1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large zucchini, cut into bite-sized cubes
Seasoning blend (for both chicken and zucchini) - ½ tbsp Herbs de Provence, ½ tbsp dried basil, ½ tbsp dried oregano, 1 tsp lemon granules, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 2 tsp granulated onion, 2 tsp granulated garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
2 cups pasta sauce of your choice
1 - 1 ½ cups cheese of your choice (I used parmesan)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your rigatoni noodles so that they are 2 minutes from being cooked to al dente.
In two small bowls, toss your chicken and your zucchini with olive oil and the seasoning blend
In a pan/skillet, heat a tbsp or two of olive oil over medium heat.
Cook the chicken thighs over medium heat until they are fully cooked.
Remove from pan into a large bowl.
Par-cook/soften the zucchini in a tbsp of olive oil.
Remove from pan into the same large bowl.
Once the pasta is 2 minutes from being al dente, drain and rinse under cold water.
In the same large bowl, combine the pasta with the chicken and zucchini and incorporate the sauce.
NOTE: Use as much or as little sauce as you would like.
In a baking dish or cast iron pan, layer the pasta, layer the cheese, layer the pasta, and finish with a layer of cheese.
Allow the pasta to bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees and in the last minute or two, turn your broiler on high and allow the cheese to completely melt.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
On Monday, I had a little time to get a bit of cooking done, and I decided that I wanted it to be a labor of love. I’ve posted my Sunday Sauce recipe before, but I will post it once again. I served it over some rigatoni, and this made for a great dinner, and amazing leftovers. I do apologize for not posting as frequently, but I have been going through a bit of a rough patch, so please keep me in your good thoughts! I’ll be back posting soon.
Ingredients for Sunday Sauce
2 ½ cans of whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
½ lb ground turkey
½ lb ground sirloin
1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casing
4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup red wine
Freshly minced parsley and basil
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Sunday Sauce
In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes until they are completely broken down, with few chunks
In a large pot, heat a few tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
Add in the ground meat and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Once all of the ground meat has browned, remove from the pot and set aside.
Repeat the above steps with the Italian sausage and set aside.
Add in the onion and cook for a few minutes until it begins to develop color, about 5 minutes. If needed, add a tbsp of oil into the pot so that the onions do not scorch.
Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Before adding the meat, deglaze the pan with the red wine, being sure to scrape the fond (brown bits) from the bottom, if any.
Add in the meat and cook for 2 minutes.
Add in the tomatoes, season generously with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.
Bring the sauce to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and partially cover with a lid and let simmer for 3.5 hours, stirring once every 25 minutes being sure to scrape the bottom.
When close to finished, season with salt and pepper if needed and add in fresh basil and parsley. Dried oregano would also be a nice touch here.
Alchemical Properties of Foods: Foodstuffs Classified According to Their Elemental Nature
Almonds are sacred to the gods Thoth, Hermes, and Mercury and are said to bring wisdom and prosperity by stimulating intuition and insight through the Third Eye Chakra. Magical wands are often made of almond wood. [Earth ++]
Apple, known as the Fruit of the Gods, is a very powerful source of spiritual energy that encourages balance and harmony. If cut horizontally, the apple reveals the pentagram pattern, which is considered the gateway to occult powers as well as symbol of the quintessence. The Egyptians offered apples to their highest and most powerful priests, whom they considered guardians of hidden knowledge. In the Middle Ages, sliced apples were used to foretell the future and eating them regularly was said to enable a person to live over 200 years. Modern clinical studies have proved that eating apples reduces cancer risk. [Air +++]
Apricots carry feminine spiritual energy and are used to sweeten someone’s disposition or instill romance and passion in a relationship. Extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, apricots strengthen the immune system and have more of the antioxidant carotene than any other fruit. [Air ++]
Bananas represent the futility of material possessions, and Buddha is often shown meditating under a banana tree. On the other hand, the banana’s phallic shape represents male heroic energy. [Air +]
Barley is a gentle, nurturing force that stimulates the Heart Chakra and is used to ease a person’s emotional burden by turning harsh feelings into love and warding off any negativity that originates from other people. Barley grass juice is considered an effective psychological grounding agent and physical energizer. [Earth +++]
Basil was sacred to the Greeks, and women were not allowed to pick it. The herb soothes anger and hard feelings by encouraging feelings of love and is thought to simultaneously simulate the Heart and Sacral Chakras, thereby harmonizing stressful emotions while releasing sexual energies. It strengthens the immune system and is known to kill germs. [Fire +]
Blueberries embody the esoteric principles of calm acceptance, peace, and a protected environment. For centuries, witches have eaten blueberry tarts when under psychic attack to protect themselves. [Earth ++]
Cakes are thought to be easily enchanted and can convey both positive and negative psychic energy. Because they carry spells, cakes became associated with rites of passage such as christening, birthdays, and weddings. [Earth ++]
Cashews are used in magical spells to increase income and money. In cooking, they are added to dishes to raise their energy levels. [Earth ++]
Cheese is one of the oldest human foods. In cooking, cheese is used to raise the vibrational level of meals, adding a positive or joyous energy. [Air +]
Chocolate raises emotional energy and induces ecstatic feelings of love by stimulating the Heart Chakra. That belief is the origin of the custom of giving boxes of chocolates to women to win their favor. [Fire ++]
