Monday, September 18, 2017

Baked Pennoni

Baked Pennoni

Here is another easy meal for busy school nights. One of my favorite uses for ShopRite Certified organic Imported Specialty Pasta is this recipe. It goes together quickly, bakes in one pan and disappears in no time. Pennoni is perfect here because the cheese and sauce get into each piece of pasta and fill them with cheesy goodness.

I love ShopRite Imported San Marzano DOP tomatoes in the sauce for their rich flavor. Add a green salad for a complete meal the whole family will love.

Baked Pennoni
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 cups ricotta cheese
1 whole egg
1/2 pound ShopRite Imported Pennoni pasta
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can ShopRite Imported DOP San Marzano whole tomatoes
4 fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt to taste
sugar to taste (about 1 to 2 teaspoons)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cook Penonni until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
3. Combine ricotta and egg. Blend well and add pepper and 3/4 cup of each cheese. Set aside.
4. Cook onion in oil in a small saucepan until translucent. Crush tomatoes and add to onion with basil, garlic, oregano, salt and sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Spray a 2 quart baking dish or casserole with cooking spray and set aside.
6. Combine pasta, sauce and ricotta mixture and blend well. Pour into casserole and top with remaining cheeses.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cheddar Walnut Bread

Cheddar Walnut Bread

I love a good sweet bread. Mostly I make things like zucchini, or pumpkin, or banana, but I found myself craving the dense, moist texture of those breads without the sweetness. I wanted a delicious nut and cheese bread that wasn't dry, but also wasn't full of sugar. I searched and searched and all I could find were breads with a large crumb and too much added sugar.

I experimented a lot and finally settled on this recipe. It's not as heavy as a banana bread would be, but not as light as a biscuit or yeast bread. It's somewhere in the middle with a beautiful savory flavor that's just perfect for these crisp fall days.

Cheddar and Walnut Bread
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter-melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil - I use olive oil
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt or 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/3 cups milk
3 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix together butter, oil, salt and sugar.
3. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition.
4. Sift together flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda--add to egg mixture alternately with milk. Mix well.
5. Add cheese and nuts and blend until combined.
6. Spoon into two greased  and floured 9x5 loaf pans.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Veggie Wednesday: Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa

I love the versatility of this dish. It's packed with heart-healthy everything and tastes wonderful hot or cold. Add different vegetables to your liking and change up the cheese if you so wish.

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts - not marinated
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 plum tomatoes - diced
1/2 cup roasted red pepper - diced
1/2 cup yellow onion - diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic- minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tablespoons good olive oil vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to your liking

Directions:

1. Toss vegetables with olive oil and garlic and lay on an un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until vegetables begin to brown on the bottom. Set aside.
2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. This is usually 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed very well, and 2 cups of water with salt brought to a boil, reduced to simmer, and cooked for 10-12 minutes.
3. Combine veggies, quinoa, and dressing and fold together until well blended. Top with feta cheese. Eat hot, room temperature, or cold.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pasta with Sausage and Peppers



This lighter take on sausage and peppers is a great weeknight meal that takes very little time to prepare. I use leftover sausage links that have already been cooked to make prep time faster. The tri-color peppers add color and flavor, but if only green are available, that works well, too. Serve with a bagged green salad for a quick back-to-school dinner.

Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

12 ounces farfalle pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 sweet peppers, one each yellow, green and red, sliced in 2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken, vegetable, or beef stock
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cooked and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste - optional

Directions:

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add peppers and cook briefly until they just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir.
2. Pour in stock and cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Toss sausage slices with peppers and add in pasta. Toss well so all ingredients are combined.
4. Add basil and salt to taste before serving hot.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Veggie Wednesday: Seven Layer Taco Dip


FOOTBALL! Yes, that's right, on Thursday, September 7, 2017 it's football season again. I'm excited, can you tell? Aside from some minor issues and wondering about players and who will stay and who will play, the Steelers still have it going on and I'm crossing all I have for a spectacular season!

On to the dip - this was originally published at Family.com on my blog, and even made its way to ESPN (still there!). No football game is the same without excellent nosh and this is a great start to this season's football food. Seven layers add up to one delicious dip that is a favorite everywhere. The best part of this recipe is that you can substitute any fat percentage in the beans and dairy products without affecting the flavor of the finished product.

Seven Layer Dip

Ingredients:

1 can (16 ounce) refried beans
1 packet (1.25 ounce) taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups prepared guacamole
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup each shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese
1 can (4 ounces) sliced black olives - drained
1 cup sliced green onion tops only

Directions:

1. Combine refried beans with taco seasoning and blend well. Set aside.
2. Mix together sour cream with lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
3. In a 10-inch pie plate or 9x9 baking dish, spread refried beans and top with guacamole, sour cream mixture, salsa, shredded cheeses, sliced olives and green onion.
4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until serving time, or serve immediately with corn chips.