Vegetarian Dishes


Vegetarian Dishes

Looking for a meatless dish? Look no more…

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Biggest Loser Spicy Black Bean Soup
WWPOINTS® value 1
Servings 8

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 (15oz) cans of black beans
1 cup chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp ground cumin
1 (20 oz) can Rotel (tomatoes with green chilies)

In a large sauce pan or medium stock pot, heat oil over a medium high heat. Cook onion and celery until semi soft. Add everything else to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer at least 45 minutes. Before serving, run at least half of the soup through the blender. Actually, one of those little hand blenders would work great for this! I was too lazy to dig mine out of the pantry so I used the blender. You do want some chunks of veggies and beans…so don’t get too carried away with blending. 🙂


Spicy Black Bean Burgers

3 cans rinsed and drained black beans
1 1/2 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
6 scallions, both white and green parts, minced
A handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1 whole head of garlic, roasted
1 jalapeno, roasted
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon McCormicks Worcestershire pepper
2 teaspoons honey
Juice of one lime

Directions

Place 2 cups of the black beans, roasted garlic and jalanpeno pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chunky. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining whole black beans, plus panko, eggs, scallions, cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes, onion powder, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Form burgers into patties which should be approximately ½ cup each. Roll each burger in panko break crumbs. Place burger patties into refrigerator to chill and set up. This is a very essential step to avoid having a pile of shapeless black bean mush! When ready to cook, remove patties from refrigerator and place a cast-iron skillet over high heat with a small amount of the cooking oil of your choice. Cook for about four minutes on first side or until well seared and with a flipping spatula, turn onto second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes, over medium heat. This recipe makes four to six burgers. If freezing, cook burgers first and freeze, heat in the microwave and enjoy at a later date.


Almond Fried Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions and tops
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 egg, beaten
3 cups cold cooked rice
2 ounces diced cooked ham (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds, toasted

Heat oil in hot wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions and bell pepper; stir-fry 1 minute. Add egg and scramble. Stir in rice and cook until heated through, gently separating grains. Add ham and soy sauce; cook and stir until mixture is well blended. Just before serving, stir in almonds.

Makes 4 servings

This recipe created by Kikkoman.


Mushroom Casserole Recipe

 

Use any cooked grain you like. Feel free to use low-fat cottage cheese or sour cream if you prefer.

 

    1/2 pound (8 ounces) brown mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

    1 large onion, well chopped

    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature

    2 large eggs

    1 cup cottage cheese

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

    1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    a bit of fresh tarragon, chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil or butter and set aside. The pan I use is slightly smaller than a classic 9×13 baking dish – just grab for something in this ballpark.

 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the mushrooms in a glug of olive oil sprinkled with a couple pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.

 

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and salt.

 

Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl, stir until well combined and then turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more or hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and enjoy.

 

Serves about 8.

 

 

 


 

Potato Gnocchi Recipe

 

2 lbs whole baking potatoes

2 beaten egg yolks

1 1/2 cups flour

Pinch of salt

Your favorite pasta sauce (for example, this basic, delicious tomato sauce)

Method

 

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Spear the potatoes with fork tines in several places around each potato to vent moisture as the potatoes cook. Bake the potatoes in their skins until tender, about an hour. Let cool on a rack, cutting them open to help cool and let more moisture escape.

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2 Scoop out the potatoes from their skins. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer and into a large bowl. (If you don’t have a potato rice you can mash the potatoes by hand and fluff them up a bit with a fork.) It is best to work with the potatoes when they are still warm.

 

3 Add the flour, egg and a pinch of salt. Mix by hand until you have a nice pliable ball of dough. Do not overmix.

 

4 Prepare a work area and dust it with flour. Take the dough, a piece at a time, and roll it out gently with your hands until you have rolls about 3/4 inch in diameter. It is very important to keep a light touch while you are rolling the dough. Gently roll the dough with your fingertips while while exerting the lightest pressure outwards, not down, to draw the dough out.

