To start off with, sorry for being such a horrible blogger! I do great at my scrapbooking site tootlebugz.com, but horrible here. I have a lot of great things and ideas to post, but seem to only have limited time, and this blog is one of the things that suffers!
Back in November my father and husband were both diagnosed with diabetes. This was a wake up call for me because I am very overweight, have PCOS and am already dealing with insulin resistance. Our family was eating the “American” way.. out of boxes and from fast food restaurants most of the time. Obviously, it was time to fix the problems – and at this point we had no choice. So, we decided that no more “junk” or empty calories were coming into our house. Only the occasional bag of chips or cookies – and homemade if possible where we control the preservatives and chemicals. We decided to buy a lot more fresh fruits and veggies. Seeds and nuts became our new snack favorites. We dusted off the bread machine and started pulling out all the recipe books. I started visiting blogs to get new recipe ideas.
I promised some of my friends I would post some of our new found favorites. This recipe has 2 parts – but is so VERY yummy! It’s from the Prevention Diabetes Diet Cookbook. It’s one I would highly recommend if you have someone who is diabetic in your family. Even if you don’t, it’s full of healthy recipes that limit the carbs and sugars – something we all can use!
You start off by making the basic tomato sauce. You could buy a spaghetti sauce at the store – but they are usually so full of sodium. This one is worth the extra step. You will have left over sauce you can use to make mini pizzas for lunches also. You can refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container for a week.
Basic Tomato Sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves minced
1 can, 28 oz. diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with juice) and salt and cook for another 10 mins. Season with pepper to taste. Remove from the heat. Puree the sauce in a blender in batches until smooth.
Italian Potato Dumpling Casserole
3/4 cup part-part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated reduced fat mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg lightly beaten
3 cups basic tomato sauce (see above)
1 package (16 ounces) potato gnocchi
2 cups spinach leaves, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with vegetable spray and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, basil, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan, and egg. Stir until blended and set aside. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the reserved casserole dish. Layer half the gnocchi and spinach. Using 1/2 the ricotta mixture, place small dollops on top of the spinach. Cover with another thin layer of sauce and repeat the layers again. End with a sauce layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella on top. Bake for 40 mins. or until the top is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned. Makes 6 servings.
We have also made this adding chicken strips (uncooked) in the very bottom of the pan. 1lb will cover the entire pan if you cut them in half. (makes them thinner where they cook easier also!)