Why I Love Brown Rice Pasta (And You Should, Too!)


Before I start confession my love for brown rice pasta, let me first admit something. I try my best to live a healthier lifestyle, so transitioning to brown rice pasta seemed natural to me. However, I do not like all healthy pastas. I will never get used to the taste of whole wheat pasta and quinoa pasta doesn’t have the same texture that I expect when I eat an al dente noodle. But brown rice pasta has changed my opinion about healthier pastas.

I first tried brown rice pasta over a year ago. Sodium-Free, Wheat-Free, Cholesterol-Free, Gluten-Free… sounds terrible doesn’t it? I was hesitant but my curiosity still got the best of me. I was completely surprised! I couldn’t believe how much this stuff tasted like normal pasta! Plus, it had the same CHEW as regular flour pasta. The best part? You can eat your fill, go back for seconds (or thirds), and feel way less guilty than if you had done that with normal pasta.


BRP also wins my vote when it comes to ingredients. I’m a strong advocate for being able to pronounce everything on the package of whatever I’m about to eat. Most brands of brown rice pasta have two ingredients listed on the package: brown rice and water. Amazing!

The only caveat I have is that you have to be careful not to overcook this pasta. Check the pasta multiple times when the cooking time is almost up. When it is ready, strain into a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Reheat the pasta by adding it directly into your pasta sauce and tossing everything together.

If you are afraid to try one many pasta inventions that are being created these days, trust me when I say that brown rice pasta is worth a try.

Try brown rice pasta with my Mouth-Watering Marinara Sauce.

Questions about brown rice pasta or anything else? Ask me!

Crock Pot Applesauce


It’s apple season! There are bushels of apples on every corner at farmer stands. You can also pick your own at local orchards. As a senior in high school, my friends and I would leave the campus at lunch and go apple picking at least once or twice every fall. Apple picking is definitely a tradition I missed while I lived in Colorado. Bring on the apple harvest!


This is my favorite applesauce recipe. It’s so easy and simple. You can jar your homemade applesauce or this will keep in the fridge for five days or in the freezer for 3 months.

I usually leave my applesauce a bit chunky, but you can also blend this if you want a smoother applesauce.


And of course, I eat mine with grilled cheese. It’s weird but delicious. Weirdly delicious! This started when I was a kid. I would order grilled cheese and applesauce whenever my family brought me out to any restaurant and dip my sandwich into the applesauce. It’s something I’ve done every since. Try it, you might like it!


At the very least, make this crock pot applesauce. It’s so easy and so yummy!

Crock Pot Applesauce

Rating: 51

Yields: 5-6 cups


  • 4 lbs tart apples, cored and sliced thin (I used honey crisp but I have also used granny smith)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar + more to taste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Mix apples with cinnamon and sugar and put into crock pot.
  2. Pour water and lemon juice over apples. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours, stirring once or twice throughout the cooking process.
  3. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
  4. Enjoy as-is or blend in a food processor. This will keep in the fridge for five days or in the freezer for 3 months.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}


Sadly, I think my photography skills are getting worse. I don’t have my food photo area set up anymore after I’ve moved. I’m still in a temporary living situation so that wont change anytime soon. Plus, I have a tendency to want to inhale anything I spend hours cooking, so by the time I get to the photo session I get impatient, snap a few shots, and satisfy my primal urges.


Besides the high contrast photos, life has been good. I’ve been participating in a 31 Days of Horror (movie) Challenge. So far I’ve been able to watch 9 movies in 11 days. I have a little catching up to do, but I did discover a new favorite series, Dead Snow. Bask in its glory.

If you’re a fan of Evil Dead or Dead Alive, you need to watch Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2! So many fun references, great humor, and even better Nazi zombie gore scenes. Foodie McBooty gives these two thumbs up!


Okay, back to the food. Every fall pumpkin and squash everything seems to appear everywhere (lattes, shakes, spaghetti, ravioli) come out of the woodwork (along with all of the creepy crawlies), and I love it!! I’m definitely one of those people who takes full advantage while she can. My apologies to anybody around me who has to deal with my (slight) addiction, but if I see a pumpkin or squash related item on a menu, I’m most likely ordering it.

This is a recipe I’ve made before but haven’t posted until today. I added mushrooms to my lasagna this time because I picked some up at the farmer’s market last weekend. I have to warn you now, as this lasagna bakes in the oven you might go a little crazy. The smell of warm butternut squash, garlicky spinach, and bubbling, browning cheese might drive you nuts. Or at least, it drives me nutty, which is why by the time I pull this out of the oven, I can’t take any decent pictures. Everything goes dark and before I know it, I’ve eaten half of the pan of lasagna and I have crummy pictures on my camera.

I regret nothing.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yields: 8 servings


    Butternut Squash Filling:
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (1 medium cooked squash or frozen works in a bind)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (more, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 ground nutmeg
  • Spinach Filling:
  • 1 pound spinach, washed and stems trimmed
  • 6-ounces of your favorite mushroom, washed and diced (I used oyster, but white or cremini would work great too)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked or oven-ready
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning


    Prepare the Butternut Squash Filling
  1. Cut the end of the butternut squash off, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash in a microwave safe container and add 2 teaspoons of water. Cover and microwave 6 minutes on high (you can also roast your squash in the oven if you have the time). Scoop out the cooked squash and place in a food processor. Add the thyme, ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.
  2. For the Spinach Filling
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium-size pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, toss, and season with salt and pepper. You may need to add more olive oil as mushrooms tend to absorb a lot of liquid. Cook until the mushrooms are browned or cook down a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilty, 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add the minced garlic and stir almost continuously until fragrant. Put the mixture into a medium bowl and add the ricotta and mozzarella cheese while the mixture is still hot. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the Lasagna
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  6. Spread about a 1/3 of the butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked or oven-ready lasagna noodles, being careful not to overlap them.
  7. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Top lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  8. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  9. Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
  10. Spread the last layer (1/3) of butternut squash filling over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese (should be about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning.
  11. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.