Cucumber promotes chastity and hinders lustful behavior. Cucumber peels are said to diminish headaches if placed on the forehead and relieve the pain of arthritis when wrapped around inflamed joints. [Water ++]
Dates were used by ancient Persians to celebrate the death and resurrection of Zoroaster, a Christ figure who dates back to 500 BC. Dried dates are considered fruits of the spiritual realm and are symbolic of the eternal resurrection of the soul. To live off dates is to be free of worldly concerns, though paradoxically, such a diet is said to make one extremely potent sexually. [Air +++]
Garlic was sacred to the goddess Hecate and left at crossroads as a sacrifice to her. The pungent cloves were also used for protection against evil and to break curses and hexes, and psychic cooks rub garlic into pots and pans to remove negative influences that might contaminate food. When eaten, garlic stimulates the immune system to protect the body, although it is said to induce lustful behavior in some people. Garlic is a proven antibiotic, cholesterol reducer, blood pressure reducer, and general heart remedy. [Fire ++]
Ginger is frequently part of love spells and is used to add power to other rituals. Ginger seems to release vital energies in the body and is used to cure motion sickness, hangovers, headaches, and nausea of all types. Adding cinnamon to ginger enhances its healing properties. [Fire +++]
Grapes carry spiritual energy and increase mental fertility, opening us to meaningful dreams and visions. Eating grapes or raisins is said to increase a woman’s fertility. [Air +++]
Guava fruit encourages romantic fantasy. Eating the fruit is said to allow people temporary relief from worldly concerns. [Air ++]
Honey is synonymous with happiness and fulfillment, and it is added to food and beverages to emphasize the good mood associated with it. It is used to treat indigestion, colds, flu, and headaches. [Water +++]
Lemons were thought to encourage longevity and faithfulness. Lemon pie fortifies fidelity, and lemon slices on a stranger’s plate or under his chair guarantees his or her friendship. Lemon juice is a powerful cleaning agent and is used to wash magical implements of all types of toxicity. A cleansing tea is made from dried lemon peels. [Fire ++]
Lime refreshes the soul. It is used in purification and healing rituals. [Fire ++]
Mango is sacred to Buddha, and it is considered one of the most spiritually charged and elevating fruits. [Air +++]
Maple Syrup is associated with long life and abundance. Maple leaves are used in many love and money rituals. In general, natural syrups carry the powers of the tree or fruit from which they are derived. [Water +++]
Mint leaf has been used in healing potions and teas for thousands of years. It is used in stomach tonics, and leaves of mint were once put in milk to keep it from curdling. Mint is also said to protect travelers and attract money. Peppermint raises spiritual vibrations and is used in purification and healing rituals. It transforms negative energies into healthy influences by stimulating the Solar Plexus Chakra. [Fire ++]
Onions were worshipped in ancient Egypt for their ability to absorb impurities, and the Egyptians even swore to onions when they took oaths. American colonists hung onions over doorways to protect their families from infectious diseases, and onions are still used in exorcism rituals. Esoterically, onions stand for both physical and spiritual health and protection. Scallions and shallots are green onions with long stems and bulbous roots. Leeks are also a kind of onion. [Fire +++]
Oranges. All varieties of oranges provide purifying energy for both body and mind. In some Wiccan rituals, orange juice is drunk instead of wine, and orange peel tea is said to keep one from getting drunk or muddleheaded. Marmalade jam has the same effect. The vitamin C in citrus fruits raises the brain’s level of norepinephrine, which increases energy while reducing irritability. [Fire ++]
Pasta is a powerful accumulator of psychic energy, and food psychics believe its various shapes determine how much psychotronic energy can be projected and stored in it. The least amount of energy is carried by stringy kinds like spaghetti and fettuccini, while the most is carried by the twisted tortellini or hollow macaroni and rigatoni shapes. For psychic purposes, the stuffed pastas like cannelloni, ravioli, manicotti, and lasagna are considered breads. [Earth +++]
Peaches are a feminine symbol of love, spiritual fertility, and wishes come true. Serving peach pie to someone helps win his or her love and attention. In Asia, the peach is a symbol of virginity, and the blossoming of the peach tree is a sign of spring and youthful purity. Magic wands made of peach wood are used in exorcisms. [Air ++]
Peanuts provide the reality-based, aggressive energy associated with masculinity. [Earth ++]
Pears initiate lustful passion by stimulating the Sacral Chakra, and the fruit is associated with Venus, the goddess of love. [Air ++]
Pepper is used to break hexes and promote fidelity in family members. Within minutes of eating red peppers, the body releases gratifying, morphine-like endorphins into the blood stream. All the powdered peppers are known to break up congestion in the lungs and sinuses, relieve allergies, and increase metabolism. [Fire +++]
Pineapple; juice is drunk to ensure chastity; eating the fruit brings luck and prosperity. Pineapples are traditionally used in spells for the protection of a person’s possessions, including one’s spouse and children. [Fire ++]
Raspberries induce stamina and vigor, and at one time, the leaves were carried by pregnant women to help them through childbirth. The tea acts as a blood tonic to treat anemia and stop diarrhea. [Earth ++]
Strawberries are sacred to the Scandinavian fertility god, Freyr, and are served to promote physical love and zesty romance. Strawberry leaves are placed on serving plates or carried for good luck. The dried leaves make a mildly laxative tea. [Earth ++]
Sugar is used to dispel evil influences and preserve or enhance the qualities of many foods. Only raw cane sugar is used in making spells, since refined sugar has lost much of its magical power. Because of its protective signature, sugar embodies the feminine characteristics of the Water Element. [Water ++]
Tomatoes were called Love Apples when they were first introduced into Europe from the New World and were used to solicit romantic attention. Europeans also placed them on windowsills to repel negative energies. [Water ++]
Vanilla is used to increase the midrange or “loving” vibrations both in cooking and in aromatic sachets and has been called the “Middle C” of spices. At one time, just carrying a vanilla bean was thought to tune one’s consciousness to a higher level. [Air ++]