Friday, September 27, 2013

365 Inspirations—270: Cooking in a Fully Equipped Kitchen—Gluten Free Baked Penne

We've been cooking at home to save money. We have been pretty good. I found $10 in the bottom of my book bag and went out for lunch with it and my husband took me out for lunch today, but other than that, every meal has been at home.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is not like me. With dozens of food options right out my front door, it's hard to get motivated to cook at home.

Just as I was starting to lose my inspiration for cooking, we got a call to housesit.

We love housesitting at this particular place because it's down on Puget Sound in Seattle and we get to take care of four lovely cats! Another great thing is that the house is spread out and very much like a retreat for us.

And the kitchen inspired me to cook! It's fully equipped with every gadget you could ever need to cook with and there's plenty of space.

I brought over a bag of potatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of olives, an onion, garlic, lettuce, brown rice penne and found a few veggies and cheese in the fridge here and I cooked the most amazing dinner!

I cooked baked Penne with tomato sauce and Italian seasoned vegetables and made a big green tossed salad.

Here's my recipe for the baked penne:

two potatoes peeled
one mushroom
half a zuchini
half an onion
one can of diced tomatoes
half can of black olives
cottage cheese
mozzarella cheese
Italian herbs or fresh herbs (I added rosemary, basil and chives from garden here and a little dried oregano)
brown rice penne (gluten free)

1. boil the penne al dente with a little salt and olive oil
2. saute potatoes, mushroom, zucchini, onion, garlic and italian herbs until veggies are cooked
3. pour sauteed veggies into an oiled shallow glass baking dish
4. drain pasta and rinse and pour penne into baking dish and mix with sauteed veggies
5. add cottage cheese and black olives and mix again
6. add diced tomatoes in a layer on top of penne mixture
7. sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese
8. bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees

Serve with a BIG tossed green salad. This was delish and not too heavy like most pastas. If you like it cheesy, you can substitute ricotta cheese for cottage cheese and add it to your liking.

I was just about to hang up the pot holders, but this new kitchen environment motivated me to cook something delicious with what I had on hand once again!

Do new environments inspire you to cook?

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