As I mentioned earlier, tonight's dinner was a penne casserole, otherwise known as healthy baked pasta (similar to baked ziti only with penne and the addition of meat). I love whole wheat pasta now, but I didn't always. When it first became all the rage years back, I thought it was gummy and just didn't taste quite right. Now, I have learned to like it and would never go back to white pasta (except at restaurants if whole wheat is not an option) solely for the health benefits. I will say, however, that the selection of wheat pastas still leave much to be desired. For example, they have yet to produce a wheat ziti, which would have been perfect for this recipe. Instead, I had to use penne.
First, boil water with a pinch of salt to yield about 3 cups of cooked pasta (about 3/4 of a box). While the pasta is cooking, brown 1 pound of ground turkey with half of a small onion and 2 cloves of garlic (or 1 tablespoon of minced if you're lazy like me).
Once both the pasta and turkey are done, mix in a can of petite diced tomatoes and either a box of drained frozen spinach or 1 1/2 cups of wilted fresh spinach (you can also substitute broccoli in this recipe but if you do make sure you cook it and drain it WELL before you put it in there as broccoli is very watery and can really make the dish runny). For spices, add salt, pepper, and basil as much as desired. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and layer the bottom of the dish with the mixture. Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese. Pour the rest of the mixture on top and top with another 1/2 - 3/4 cup of mozzarella.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are a little brown.
For dessert I made tofu pudding with homemade whipped cream. This is super easy to make. Puree a package of silken tofu in a blender.
Move to stove top and add about 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips. Cook on medium low heat. Once the chocolate has melted, add two tbsp of sugar (you can also use agave or honey in this recipe) and a dash of vanilla. Refrigerate until ready to consume.
The whipped cream is easy to make as well. Throw 1 cup of whipping cream (or heavy cream) and 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tsp of vanilla into a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Enjoy!
As I also mentioned, the boy and I went on a quick 2 mile run before dinner. Since I sold my Garmin a year ago when I got disillusioned with running, I had to sort of guesstimate (yes, that's a made up word) how far 2 miles was. The boy did really good and since we were running a shorter distance, I was able to run at his faster pace. I had mentioned yesterday that he and I were going to run a race together in the spring. The race we settled on was one I have done twice before, Boston's Run to Remember. They have a 5 mile component and a half marathon component. I think the boy is going to do the 5 mile and I'm going to do the half. That is the plan as of right now anyway. That could change at anytime. It's a nice goal to work toward I think. I hope we will both be race ready by then!
What is your perfect distance? Has anyone else ever wanted to run a marathon? Or done one already?