Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fresh Mushroom Fettuccine

8 oz uncooked fettucine
3 cups sliced mushrooms (8 oz)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbs freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, crushed

1) Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on the package.
2) Rinse with cold water; drain.
3) Toss fettuccine and remaining ingredients.

Review: Mike made me dinner for the 2nd night in a row, since I picked easy recipes, he's home all week from classes, and I'm doing some SERIOUS cooking for Thanksgiving. Of course, I didn't realize how easy this one was, until I began typing the recipe out. Lucky duck. This was super yummy, though. And I bet it will be wonderful eaten cold tomorrow.

Made again on 12/15/2010, but using rotini because Dreamfield's doesn't make a fettuccine.  The rotini actually worked better, as the mushrooms and pasta could easily be forked together.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ravioli Marinara

1 pkg (25-27.5 oz) frozen cheese-filled ravioli
1 jar (28 oz) chunky spaghetti sauce
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen broccoli, green beans, pearl onions and red peppers
1 can (15-16 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, if desired

1) Cook and drain ravioli as directed on package, using Dutch oven. Wipe out Dutch oven with paper towel.
2) Mix spaghetti sauce, vegetables and beans in same Dutch oven. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3) Stir in ravioli. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Review: Mike (who does all of the grocery shopping) couldn't find frozen ravioli at our grocery store. Come on Idaho, who doesn't carry frozen ravioli?!! Anyways, he bought refrigerated instead, but bought a package of cheese ravioli and a package of spinach ravioli. That was such an AWESOME idea. It was such a great balance of flavors and was super yummy. It'd be yummy either way, I'm sure, but I really liked the spinach ravioli.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Baked Broccoli, Macaroni & Cheese

2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs dried minced onion
2 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 box elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups sliced American cheese, broken into 2-inch pieces
3 cups frozen chopped broccoli

1) Heat oven to 350F. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add onion. Cook 2 minutes. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and seasonings; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture boils and thickens.
2) Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
3) Stir cheeses into sauce.
4) In 2-quart baking dish, stir together broccoli, cheese sauce and pasta. Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Review: This was rich and yummy. I added bread crumbs to the top to make it extra savory. I had lots of leftovers, which means I get to eat it a few more times, too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Truffled Wild Mushrooms Over Whipped White Beans

2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts chopped
2 15oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp thyme
1 lb wild mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp truffle oil

1) Heat 1 tsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add leek and saute 2 minutes. Stir in beans, broth, garlic and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer bean mixture to food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Return to skillet, cover and keep warm.
2) Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and saute 8 minutes, or until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley.
3) Spoon whipped bean mixture into shallow bowls. Top with equal portions of mushrooms. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 tsp truffle oil, and serve.

Review: This was yummy, but mushy. I used baby bella mushrooms, but two shiitakes managed to sneak in. I accused Mike of sneaking them in and deceiving the grocery store. ;) Honest mistake, but I can't complain, since shiitake mushrooms are sooooo yummy. And I bought truffle oil last week to try. It wasn't too powerful of a taste, with the mushrooms already adding so much flavor. I'll have to try a different recipe to experience this new fancy oil properly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pasta With Spinach, Chickpeas & Feta

8 oz uncooked spiral-shaped pasta
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced

1) Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, or until al dente, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients.
2) When pasta is done, drain, and transfer to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and toss well. Serve right away.

Review: This was super easy to make. I used baby spinach, so I really didn't need to chop it. This was yummy and Mike raved about how much he liked it. Once again, I also had PLENTY of leftovers - my favorite part! Yumminess for lunch the next day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Artichoke & Sweet Potato Gratin

2 tomatoes, one diced and one halved and thinly sliced
2 9oz pkgs frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 15.5oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced about 1/8-inch thick
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil 3 quart baking dish.
2) Toss diced tomatoes with artichoke hearts, scallions, 1 Tbs olive oil, 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/4 tsp salt in bowl. Set aside.
3) Put beans, stock, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in food processor; puree. Line bottom of dish with half of the sliced sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and remaining pepper. Spread on bean mixture, add artichoke mixture and cover with potatoes; reserve 20 slices.
4) Arrange tomato slices and remaining sweet potato slices on top, overlapping edges. Brush with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with remaining oregano and salt. Dust with pepper. Cover.
5) Bake 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove cover, and sprinkle top with walnuts. Bake 15 minutes more, or until topping is golden brown. Wait 10 minutes before serving.

