I’m not sure if I’ll make this a regular “thing” or not, but since it’s Wednesday, and I just went to the grocery store, I’ve got meal planning on my mind. Ever since I had Hadley, meals have been a thorn in my side. Something I used to like doing – cooking, getting creative with meals and planning and organizing it all out – has become a huge chore and a stress. Thankfully, our families helped out A LOT and made us lots of meals to be frozen, so up until this point, I had a lot of help. However, my freezer has been emptied and with Hadley a little over 2 months old, I figured it was time for me to get my act together.
It seems that Hadley knows when I need to cook. She suddenly doesn’t want to nap, doesn’t want to play on her play mat and just wants to cry/be awake when mama needs to make dinner. Even today, I thought “I’ll outsmart her this time – she is always awake around 6 when I need to make dinner, so during her afternoon nap I’ll get dinner all prepped and ready so all I have to do is throw it in the oven!” Well – guess who decided she didn’t want to go down for her nap just as soon as I turned on the burner? (Sidenote: I was able to get her down eventually – thank heavens for swings! – and managed to stick to my afternoon cooking plan.)
To add to the stress of planning/shopping for/cooking meals, I am currently not eating any dairy in an effort to help Hadley’s tummy out. Most of the “easy” meals I know of consist of a cream of whatever soup, some cheese, pasta, a meat/veggie all thrown in a casserole dish. Well, take out the cream of whatever and cheese and it doesn’t taste quite as good anymore. So, with my recipe list cut in half (at least), I decided to start blogging (ha- we’ll see if this ever happens again on a Wednesday) about the meals I am making so I’ve got easy access to the ideas when I’m in a rut again!
So, all of that said, here’s what’s cooking for us today!
Italian sausage with Penne & Zucchini
1 lb of italian sausage
1 jar of Tomato sauce (or make your own if you have the time!)
**If I was eating dairy, my favorite ingredient would also be in here – CHEESE**
You could also throw in any other veggies you like – peppers, onions, etc. We’re not big pepper or onion eaters in this house, so I like to keep it simple.
Lawry’s season salt
Oregano (I like to throw a little of this in the jarred sauce and the sausage)
Simply brown the sausage while you’re cooking the pasta (don’t overcook the pasta or it will get soggy when you throw it in the oven). Once the sausage is done, throw it in a bowl to mix with the pasta and jar of tomato sauce. I browned the zucchini in the same pan I cooked the sausage in to give it a little extra flavor. I usually season zucchini with Lawry’s season salt too. Once the pasta and zucchini are done, throw it all together and put it in a casserole dish. **I would throw in about a cup of mozzarella to mix in, and top with cheese as well if I wasn’t leaving out the dairy** It’s as simple as that! I threw it all together and put it in the fridge, so when Matt calls to tell me he’s on his way home, all I have to do is throw it in the oven to bake it all together. This is also an easy one to double and freeze half (or if you don’t like leftovers, put this in 2 smaller casserole dishes and freeze one for another day!).