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11:55AM

Baked Ziti {with a cheddar twist}

Happy Wednesday foodies!

Have any of you ever been unable to focus?

I feel well rested.

I think I am even moving on from the debacle that was my life last week.

But for some reason my mind is completely batty. I cannot focus. I have no concentration.

I cannot even hold a thought for more than a couple of minutes.

My dog has more intense concentration skills than I do when he’s playing with his ball.

What’s wrong with me?

I don’t know what’s going on either. Usually when I feel overwhelmed, I eat. That’s just what I did this morning. I packed away a bag full of popcorn and an ice cold Coca-cola! It was the real stuff, too; not the diet version of a classic. Now I feel slightly guilty and like a complete glutton. Yes, yes. I hear you – that is my life most days.

I noticed I lacked the requisite concentration skills earlier today when I wanted to figure out what to cook for dinner tonight and thought about it almost 100 times and have yet to do anything about it. I still have no idea what I’m making for dinner AND I have spent less than one minute thinking about it.

There may be no help for me.

Last night I whipped something up that is pretty simple, yet very delicious. Baked Ziti is a classic, but you can do so much with the flavors {if you really want to.} I kept it pretty basic last night and it came together in just over 30 minutes. It’s perfect for those weeknight dinners when you don’t have much time to prepare and are at a loss for what to make {kind of like me today}.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 1/6th
Calories: 279.5
Fat: 10.6 g
Carbohydrates: 34.8 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 13.9 g
Points+: 8

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups Tomato Basil Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1/8th cup Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ box (8 ounces) Pasta, cooked
  • 6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no sodium added
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • *any heat you would like to add to your sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Cook pasta according to box, drain
  • Place sauce, tomatoes, seasoning in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until heated through {about 5 to 10 minutes}, then remove from heat
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sauce and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly
  • In a lightly greased baking dish, pour the pasta mixture and level it out
  • Top with remaining shredded cheese and parmesan cheese

  • Crack some fresh pepper on the top
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice & bubbly
  • Remove & enjoy!

Nick really loved the cheddar cheese & parmesan cheese mixture. I am not a huge fan of mozzarella cheese, so we don’t see it much in this house {or in any of our food}. Unless I am ordering out from some place, I shy away from mozzarella. I used to be addicted to the stuff, but I think I went a little overboard.

Either way the sharpness of the cheddar and parmesan elevated the flavor of the dish, especially coupled with the acidity of the tomatoes in the sauce. You should all give it a try!

Until next time,

Happy Ziti Bakin’

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Reader Comments (1)

I've been scattered lately, too. I blame the lack of sunlight this time of year - our bodies need that Vitamin D to function! Supplements don't cut it, either...there's just something about long days that keep us sane!

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth @ The Bare Midriff

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