Review: Ah, another labor of love. Fortunately, it wasn't all my labor, as Mike did most of the prep work. This was super yummy and made a ton of food. It originally called for a 2 qt dish, but I barely fit all of this into a 3 qt dish! And I laugh about using my food processor. Friends got it for me as an engagement gift last fall, so I could make Oreo truffles. I honestly couldn't think of any other uses for it, but these days it seems like I use it at least twice a week. Who knew?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mushroom, White Bean & Leek Ragout

1 1/2 Tbs garlic oil, divided
1 lb button mushrooms, halved
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts chopped
2 15oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1) Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms and leek 10 minutes, or soft and golden. Stir in beans, broth, garlic and thyme, and cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Heat remaining 1 Tbs oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add breadcrumbs and saute 3 minutes, or until crispy. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Stir parsley into bean mixture. Spoon into bowls and top with breadcrumbs.

Review: I don't own garlic oil, so I used olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic. Also, I refused to toast the breadcrumbs, as I was feeling lazy and just dumped them into the mixture. It was still yummy. This only made two servings, so I was a bit disappointed. It was yummy, though and someday I'll buy garlic oil and do it right.

Made again on 10/24/2011. This time I still didn't have garlic oil, and I also seemed to be lacking other ingredients. I cleaned out my spice cabinet before moving back to CT and am slowly replenishing it. Unfortunately, I used to having all the spices and haven't been double-checking before making my recipes. So, I didn't have thyme, but I tossed in herbes de Provence instead. Yum!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Three Cheese Zucchini Lasagna

9 no-boil lasagna noodles
4 tsp olive oil
3 medium leeks, chopped
6 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1 16oz container low fat cottage cheese
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 10oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

1) Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, and saute 6 minutes, or until soft. Add zucchini, and saute 8 to 10 minutes more. Stir in mint, and season with salt and pepper.
2) Blend cottage cheese and garlic in food processor 3 minutes, or until smooth. Stir in spinach and egg.
3) Preheat oven to 350F. Coat roasting pan with cooking spray. Place 3 noodles in bottom of pan, and top with 1/3 zucchini mixture. Spread 1/3 spinach mixture on top, and sprinkle with 2 Tbs feta. Repeat layers twice, ending with spinach mixture. Top with remaining feta and mozzarella.
4) Coat sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place over lasagna, and bake 45 minutes. Uncover, and bake 5 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes more before serving.

Review: This was a labor of love. It was a chore to get everything sliced and processed, then it takes about an hour to cook. I was STARVING by the time it was done. It was super yummy, though. It had the typical savoriness of most lasagnas, with a coolness, or tang, due to the mint. It was an eclectic taste, but I loved it. I also had plenty of leftovers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


1 lb purple potatoes
1 lb kale, tough stems removed
3 Tbs olive oil
10 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup milk, warmed

1.) Place potatoes in large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until very tender. Drain, and return to pot. Heat potatoes over medium heat 1-2 minutes to steam off excess water, and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale, and cook 5 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
3) Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic, and saute 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and all liquid has evaporated. Stir in kale, and cook 1 minute more, or until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Mash milk into potatoes until soft, but still chunky. Fold in kale mixture and serve.

Review: Ah, a traditional Irish dish that I've often read about in books. Except I doubt this is how it's traditionally made. This was super yummy and worth the effort. Kale is the curliest green I've seen and is a super pain to clean. It often has bugs caught in it's leaves and massive amounts of dirt. This bunch had a live slug that I ditched in the backyard. I hope I didn't destroy the ecosystem. Anyways, this was a hearty, yummy meal. There was no strong prevalent flavor, just a nice blend of "hearty." I'll make this again, but will hope to find prewashed kale someday.