 

5 Cut the tubes of dough into pieces about one inch long. Using either the tines of a fork or your fingertip, press against a piece of the dough and roll it slightly to form an indentation (good for catching the sauce). As the gnocchi are made, place them on flat baking pan, lightly dusted with flour or lined with wax paper. At this point you can freeze the gnocchi ahead of time. Freeze them first on a floured or lined tray, then once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag for more easy storage. To cook, just put the frozen gnocchi into the simmering water for the next step.

 

6 Bring at least 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a shallow saucepan. Gently drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the water. As soon as they rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining well. Arrange on a warm serving dish. Continue cooking the gnocchi in the same manner.

 

7 As soon as all the gnocchi are ready, pour heated pasta sauce over them and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.


Black Bean Soup
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

10 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.


Golden Gruyere, Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
6 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable or extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound white or button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) finely diced onion
12 ounces frozen cut -leaf spinach
3 cups 2 percent milk, plus more as needed
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter
5 tablespoons flour
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
4 ounces ham, cut into roughly 1/4 -inch dice
1/2 pound Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, or a combination of the two, grated

About 3/4 pound fresh, no-cook or cooked lasagna sheets, prepared according to package directions

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring and tossing the mushrooms, until they just begin to brown and any excess moisture that the mushrooms release has evaporated. Transfer the mushrooms to a large plate or baking sheet to cool.

In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the frozen spinach and cover the pan. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and stir the spinach. Cover and repeat until the spinach is defrosted. Remove the lid and cook until the moisture from the spinach has evaporated. Transfer the spinach-onion mixture to a large plate or baking sheet to cool.

Heat the milk and set aside.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture starts to thin out, stirring continuously. Add the warm milk in a steady stream while whisking the mixture, to make a bechamel sauce. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, letting the sauce simmer slowly for 10 minutes and stirring every few minutes. (The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thick, add additional milk to thin it out. It will thicken further when the cheese is added.) Stir in the ham, remove from the heat and add three-quarters of the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and set aside.

To assemble, in a 9-by-13-inch pan, spoon a few tablespoons of the bechamel-cheese sauce. Cover the sauce with a layer of lasagna sheets. Spread the spinach-onion mixture over the first layer, then cover with one-third of the sauce. Add another layer of lasagna sheets and spread the mushrooms over this layer. Cover again with one-third of the sauce. Add the last layer of lasagna sheets, spread the remaining sauce over it, covering the lasagna sheets, and top with the remaining grated cheese.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake uncovered until the lasagna is heated through and the cheese on top is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. (If frozen, the lasagna should be baked, covered with aluminum foil, for 45 minutes, then uncovered and baked an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through with the cheese on top golden brown.)


Szechuan Noodles

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup good soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)

Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, sherry vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, and ground peppers. Puree the sauce.

Add a splash of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with 3/4 of the sauce. Add the red and yellow bell peppers and scallions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.


Sesame Noodles
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 1 serving

1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/3 pound thin spaghetti, cooked to al dente, drained and cooled
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 scallion, chopped

Whisk peanut butter, soy, cayenne, oil and sesame oil. Add noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle noodles with sesame and scallion to garnish.


Broccoli Puree

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Yield: 4 servings

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound broccoli florets
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the sides of the pot. Set a steamer rack in the pot, cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the potato chunks and cook until they are very tender, about 18 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl and mash until smooth.

Place broccoli into steamer rack and steam over medium heat until the broccoli is very tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to the bowl of a food processor. Add the broth, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Process until the broccoli is pureed and almost smooth.

Stir the broccoli puree into the mashed potato and blend well. Season the puree to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.


