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Warning: Dangerously addicting baked Zucchini Artichoke Mac & Cheese

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YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

This deliciously healthy baked creation is undoubtedly going to have you hooked for WEEKS, MONTHS even YEARS! The moment this passes your lips, it will be all you’ll think about. Trees will start to form into zucchinis, your pool will start to appear filled with whole wheat pasta, your toothpaste may appear to be mozzarella flavored.

Yes, it’s that good!

At 2:32am last night, I couldn’t sleep because there were workers outside our house working on an exploded underground pipe. They obviously couldn’t care less if I had a 7am Zumba class this morning, because they couldn’t have possibly been any louder. Since, sleep was not going to happen any time soon, I decided to make the most of this extra God-Given time on these creative hands of mine.

2 veggies, some crumbled up garlic-Parmesan pita chips, a whole lot of cheese and a box of whole wheat pasta later; out came this delicious creation!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz whole wheat pasta
  • Sliced and chopped zucchini
  • Chopped artichoke hearts
  • 2 oz low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices of Chipotle cheese (for a spicy finish)
  • 2 oz Low-fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tbs whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled Garlic-Parmesan pita chips
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Perfect Noodles:

  • Boil and strain your whole wheat pasta. You want to leave the pasta a bit chewy, because it will soften up in the oven later. No soggy noodles here!

Cheese Sauce

Delicious cheese sauce:

  • Heat your butter on low-medium head. Mix in the cream cheese and the flour. Slowly add the milk, followed by your spices and cheese. When it becomes a thick creamy consistency, add your noodles.

Saute Zucchini

Veggies:

  • Sautee your sliced and chopped zucchinis with about 1 tsp of oil from the artichoke hearts, as well as a hand full of artichoke hearts. If you don’t have artichoke heart oil, olive oil works as well.
  • Add the sauteed veggies to the noodles and cheese sauce

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Baking your addicting cheesy dish:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
  • In an oven-safe dish, spread your mixture evenly.
  • Sprinkle your crumbled pita chips across the top. You can also add some Panko crumbs for a bit more crunch. I also added some more sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top as well.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins (until golden brown on top).

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Don’t invite anyone over to eat this with you. Devour in 5 minutes flat all by yourself. Don’t share with anyone, trust me it’s too good to share.

 

 

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Baked Parmesan Garlic Asparagus, Yum!

The healthiest most delicious way to eat asparagus has finally been discovered by your truly! These easy little green strands of mouth watering heaven only take about 10 mins to put together, and will honestly take your breath away. If you’re an asparagus hated(as I was about 3 months ago) this is a GREAT way to fall in love with your vegetable arch enemy. The Garlic and Parmesan cheese are perfect compliments to it’s delicious flavors.

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Yum, this is how they will look in the end! I paired my Parmesan garlic asparagus with a piece of whole wheat toast and some avocado slices.

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If it’s on sale, I prefer to buy organic asparagus

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Mince 4-5 cloves of garlic, mix in a Ziploc bag with about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and a table spoon of olive oil. Olive oil is a healthier version of vegetable oil, so I like to use it whenever I can. (I’ll make a post about the difference between the two a bit later.)

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Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 mins (until golden brown.)

Ingredients:

  • Fresh minced garlic
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (you can substitute vegan or your favorite cheese here)
  • Organic asparagus

What to do:

  1. Mince Garlic, grate cheese
  2. Add mixture of garlic and cheese to a Ziploc bag along with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  3. Using your hands, add the asparagus to the mixture and rub the ingredients around in the bag for about 2 mins. This is to evenly distribute the flavors to every piece of asparagus and make every one of them extra savory 🙂
  4. Place the contents of the bag onto a piece of tinfoil and bake for 7-10 mins (until they appear golden brown.)
  5. Eat and enjoy!

Easy, delicious and will impress any guests that you have over 🙂

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Spicy smashed Baby Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese

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These easy little potatoes are SO delicious, and way better for you then french fries!

Baked instead of fried, no grease or oil involved.

Ingredients:

  • Baby yellow potatoes
  • Fresh minces garlic
  • Parmesan cheese (grated) 
  • Cayenne pepper (or spice of choice)

What to do:

  1. Boil your washed baby potatoes for 5-10 mins (until relatively soft)
  2. Place baby potatoes on a tin foil covered cooking sheet, and pre-heat oven to 350
  3. Smash lightly with the bottom of a glass (or a potato smasher if you have one. I didn’t so the bottom of a glass worked great!) Make sure not to smash too hard or they tend to crumble and not look so appetizing. 
  4. Sprinkle grated Parmesan and fresh garlic over every baby potato, followed by cayenne pepper
  5. Bake for 5-10 mins (until golden brown)

So easy, so delicious, and a wonderful snack for in between meals!