Made again on 3/7/2011.  I used a bag of Petit Medley potatoes, strategically choosing a bag that was mostly baby purple potatoes.  And, I served this with some Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders.  It was a pretty tasty meal, and the crispy tenders were the tastiest I've ever had!!  Yum. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Asparagus-Ricotta Phyllo Tart

1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg
1 15oz container low-fat ricotta cheese
2/3 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
olive oil cooking spray
1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs, divided
14 (13x9 inch) sheets phyllo dough, thawed
1 Tbs sesame seeds

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Cook asparagus in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain, and refresh under cold running water until cooled.
2) Whisk together egg and ricotta in medium bowl. Stir in green onions, basil, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper and asparagus.
3) To make crust: Coat 11 or 12 inch tart pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Lay 1 sheet phyllo on work surface. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs. Repeat with 6 more phyllo sheets, placing each at a 45 degree angle to the previous one to form a rough circle. Lift phyllo stack into prepared tart pan, letting excess hang over sides. Gently press into pan. Spread ricotta filling in crust.
4) Spray and stack remaining 7 phyllo sheets in same manner as bottom crust. Spray top sheet with cooking spray, but do not sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Set stack on top of filling and press edges to seal. With scissors, trim edges, leaving 1-inch overhang. Roll edges over to form rim. Spray with cooking spray. Cut several slits in crust for steam vents. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
5) Set tart pan on baking sheet, and bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Review: I was impatient and tried to use the phyllo dough before it was thawed. Therefore, it broke until little pieces and sharply halved all the sheets. Therefore, I used an 8x8 brownie pan to make this dish. It all fit in nicely and I layered the sheets in the pan. There was no overhang, since I was using half sheets. And, at the end, I just tucked the edges down into the pan. It came out really well. I probably should have used more olive oil on the top, though. We have a mister that we got for our wedding, so it's all olive oil with no preservatives, but it's not very good at spraying evenly. I'm tempted to just using a basting brush and olive oil with future phyllo dough recipes. Anyways, this made about 4 servings. Just enough for dinner and lunch tomorrow, but it was really filling and yummy. It's definitely a keeper recipe if I can remember to be patient in the future.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tex-Mex Rice & Bean Bake

2 cups instant brown rice
1 egg
1 1/2 cups picante sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (15 - 16 oz) pinto beans, rinsed
1/4 tsp chili powder

1) Cook instant rice as directed on the box.
2) Heat oven to 350F. Spray square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches, with nonstick cooking spray. Mix rice, egg, 1/2 cup of the picante sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese; press in bottom of baking dish.
3) Mix beans and remaining 1 cup picante sauce; spoon over rice mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the chili powder. Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Review: This originally called for half the rice I used. But, I decided that was very little food and doubled the rice. This was super yummy and easy to make. I feared the rice would dry out and get crispy, but everything stayed moist and fluffy. I was happy and had lots of leftovers!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pesto Pasta Salad

1 box rotini pasta
7 oz jar pesto
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1/4 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1) Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain.
2) Toss pasta and pesto in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except walnuts. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors.
3) Sprinkle with walnuts just before serving.

Review: Mike cooked this one, since I felt lousy. We ate it warm and he burned most of the walnuts, but this was still really yummy. I can't wait to eat the leftovers cold tomorrow!!

Cheese Tortellini Primavera

1 (9 oz) pkg refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 (1 lb) pkg frozen carrots, green beans and cauliflower
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1) Cook tortellini according to the package directions. Drain; keep warm.
2) Cook frozen vegetables until crisp-tender as directed on package. Drain; keep warm.
3) Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese is melted. Add cooked tortellini and vegetables; toss to coat.

Review: This was yummy. Mike actually made it for me. Which was even better, because I seriously hate making sauces.

Made again on 11/6/2010, using green beans, petite peas and chopped broccoli.  Also used tortellini from Costco, so we had about six servings.  Wow, we have soooo many leftovers!!!