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Post Easter no more sugar

Post Easter, no more sugar!

After this Easter I’m sure some of us are feeling a little bloated and somewhat low on energy. Well that will be the extra sugar intake! So I’m saying NO to SUGAR for a little while, let’s start with the remainder of this week. Who’s with me? This means no treats, no artificial sweeteners, no booze, no added sugar. You can get your sweet kick from fruits, nuts, seeds and honey, stevia, that’s it. Let’s start with two new recipes to cleanse the soul.

This Baked Ziti with Spinach is a no-fuss weeknight dinner loaded with delicious vegetables, herbs, and three kinds of cheese. 

Ingredients

 – 4 oz dry whole wheat ziti (or penne) pasta
 – 2 tsp. olive oil
 – 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
 – 1 (10-oz.) bag raw spinach
 – 1½ cups whole peeled tomatoes (like San Marzano or Cento) crushed or pureed in blender or food processor.
 – ¼ cup finely chopped basil leaves
 – ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
 – ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
 – 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
 – ¾ cup part-skim Mozzarella cheese divided use
 – ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
 – 1½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
 – Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Set aside. 

2. Preheat oven to 375º F.

3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

5. Add spinach, tomatoes, and basil. Season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes.

6. Combine spinach mixture, pasta, red pepper flakes (if desired), ½ cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese in a large bowl; mix well. 

7. Place in a 2½ to 3-quart casserole that is lightly coated with spray. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 35 minutes. Remove foil. 

8. Top evenly with remaining ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.  

This recipe is good for lunch and dinner and can be made ahead of time. Tip: 1 cup uncooked quinoa generally yields 3 cups cooked quinoa. As a convenience, you can cook some in advance, store in the refrigerator, and use for up to 4 days.

Ingredients
 – ½ tsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil (or olive oil)
 – ¼ medium onion finely chopped
 – 1 very thin slice fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
 – ½ clove garlic finely chopped
 – ¼ to ½ tsp. curry powder
 – 1 dash Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
 – ⅔ cup cooked quinoa
 – ¼ cup frozen peas
 – 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped raw cashews
 – 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
 – ¼ medium ripe mango chopped

Instructions
 1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
 2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent.

 3.Add ginger, garlic, curry powder and salt; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

 4.Add quinoa and peas; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until well mixed and heated through.

 5.Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.

 6.Stir in cashews and cilantro; serve warm topped with mango.

If you are a pineapple on pizza fan, like me, I think adding fruit to any dish is just delish!

Enjoy! x

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