Baked Squash Gratin
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Yield: 6 servings

1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup purchased basil pesto
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for greasing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly butter an 8-inch baking dish and set aside. Fill a large pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the sides of the pot. Set a steamer rack in the pot, cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the squash and steam over medium heat until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the squash to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Season the squash to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon half of the squash evenly over the prepared baking dish. Dollop half of the pesto all over the squash in the dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the squash. Repeat layering with the remaining squash, pesto, and cheese. Using a skewer, swirl the pesto decoratively into the squash. Dot the top with butter and bake until the gratin is heated through and golden brown around the edges, about 40 minutes.


Chickpea Salad Italiano
Boost the fiber in your diet by enjoying a chickpea and kidney bean salad as a between meal snack. Mix together equal parts of cooked chickpeas and kidney beans along with a small, chopped red onion. Season with basil and toss with Italian salad dressing. Cover the salad and refrigerate. Pack a serving in a covered plastic container, along with a spoon, with your lunch for a hearty snack later in the day.


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan and Marshmallow Streusel
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Yield: 12 servings

12 large sweet potatoes
3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecan pieces
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash the sweet potatoes, scrubbing them well to remove any dirt. With a fork, prick the sweet potatoes in a couple of spots and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center goes in easily.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and flour together until it’s crumbly-looking. Add the cinnamon, salt, pecans, and marshmallows; fold the streusel topping together to combine.

Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise down the center and push the ends towards the middle so it opens up. Stuff the sweet potatoes generously with the streusel topping and return to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and brown.


Green Risotto
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups water
1 quart vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry sherry
1 pound triple washed spinach, chopped
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, chopped or torn
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated or ground
1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 or 3 handfuls

Bring water and stock to a boil, then reduce heat to low to keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium to medium high heat. Add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add arborio rice and saute, 2 or 3 minutes more. Add wine or sherry and allow liquid to absorb, 1 minute. Add 1/2 the stock or broth and reduce heat slightly. Simmer, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed, then add more liquid, a few ladles at a time. When liquid cooks out, ladle in a bit more.

When risotto has cooked almost to al dente, about 18 minutes, fold in spinach, basil and parsley. Season risotto with nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir in any remaining broth. Risotto will cook 22 minutes, total. Stir in cheese and serve immediately.


Sesame Snow Peas: Low Carb
From Food Network Kitchens

Yield: 2 servings

1 1/2 cups snow peas, about 6 ounces, strings removed
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Toss the snow peas with soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly. Microwave at full power until crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.


Mashed Potato Pizza

4 servings instant mashed potato flakes
1 can pizza crust dough*
2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided into two piles
1 jar (3 oz) real bacon bits, divided into 2 piles
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 400 º

Press pizza into lightly greased 9X13 pan. Bake 8 minutes.

Stir in one pile of cheese and bacon bits into warm mashed potatoes. Spread potatoes over partially baked crust. Sprinkle remaining bacon bits, cheddar cheese and to with green onions. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Garnish with sour cream. Makes 6-8 servings

*If using a pizza crust that covers a baking sheet, prepare 6 servings of instant mashed potatoes instead of 4.


Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole
Makes 6 cups (12 servings).

4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover.
Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
2 In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until
smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3 In medium bowl, mix the sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans.
Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4 Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.


Creamy Parmesan Spinach
3 boxes frozen spinach, defrosted
2 (3-ounce) bricks cream cheese
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup grated Parmesan, 2 rounded handfuls
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Place spinach in microwave to defrost. Place boxes on a dish to defrost the spinach because it will leek. While spinach defrosts, place cream cheese and onions in a medium sauce pot over low heat. While cream cheese is melting and spinach is defrosting, continue forward with meal prep then return to spinach. When the cream cheese melts, add Parmesan and black pepper to the cheese. Drain spinach in clean kitchen towel, wringing it out until dry. Stir spinach into sauce, season with a pinch of salt, to taste, if necessary and let the spinach sit over lowest heat possible 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Green Onion Fritters
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup all-in-one pancake mix
1/2 cup water
7 to 8 scallions, cleaned, dried and trimmed of roots, chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, make the batter by combining the all-in-one pancake mix with the water (the batter will be on the thick side). Add the chopped green onions and season with the cayenne, salt, and pepper. When the oil is ready for frying, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and fry on all sides until golden brown and puffy. This should take no more than 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and drain on the paper towel lined plate. Season with salt while they are still hot.


