Easy Rigatoni Bolognese

rigatoni bolognese
Nothings says comfort food better than a big bowl of pasta bolognese topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Sure, you can go to your local Italian restaurant and order this dish, but who knows what quality of ingredients are used? Or how much oil or calories are in the dish? We all want a delicious, homemade meal where we can control the quality of ingredients and fat content, but not everyone has hours before dinnertime to simmer a pot of this meat sauce. That’s why I came up with this quick and healthy recipe that takes no time to prepare. You’ll have all the delicious flavors of a bolognese sauce in 45 minutes!

This is my take on the classic – I hope you enjoy! :) Continue reading

Bolognese “Cupcakes”

Sometimes, there is nothing more homey and satisfying to me than good meatloaf. I used to love it when my family went to Old Country Buffet or Golden Corral when I was growing up. (I still love buffets – don’t judge.) My favorite items to get at the buffet were meatloaf and spaghetti. Although I loved eating the two together, I always thought it was such an odd combination, until now. When you think about it, meatloaf is essentially a giant meatball. The same basic ingredients go into both dishes – ground beef, onions, breadcrumbs, and eggs. THAT’S why it went so well with my spaghetti :).

Nowadays, however, I have to watch my daily calorie and cholesterol intake, which is why I was so excited to find this recipe in a Prevention magazine. It’s a “healthy” take on traditional meatloaf because it includes lean ground beef, quinoa instead of breadcrumbs, and grated carrots for extra flavor and nutrients. Cooking the meat in a muffin pan instead of an entire loaf is genius because it cuts your cooking time down to just 25 minutes. The individual “cupcake” portions are also ideal for two people.

Michael was a little skeptical about the recipe when I first showed him. With a raised eyebrow, he said, “Meatloaf made with quinoa? Hmmm, I don’t know…” Boy did I prove him wrong! It turned out SO incredibly yummy! There were just so many nice flavors in every bite. Since I used lean ground beef, the carrots and onions added the much needed moisture and sweetness to the dish. The quinoa was also great because it added a nice fluffy softness to the meatloaf. Eating these little “cupcakes” made me feel like a kid again :). Give these bolognese “cupcakes” a try the next time you’re craving something homey! It’s also a great recipe for kids because they don’t know these “cupcakes” are packed with healthy ingredients! Continue reading