Paul Deen is coming out with a clothing line. I had to stop using Deen’s recipes because I stopped fitting into my old clothing. Now vegan recipes from Tofu Guru on You Tube and modified recipes Food Network‘s Giada Laurentis, Robert Irvine and Sandra Lee have helped me slim back down.
It is possible to use quality ingredients, even organically-grown items, on a budget. On Halloween weekend, I had an early Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family. I made baked pumpkin pasta and pumpkin trifle for less than $7 per person.
I hear you. I know you can do better. Please comment and direct me to recipes that cost even less.
I modified three foodnetwork recipes to create this main dish and dessert. I shopped at Trader Joes, BevMo and Ralphs for the list of ingredients.
Baked Pumpkin Pasta
1 package penne pasta $.99 per package
1 can organic pureed pumpkin $.99 per can
3 TB heavy cream
3 TB olive oil
granulated dehyrated onions
1/4 tsp crushed garlic
1 pound of uncooked sweet chicken sausage (casings removed) $3.99 per pound
2 TB dried basil
3 TB dried parsley
1 TB powdered cloves
1 package of Lite shredded mozarella
5 TB powdered parmesan cheese
1 jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce $1.49 per jar
1 cup of red wine–Syrah from Shiloh Road $9 per bottle during BevMo 5-cent sale
Time: 1 hr 20 minutes
1. You can choose to use two stove burners at once or boil the pasta first and then cook the sauce. Boil the pasta as directed but undercook by two minutes. Do not drain. Let the penne sit in its water while you prepare the sauce.
2. Remove the casings from the sausage. Saute raw sausage with olive oil, garlic and onion. Break up the sausage with a wooden spatula. Add herbs. Cook until no longer pink for about 15 minutes on high.
3. Turn down the heat to medium. Add tomato sauce and pumpkin puree. Add cloves and 1 cup of red wine. Stir so that tomato, pumpkin and meat are combined. Cover with lid and turn down heat to simmer.
4. Line oven-save casserole dish with parchment paper. Ladle half of the meat sauce as first layer. Add a layer of drained pasta directly from pot as the second layer. Add half the mozzarella as the third layer. Repeat. Sprinkle top with extra herbs if desired.
5. Broil in oven on high until cheese melts slightly. Mixture will be hot because you just cooked the pasta and sauce. 5 minutes.
Serve with red wine.
Notes: Lite-mozzarella made with skim milk has a texture closer to elastic. Be warned. However, you might not mind.
Tip for Low-Sodium Dieters: This is not a low-carb or low-sodium recipe. You can reduce the sodium by making your own tomato sauce instead of using canned. You can also slash salt by using ground meat instead of sausage. Reduce the amount of parmesan by half for lower sodium too.
Tip for Vegans: Substituting soy cheese and tofu raises the price to $14 per serving.
Tip for Gluten-free Dieters: You can use brown rice pasta if you require a gluten-free dish. However, the texture of the noodles will have a different bite.
Tip for Vegetarians: You can also swap out the meat and rely on cheese for protein if you want a vegetarian dish; for this, I recommend adding sauteed sliced zuccini, mushrooms and matchstick carrots.
Tip for Low-Carb Followers: You can use layers of vegetables instead of pasta for this dish.
1 package of vanilla pudding
2 cups of heavy cream
1 can of organic pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground ginger
1 TB ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Gingerbread Cake cubes
1 cup boiling hot water mixed with 1 tsp of baking soda
2 cups molasses
3 cups flour
1 can organic pumpkin puree
4 TB ground cinnamon
2 TB ground ginger
1 TB ground cloves
1 cup canola oil
2 cups chocolate chips
12 store bought ginger snaps
optional whipped cream or butterscotch chips
Line 2 8×8″ oven safe cake pans with parchment. Pour batter. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.
Cool and cube cake pieces.
Use individual dessert glasses or one large trifle bowl for presentation. Alternate layers of pudding, cake cubes and crushed ginger snaps. Top with butterscotch chips or whipped cream.
Tips for Low-Fat modifications: You can switch to a lower-fat dessert by using milk instead of heavy cream. However, the texture of the pudding will be looser. I wish I had a solution to make this lactose-free but I don’t.
Time-saving tip: Save time by skipping the cake cubes. Use the store bought gingersnaps and pudding only. For diabetics: For less sugar, skip the chocolate and butterscotch chips; also use, sugar free pudding mix.