Pasta and Grains

Image result for noodles clipartAha!  Another way to get off cheap for dinner!  Of course macaroni and cheese costs about as much as meatloaf, but there are some pasta dishes I use for sides to stretch the meal and some I use for main courses.   Besides the pasta recipes there are some things like oatmeal in the grains section below we use for breakfast or breakfast for dinner.   See the Soups section of this blog too for more pasta and grains recipes!


Baked Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large bowl mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Beat in milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla.  Stir in dried cranberries.  Spread into a 9x13 baking pan.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Bulgar Hot Cereal

1 cup dry bulgar
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes.

Bulgar Pilaf

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry, uncooked bulgar
1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
few grains pepper

Melt butter in skillet; add bulgar and onion.  Stir and cook until golden.  Add broth and seasonings.  Cover; bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes.  Serve with chicken or lamb.

Lentils and Rice

2 cups lentils
1 1/4 cups long-grain rice
4 medium onions, caramelized
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups water
1/3 cup oil for frying
1 tablespoon olive oil

Rinse lentils with cold water.  Add to pot with 5 cups water and bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20-25 minutes.  Add rice, salt, and olive oil.  Stir well.  You may need to add an additional 1/2 cup water.  Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Once rice has fully cooked mix it well, then pour on serving plate.  Garnish with caramelized onions.  Serve cold with plain yogurt.


1 1/2 cups dry bulgar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 bunch green onions
1 green pepper
1 cucumber
3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 bunch parsley

Cover bulgur with hot water.  Soak at least 2 hours.  This can be done in the fridge.  Drain excess water and squeeze bulgar.  Chop all vegetables very fine.  Mix veggies with bulgar.

Meatless Meat Loaf

2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lentils
1 small onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 baby carrot, minced
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup grated cheese
1 egg, beaten
4 1/2 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Add salt to water and boil in saucepan.  Add lentils and simmer covered 25-30 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of water is evaporated.  Remove from heat.  Drain and partially mash lentils.  Scrape into mixing bowl and allow to partially cool.  Stir in onion, oats, and cheese until mixed.  Add egg. tomato sauce, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoned salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Spoon into loaf pan that has been generously greased.  Smooth top with back of spoon.  Bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes until top is dry, firm, and golden brown.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.


Baked Mac and Cheese

8 oz macaroni
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups milk
1/2 cups each cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss cheeses
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Cook and drain macaroni.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and salt and stir til smooth.  Stir in mustard.  Add milk gradually, stirring constantly.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in half the cheeses.  Spoon into a 9x7 baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.  Combine bread crumbs and remaining butter.  Sprinkle on top.  Bake 15 minutes or so.

Red Pepper Pasta With Bacon

8 ounces pasta, cooked
3 strips thick sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute bell pepper in 2 tablespoons drippings 2 minutes.  Off heat stir in everything else including pasta.

Penne With Herbs, Tomatoes, and Peas

8 ounces penne, cooked with peas
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan shreds

Heat large skillet on medium-low and add oil.  Add garlic and cook 4 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Add tomatoes and cook 1 minute.  Add peas and pasta.  Stir in herbs.  Sprinkle with cheese

Spaghetti Pie

6 ounces spaghetti
2 1/2 quarts boiling water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 ounces mozzerella

Cook spaghetti in water with 1 tablespoon oil and 2 teaspoons salt til tender but firm.  Drain.  Add eggs, Parmesan and butter.  Mix and shape into a crust in greased pie plate.  Cover with cottage cheese.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir in onion and green pepper.  At this point you may add a pound of ground beef or Italian sausage also.  Cook til done.  Mix in tomatoes, paste, sugar, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and garlic.  Spread over cottage cheese.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake 10 minutes.

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