‘Eating Clean on the Cheap’ – Date Night

I have two recipes on my blog that are the most visited posts.

Pasta Puttanesca


Ricotta Cheesecake

Since these two dishes are ideal for a Valentine’s Date Night, I figured I would repost them.  Tomorrow I am posting an ‘Eating Clean on the Cheap’ Family Night Meal since those of us with kids may be spending our Valentine’s Day with our spouse and kids 🙂

Pasta Puttanesca

*On sale this week at Publix

(This is an Ellie Krieger recipe. Feel free to add some lean protein, like grilled or seared chicken breast strips*. Just toss in at the end to coat in the sauce.)

  • 6-8 oz sliced mushrooms*
  • Barilla Pasta Sauce*
  • 8 oz. whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup pitted chopped Spanish or Greek olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup grated Kraft Parmesan*


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add  mushrooms and garlic into pan and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsley, olives, capers, anchovy paste, oregano and crushed red pepper to the skillet, and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the tomato sauce and sausage links and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the arugula and simmer for 1 minute more, until the greens wilt slightly.

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing it with the sauce to combine. Top with grated cheese.

Orange Honey Ricotta Cheesecake

This recipe was one of Giada de Laruentiis’ that I lightened up with some clean ingredients. I always get rave reviews when I make this.

  • 8 ounces purchased biscotti (I use Nonni’s bite-sized almond biscotti)
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance butter spread, melted
  • 1 (12-ounce) container part-skim milk ricotta, drained
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom or clover honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter spread and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the honey and orange zest. Add the eggs and pulse just until blended.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).

Transfer the cake to a rack and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

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  1. ‘Eating Clean on the Cheap’ – Family “Date” Night « Whole to the Core

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