them)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Half an onion, diced
  • half a bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. (or more) Dreamfields rotini
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • basil
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

While our pasta is cooking to al dente, we're going to cook our meat until browned, along with the onion, bell pepper and garlic.

Yep, that looks good.
Drain, if necessary.

Now stir in half of the pasta sauce, some basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, red pepper flakes and approximately half a cup of the Parmesan cheese.
I love Parmesan and it adds a great flavor.

Your pasta should be done about now. Drain it and put it into a large bowl.

Now why did I use Dreamfields? Not only because it tastes great, has protein and fiber, but it's made with a patented process that actually makes the carbs look like protein under a microscope. No spikes in our glycemic level. And our bodies are never the wiser. :) The cool thing about Dreamfields is that it's available at Walmart AND it's not expensive. It actually costs less than the Barilla Plus I've been buying for years. 

That said, my meat to pasta ratio was significantly higher in meat. I used about ten ounces of pasta, but I could have used the whole 13 point something ounce box and been just fine.

You, my friend, are allowed to use whatever pasta you like and as much as you like. 
But you are now informed. :)

I added the rest of the sauce to the pasta, along with some more Parmesan.

Stir that together.
Then add half of the meat mixture...

Before pouring into an oblong baking dish.

Top that with some grated mozzarella and Parmesan.

Then the rest of the meat.

And a final sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

While that's cooking, make your salad.
G'head. However you like it.
It's a virtual salad bar here at the cafe, so you can pile on whatever you please.

And, if you're in a hurry like we were, you go ahead and eat the salad.

But the wait is worth it.
Boy, did this hit the spot. I loved it, hubby loved it, the kids loved it, the dogs...

Well, they didn't get any. But they loved the smell of it. :)

And speaking of dogs, Maddie is getting bigger and she's been learning some new tricks. 


  1. Yummy! I love anything Italian. I'd eat the whole pan.
    But that whole "patented process that makes carbs look like proteins under a microscope" gives me pause. I don't want anybody fiddling with my food, lol. I think I'd rather go without than have something chemically or otherwise altered to be something else.
    Of course, this chocolate I'm eating has been altered from its original cocoa bean form. :D
    I think I'll just make the normal version... and eat less of it. If I can!

    1. Okay, maybe the microscope talk was a little over the top, but the added vitamins and fiber are too good to resist. Not to mention that sugar spike.

      But I understand and, yes, any pasta would work just fine, Virginia. :)

    2. You can't beat added vitamins and fiber. I'm sold!

  2. looks good! gonna have to try this..not sure about the microscope thing either..I know micky d's ain't the healthiest but somehow I just close my eyes and ears to that...

    1. Susanna, I am a firm believer that sometimes ignorance is bliss. :)

  3. Woohooo -- you have a flying dog!!!! She's so spritely. I'm yorkie sitting this week. Bear is curled up at my hip while I type this in bed. Such luxury! I have this week off and we're enjoying it. Walk, play, eat, sleep. :-)

    1. Kav, you are in doggie heaven, aren't you? Sounds like a perfect way to start the day.

      And yes, Maddie is turning into a flyer. She just recently started jumping for the balls like that. I bet, with practice, she'll start getting them on the first leap. :)

    2. How fun, Kav! Enjoy doggie and rest time.

  4. Must try this on Friday, Shopping Day! Thanks, Mindy!

    1. I know how you love Italian, Tina. Hope you enjoy it.

  5. You've risen the bar with a gratuitous puppy video! So cute :)

    I love that we can have pasta on this eating plan. I make a dish with Dreamfields about twice a month. The last one we had was Missy's Pasta Carbonara - so delicious!

    And now your recipe is going on the menu for next week. Thanks, Mindy!

    1. Jan, this was truly a satisfying meal. I really wanted Italian and it was better than I imagined. :)

  6. Go Maddie!! LOL She's so cute.

    I'm loving this recipe! I recently ordered a 10 pack of Dreamfields angel hair pasta from Amazon. Then found my grocery store has it after all (even thought hey said they didn't when I called). So now I know I can buy it as needed. It truly does taste the same!

    Thanks for sharing, Mindy. This looks DELISH! Anything loaded with cheese is delicious in my book. :)

    1. "Anything loaded with cheese is delicious in my book."

      My sentiments exactly, Missy. I've been know to make a meal on cheese alone. Love it!

  7. Obenhaus, I'm in love with this idea!!!! Load up the meat (happy husband!!!) and add some deliciousness of pasta and stay lower carb and highly delicious! Thank you for this!

    And flyer dogs, LOL!!!! HYSTERICAL!!!!

    Loaded with cheese and meat has become my mainstay.... with veggies, too. And now I must pack away my Easter treats to hand out to ME sparingly.... the kids are all cute and skinny and active, so I experiment with my fun recipes on them. For me? I must now lock some stuff away so I have time to think before I grab!

    1. I had a weak moment yesterday. Bought M&M's again! Must ration them. :)

    2. P.S. they were on sale with the leftover Easter candy! Couldn't resist a bargain. LOL

    3. have you tried the white chocolat carrot cake m&m's?! one of my 2nd cousins posted about them on facebook...I'm afraid to try them

    4. Yes, Susanna! I saw them but resisted. :)