Spaghetti Pizza Bake #SundaySupper #HelpingHands

It doesn’t matter how many times I see images from a disaster I am shocked every time. I just can never get use to the immense devastation that is left behind after disasters both man-made and nature. I hope I never lose that, I hope that there never comes a time that I look at an image of what use to be an entire row of houses now left in ruins and thing, ‘Oh well it happens.’ And then move on.

If that ever happens then I know that I have gotten to a dangerous place on complacency that I never want to be in. I know we are bombarded with these sad images all the time, and it can be so easy to just flip the channel or walk away. But if we do that then we are walking away from ourselves. Because every one of those people could be us one day, disaster isn’t prejudiced it could happen to any one of us. So that is why this week Sunday Supper is taking some time out of our day to ask you to stop and look at the images and do something about it. When hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the USA it left a wave of devastation unmatched in that area. Many people have lost so much and sadly too many lost the ones they loved. But it is at times like this that sometimes we can be reminded about what is amazing about the human spirit. When people join together to help out their neighbours or even complete strangers. Sunday Supper decided to share with you two organizations that we would like you to consider sending some support to and I am SO proud to say that the organization my parents work for was one of them.

My parents have worked with Hope Force ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast seven years ago. This organization not only has such an amazing heart for the people they work with they are also very experienced and skilled in this kind of disaster recovery. But unlike some of the big organizations they don’t have the financial backing to do as much as they would like and rely 100% on donations. They need our support in order to touch the lives of those effected by this storm. Both Hope Force and Sandy Relief Fund are actively working in the communities of New Jersey and I would ask you to consider blessing them with much needed funds so that they can continue to work in these communities.

WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

The Sunday Supper crew are sharing with your their favourite comfort dishes to give to people when in need. Whether it is a simple loaf of bread of a casserole to heat later. Sometimes the gift of food can bless the lives of those who are hurting. This dish is so easy to put together for a family in need of some good comfort food. Just skip the baking stage and wrap up in foil, giving it to the family with baking instructions.

Spaghetti Pizza Bake

340g (12 oz.) dry spaghetti
1 tsp. salt
130g (4.5 oz.) pepperoni*, sliced (about 30 slices)
1 (26 oz.) jar basil & tomato pasta sauce (or your favourite)
56g (1/4 c.) grated Parmesan cheese
226g (8 oz. ) mozzarella
Handful of fresh basil
*chorizo was more readily available to me when I went shopping so I substituted it this time.

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Artichoke and Spinach Lasagne Rolls

So it wasn’t that long ago that I talked about how I had given myself some healthy goals and that I had joined weight watchers in order to achieve those. It is with a lot of humility that I confess the diet didn’t last. I have always been terrible at sticking to a structured diet plan and I found even more challenging having a baby around. I so wanted it to be right for me but in the end I just wasn’t able to include it in my life. To be honest I have never succeed in any diet. Don’t get me wrong I have had times in my life where I was able to lose weight but it has never been through a structured form of diet. I am better at making a few permanent lifestyle changes then I am following a diet plan. For example 3 years ago we decided to eat healthier and lose weight so I changed from using white rice to brown, started making my own wholemeal bread, only ate wholemeal pasta plus we stopped drinking soda. 3 years later and we are still sticking to those changes. For several weeks I was mentally beating myself up at the idea that I wasn’t able to keep up with counting point and it was getting me really down. But yesterday the sun came out and brightened my outlook on things, it is amazing what good weather will do for you. I have decided that focusing on what I can’t do isn’t helping me so instead I am going back to what I am good at. I might not be good at counting calories or points but I am good at making small changes in my life that effect me for the better. 4 miles walked later I am feeling more positive about things and am ready to come up with some new lifestyle challenges that hopefully 3 years from now I can say I have stick to. One change I have already made this week is finding more inspiring blogs to help me stay focused. One of those blogs that I found was Beth’s Journey, her journey sounds so much like my own and it is so amazing to see how far she has come. She has a great message and wonderful recipes so I would encourage you to take a look and be inspired to be healthier.

Artichoke and Spinach Lasagne Rolls

8 lasagna noodles
1-2 green onions
(2/3 c.) part-skim ricotta
(2/3 c.) thawed chopped spinach
3 artichoke hearts, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
(1 c.) marinara sauce
1/2 cup light shredded mozzarella
recipe from Beth’s Journey

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The best homemade Marinara Sauce

I have committed myself to try to always make meals from scratch for two reasons, one reason being that making it on my own allows me to know exactly what goes into so I can try to stick to my healthy living goals and helps me keep the sugar and sodium levels down for my daughter. But the other reason is the financial aspect. In the long run it costs me pennies to make things, especially sauces, from scratch. I know on the surface it might seem like it isn’t a lot of money so it isn’t worth it, but I challenge you to sit yourself down and start writing down the cost. It is amazing how quickly it all adds up. And even more amazing how how significant small changes can make to the bigger picture. Even with the addition of Morgan eating solid food we have still managed to keep our shopping bill down to under £300 a month and that includes toiletries. And it is all down to the small “insignificant” changes that we made years ago and have stuck to. I won’t lie it can be harder to always cook from scratch and not rely on pre-made items to make life easier. Just yesterday I had to finish off a meal with a 11 month old holding onto my leg, screaming at the top of her lungs. It isn’t the easy way, but for me it is worth it. Plus, with practice I have learned how to do things fast. I can now whip up an amazing Garlic Alfredo Sauce, in less then 10 minutes. And after finding this gem of a recipe I have my new standard marinara sauce recipe that takes very little effort with fantastic results.

Marinara Sauce

400g (14.5 ounce) canned stewed tomatoes
85g (3 oz) tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp finely diced onion
60mL (1/4 c.) white wine
recipe from allrecipes.com

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