Onion Straws
Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup onions (cut in rings, 1/16 inch thick)
1 tsp. salt and pepper mix (2:1 ratio)

Preparation:
1. In large bowl, mix 1 cup of milk with onions.
2. Marinate for 1/2 hour and strain.
3. Mix flour with onions and shake excess flour.
4. Place in deep fryer at 350 degrees until brown.


Green Chile and Cheese Half Moons

Ingredients:
4 oz. (1 cup) finely shredded Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Dash salt
1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (16.3-oz.) can Pillsbury® Grands!® Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
Prep Time: 20 Minutes (Ready in 45 Minutes)
Preparation Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine cheese, onions, cilantro, salt and green chiles; mix well.
2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. With serrated knife, cut each biscuit in half horizontally to make 16 rounds. Press or roll each to form 3 1/2-inch round. Place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture in center of each round. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal. Form each filled biscuit into crescent shape. Place on sprayed cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 11 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

16 snacks


Smashed Potatoes and Cream Cheese
2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes or baby Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk
8 ounces plain cream cheese or veggie cream cheese, cut into pieces
10 chives or 2 scallions, chopped or snipped with kitchen scissors
Salt and pepper

Boil potatoes until tender, 15 minutes. While the water boils and when the potatoes are cooking, you can be working on the meatloaf recipe.

When the potatoes are tender, drain them and return them to the hot pot to let them dry out a bit. Mash potatoes with half-and-half or milk using a potato masher. Add in the cream cheese and smash until the cheese melts into the potatoes. Then add chives and scallions and season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Yield: 6 servings


Boston Market® Butternut Squash

1 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Cut squash into quarters. Remove the seeds and slice off the skin, then chop the squash into 1-inch cubes. Put squash in a steamer rack in a large saucepan over boiling water and cover. Steam for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
2. When squash has cooked, use a potato masher to mash squash until smooth in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and continue mashing until everything is mixed in. Let the squash sit for at least 10 minutes so that the flavors can develop. Reheat in the microwave for a minute or so before serving.


Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound small shell pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 small to medium yellow onion
1 (28-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes, any brand
1/2 cup, 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Salt and pepper
1 cup store bought basil pesto sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Add small shell pasta and cook the pasta to al dente doneness which means that the pasta will still have a bite to it or be a little chewy. The pasta will soak up more juice and keep on cooking after we drain it, so we need it to be a little under cooked. The shells will probably cook about 9 or 10 minutes.

Preheat a deep, big skillet or a medium sauce pot over medium heat.

Place garlic on the cutting board and place the flat of your knife on top of each clove. Carefully give the garlic a whack with the palm of your hand to separate the cloves from the skins. Throw out the skins and chop up the garlic. Remember to keep your fingers curled under and the edge of your sharp, chef’s knife tilted slightly away from your body.

Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan by pouring a slow stream of it twice-around-the-pan. This will be about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Do not let the oil pour out too fast. You are looking for a slow, steady stream. Add the garlic to the oil. To chop the onion, cut the ends off and cut the whole onion down the center. Wrap half and save it. Cut the other half into thin slices then twist the slices a quarter turn and chop them again. Hold the tip of knife on the cutting board and lift the back of the knife up and down over the onion to make the pieces really small. Add the chopped up onion to the garlic and oil. Cook, stirring a lot, 5 minutes until the onions are mushy and look cooked.

Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir. When the tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce the heat under the sauce to low. Stir in basil pieces to wilt them. Season the sauce with salt and peppe, to your taste.

