Bloggers for Health: Favorite Healthy Recipe

I'm sorry this is late, but due to some travel and home renovations this weekend, I'll be posting today.  Although this is the second week I have participated in Bloggers for Health, I have yet to even put forth an effort to be healthier.  I admit it. 

We're smack dab in the middle of renovating 3 rooms in our house, our bedroom, living room, and upstairs hallway, and I am just a mess as a result.  We're sleeping in our guest room, and my life is strewn all over the house.  I have 2 dressers in the master bathroom, one in the guest room where we are now, and the drawers from another dresser in the master (unused) bedroom.  Yikes.  And now we're having our woodwork painted in the entire downstairs, so our living room, kitchen, hallways, and great room are a mess.  Thankfully we're not expecting company until Thanksgiving! Which is like what, less than 3 weeks away??!!?! YIKES.

So, add traveling last weekend to NC to see family, and Roanoke this weekend, I've been eating HORRIBLY.  Like days will go by without a vegetable or piece of fruit in sight.  It pains me to even tell you guys this, it's so embarrassing.  No wonder I feel so tired and awful all the time.  I've also not been anywhere near the required water allotment for the day. Shame on me. I feel so embarrassed to tell you this.  But I want to be real honest.  And I want to tell you I'm putting a stop to it.  Yes, after painting I feel tired and don't want to cook.  Enter DiGiorno pizza.  It's gross! I know I'm a homemade-pizza snob, but a little effort and I can have a homemade, healthy and tasty meal!

For this post I'm actually going to repost a recipe, Penne Alla "Not-ka"My mother in law told me about a show on Lifetime called Cook Yourself Thin, and I've fallen in love.  Seriously.  Everything I've made from that book has been fabulous.  I actually bought the individual episodes on iTunes, but I think you can watch a bunch of them for free on  Without further adieu...

Penne Alla "Not-ka"
Serves 4
Calories per serving: 371

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes in juice, pureed in a food processor
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 ounces penne
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons evaporated nonfat milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the penne.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the 2 teaspoons oil with the garlic over low heat until the garlic begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook until the onion is softened, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer very gently 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and evaporated milk and simmer 1 more minute.

3. Meanwhile, after the sauce has cooked 5 minutes, add the penne to the boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water. Add the drained penne to the saucepan and simmer until the penne is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if the mixture is dry. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, along with the basil and black pepper.

4. To serve, divide pasta among 4 serving bowls. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

-When I made the version I photographed, I didn't have fresh basil so I used dried.  It's great either way, but better with fresh basil. 
-I'm not a whole wheat pasta fan, so I usually go with Smart Pasta, or just regular. 
-I do NOT drizzle the olive oil on at the end.  I actually didn't even notice the recipe called for it until now! You don't need it. 

You need to make this. This week.  It takes maybe 30 minutes tops, but it's to DIE FOR. 

Bon Appetite!

**I'm linked up with fellow bloggers over at the Unladylike Blog, stop and see other's recipes!**


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! Pasta is one of my favorite things to eat. And it looks like such a simple recipe. Will definitely have to give it a shot this week for dinner!

  2. Hey thanks for stopping by and commenting. I had to check out your blog. This recipe looks awesome! I love anything with cream. And I did the points and it is only 4 per serving! That is awesome! Thanks for sharing. I will probably make this week!