Happy Thursday all! You may or may not know that I am almost a full-blood Italian. Both from my mom and dad’s side, so I am pumped full of all the traits of an Italian! (That could be good—great food heritage, or bad—very stubborn) What does your background consist of? But I find it quite funny that I am not a total pasta and pizza fanatic—I think I ate more than my share growing up and now just have it every once and awhile. Another thing I noticed is our family very seldom has an Italian based dinner, so tonight I decided I was going to bring some Italian flavor to the kitchen thanks to Brandi over at Bran Appetit and her tantalizing post of this recipe! Let’s just say it was
great bon appétit! I got the original version here, but I subbed a bunch of ingredients to make this a little more on the healthy side. Turning recipes healthier is so easy to do and often won’t cost you any more either.
- I used whole wheat ziti pasta instead of the regular.
- Instead of 1 lb Italian turkey sausage, I used 2 C Boca crumbles and 3 apple harvest chicken sausages.
- Used organic diced tomatoes with less sodium.
- Low-fat ricotta instead of the full fat counterpart.
- Didn’t use the butter for the baking dish, just gave it a light spray with cooking spray.
- Brought the cheese from 3 1/2 C of a mozzarella/parmesan combo down to just 2 C of a shredded Italian blend and a sprinkle of sharp shredded cheddar on top. (Tip: Use sharp cheese to cut down on the amount/calories but still get big taste!)
I put together a little slideshow of how this whole meal went down—any questions, you know where to catch me!
And make sure to check out where my strawberry rhubarb bars showed up—but with a different twist!