Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mommas Homemade Meatball, and Veggie Penne Bake

Sometimes I think somewhere down the line I think that I am italian! My love for italian food is like no other, but just like most delicious foods in this world it can be extremely fattening! :( When I started WW back in my freshman year of high school NINE years ago I started using whole wheat pasta and I still pick it over the original. Its a bit more grainy yes but if that means I am able to smack down on some warm creamy pasta dish then I dont mind! :) Anyways here is one of my first pasta dish attempts and I love it!
                                    (sorry about the ugly plates, mine are packed away.) :(

Mommas Homemade Meatball, and Veggie Penne Bake!

(9 Points per Serving) Makes 8 servings per pan!
First a little explanation on the meatballs. My mom made some homemade meatballs that she needed used up from a previous dinner so I used those instead of a ground turkey or a frozen turkey meatball. I tried to track it the best I could but if you would want to use something else instead of the meatballs you can! Its a versatile dish! ;) 


1 Box of Whole Wheat Penne (or whichever you like) Pasta
1 Jar of Low Point Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
ANY cut up and sautéed vegetables you like!
6 Homemade meatballs, or any other kind of meat substitute you like!

First things first of course you have to get the pot of water boiling and get the noodles started. With whole wheat noodles I try to cook them longer than I would normal noodles just because they are a bit harder and I like my noodles soft. (Im also bad at actually reading the box and watching the time, I just do it by taste.)


Second thing I get going is I cook up my chopped up vegetables. I love love love zucchini in my pasta, now I must admit plain zucchini is bland and gross but I love cooking with it because it soaks up flavor and if you cut them up small enough then you can hardly even taste them! YUM! So its an easy and cheap bulker for your food for no weight watcher points! Here I used zucchini and yellow squash that I bought it bulk chopped up and froze. I just pan cooked them in a little bit of olive oil to get them warm and soft.

The longest part of cooking the meal!
Meanwhile those are cooking I chopped six meatballs in half. My mom makes them pretty decent size and I wanted to stretch my points out in the meal as much as I could! I couldn't even keep count of how many of these bad boys I would eat in one dinner..yikes! Now as I said before I didn't really know how to count them because I did not make these. I tried to take the simple route and just looked up the points on my handy dandy WW app and I went with the points that I figured was most reasonable! But it would be just as yummy to use just ground turkey or turkey sausage instead!
After draining the noodles and the water out of the vegetables I threw them into the pan of noodles and HALF of the jar of sauce. Just enough to coat all of it and spread it out into a canola oil greased pan! (I also forgot I put in a drained canned of mushrooms) :)
I just love all the beautiful colors that the vegetables add to the meal! Also if you have picky eaters in the house and they hate vegetables just try to cut them into the tiniest pieces that you can and hope that you can trick them! ;)
       Here is my little Dexter the beggar. ;)
Here is the meatballs that I cut in half! I try to put them in certain places so that I will get a meatball or two per serving. :)
Annnnd I'm drooling..Time for cheese!

I preheated my oven at 350 and put it in just for the cheese to melt. I didn't want the noodles to get too hard when making this and I just wanted it to be warm and melty!
When I did my calculations for eight servings of this bake it came out to be nine points. BUT I strongly suggest you calculate the recipe for the ingredients that you use to be more accurate. I hope this meal looks great to you and thank you for baring with me with the poor quality photos, and bad grammar. :) If you took the time to read this whole recipe PLEASE leave me comments about your thoughts because this is all new to me. Thank you, and happy cooking!

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