not-so-cheesy spinach pasta bake

October 11, 2010

Dear Columbus,

In 1492, you thought you discovered America. I hate to break it to you — but you didn’t. You weren’t even close to America; you were in the Bahamas. You should have put up your feet in a hammock, enjoyed a fruity beverage, and called it a day to save yourself the embarrassment of thinking you were in India (hence the term “Indians”). But no Columbus, you couldn’t do that. Instead, you lived a horribly sinful life and hurt many people along the way. I do owe you one thing though, Columbus. No matter what kind of life you did lead, I would like to thank you for making your way into the public school system. No, not so I could lie to children about what a “hero” you were, but so I could enjoy a three day weekend once every October. Thanks Columbus, I owe you one.

Love,

Chelsey

Columbus Day weekend came just in time — last night the Husband and I had a wedding to attend! His younger cousin was getting married. They got married and had their reception at the infamous Rialto Square Theater in Joliet. It was absolutely gorgeous!

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I won’t lie — one of the highlights of going to a wedding for me is seeing the Husband dress up in a suit.

As you can see, there was no need for elaborate decorations in this venue!

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We had a lot of fun. We always enjoy watching the Husband’s uncle dance. Not only is it highly entertaining, but we have some fun joining in as well! At our wedding, he was the one with his shirt off, carrying our “reception sign”, and leading a conga line. Gotta love family, right?

The husband didn’t think it was too much fun though when his alarm clock went off at 6:00 this morning. Actually, looking back, I didn’t enjoy that either.

I finally roused myself out of bed around 6:30 to see him off to work, and then I sat down to relax and eat some breakfast. Since I did not properly plan on Saturday night so I could eat overnight oats, I made sure to put a bowl in the fridge around midnight last night.

Let me introduce you to my breakfast…

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Apple Pie Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana, smashed
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • diced apple (microwaved with cinnamon and vanilla for 90 seconds)
  • raisins
  • peanut butter

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I’m not sure what it is with peanut butter and cooked apple, but it always tastes caramel’y to me! It is absolutely delicious! I spent some time relaxing and working on my blog for a while after breakfast. I have not been able to do that for a long time. In case you couldn’t tell, some things around here have changed!

  • New Header: courtesy of Jess @ Healthy Exposures — She did such a fantastic job! I am super happy with the end result! Thanks Jess!
  • My recipes page is now labeled “eat”. (Someday I’ll update it again — what is my problem?)
  • My blogroll is now located under the page labeled “read” (If I forgot you, please let me know.. I’ll be more than happy to add you).
  • My “about me” page is now labeled “chelsey”

What do you think about the changes? Any other suggestions? I wanted to find a way to make the “text screen” wider, but I am really really html illiterate. Any advice?

After I played around for a while, I decided to suit up for a nice run! I went about 4.5 miles, which is longer than I have done in quite some time. I think I have an easier time going for longer runs when I don’t have to work. I know I won’t have to exert as much energy throughout the course of the day! Teaching takes a lot out of you!

Before I knew it, laundry and cleaning were under way, and I got hungry for lunch! I had a huge salad (topped with the most hummus EVER) and a roasted sweet potato (cubed and roasted at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes)

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I would be totally lying to you if I told you that is all the ketchup I used. Try that amount x 3. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Oh well, at least it’s organic with no high fructose corn syrup!

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This afternoon was a whirlwind. Before I knew it, it was OVER! It may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I took an  hour nap. I get really sleepy in the afternoon — anyone else?

I snacked on a lot of things this afternoon — nuts, an apple with cacao bliss, some black bean brownies (which I’m still working on perfecting… no recipe!).

I also made the Husband an epic fail of a bread loaf today. For some reason, the loaf didn’t rise! He says it still tastes good though!

I also made a pretty comforting dinner today. Thanks to my proper meal planning, I had all ingredients on hand for my pasta bake!

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Not-So-Cheesy Spinach Pasta Bake

  • 12 oz pasta of choice
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 4 flax eggs (4 tbsp flax + 12 tbsp warm water, mixed and left to sit for 2-3 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • Italian spices of choice
  • pasta sauce of choice
  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the bag/box. Drain and set aside
  2. Mix your pasta, flax eggs, hummus, and half of the spinach together in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish — you can use an 8×8 or a dish equivalent to that size!
  3. Spread the remaining spinach over the top of the pasta mixture.
  4. Cook uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Top with pasta sauce of choice and enjoy!

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This was really good. I love how hummus can take on a “cheesy” flavor in dishes. I am SO glad I finally got my hummus from Costco yesterday! If I were to make this again, I would probably “up” the amount of hummus a little. Perhaps 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup would have sufficed. I was looking for a more cheesy flavor!

The pasta sauce I used was homemade that was leftover from last week. I froze it and it worked out really well! I’ll have to post another pasta sauce recipe soon — I never make it the same way twice!

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On the side, I had some Italian cut green beans — then went back for a second portion of the pasta. Yes, it was just that good. Comfort food at its best!

For now, I’m off to go bug the husband. He actually asked me if I wanted “the” couch cushion tonight. Just because he was so nice, I decided to let him keep it. He’s starting to get the “Happy wife, Happy life” phrase I use on a regular basis.

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