Preheat your broiler to high and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Drain pasta shells. Add them to a casserole dish. Add pesto sauce, 1 cup of ricotta cheese and a handful of grated Parmigiano, too. Stir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses. Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta, as much as you like. You can always serve a little extra at the table, to pass around. Shred up some mozzarella cheese with a grater and scatter it over the pasta. Add a final sprinkle of Parmigiano to the mozzarella as well. Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10 to 12 inches from the heat. Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3 to 5 minutes.

Variation to make meatier: add brown sausage or pepperoni chunks.


Crispy Potato Cake
From Food Network Kitchens

Yield: 6 servings

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, in a bowl of cold water
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Heat a medium nonstick or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. With a sharp knife or box grater, slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. Pat the potato slices dry on a kitchen towel. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter in the skillet and swirl to coat the pan. Start to arrange overlapping potato slices over the bottom of the pan in concentric circles. Repeat 2 more times, making 3 layers. Drizzle each layer with a bit of the butter and season the layers, alternating salt, pepper, and then nutmeg. Cover the skillet with a buttered round of parchment or aluminum foil. Cook on low heat until potatoes are golden on the bottom and crisp around the outside, about 30 minutes. Shake the pan back and forth several times while cooking to keep from sticking.

Remove the parchment and tip the pan, pouring off any excess butter into a small bowl and reserve. Place a flat pan lid, the diameter of the skillet, over the potatoes. Holding the lid firmly in place, gently flip over. Add the reserved butter to the pan and slide the potatoes back in and continue to cook about 30 minutes more. Shake the pan back and forth several times while cooking to keep the potatoes from sticking. The bottom should be browned and crisp and the potatoes cooked through. Pour off any fat remaining in the pan and slide the potato cake onto a serving dish. Slice into wedges to serve.


No-Pain Lo Mein
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: : 4 servings

2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan in a slow drizzle) vegetable or wok oil
1 cup (2 handfuls) snow peas, halved on a diagonal
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into match stick size pieces
1/2 pound assorted mushrooms (shiitake, straw, enoki, or oyster), coarsely chopped, if necessary
4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 cups (about 4 handfuls) fresh bean spouts
2 inches fresh ginger root, minced or grated with hand grater
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lo mein noodles or thin spaghetti, cooked to al dente and drained well
1/2 cup aged tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, several drops

Heat a wok-shaped skillet or large non-stick skillet over high heat. When pan is very hot, add oil, (it will smoke a bit) then, immediately add the snow peas, pepper, mushrooms, scallions, and bean sprouts. Stir fry for 1 minute to flavor the oil, then add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles and toss with to combine. Add the soy sauce and toss the ingredients to coat noodles evenly with sauce. Transfer the lo mein to a serving platter and garnish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

Cook’s Notes:

Cooked shredded pork, chicken, or small de-veined shrimp may be added to this dish in any combination.


Mini Grilled Cheese Dippers
Yield: 10 to 15 sandwiches (depending on loaf size)

1 can condensed Southwest-style pepper jack soup
8 ounces Mexican-style shredded cheese
1 baguette French bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 stick butter, softened

In a bowl, combine condensed cheese soup and the shredded cheese. Spread mixture on baguette slices. Butter the outside of the sandwiches.

Heat large frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Place sandwiches in the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Flip sandwiches and cook second side. Cover frying pan to ensure that the cheese melts.


Candied Walnut Butter Salad
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking

Yield: 8 servings

Candied Walnuts:
Nonstick vegetable spray
6 tablespoons plus 3 more tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons orange-tangerine juice
2 cups walnut halves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salad:
2 heads butter lettuce, washed and dried
2 (8-ounce) cans mandarin orange segments
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup purchased Asian-style salad dressing (such as miso dressing or ginger dressing)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a large cookie sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, add 6 tablespoons sugar and orange-tangerine juice. Bring to a simmer, and then add walnuts. Cook until sugar is absorbed and mixture starts to caramelize around walnuts, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Toss walnuts in cinnamon-sugar. Place walnuts in single layer on prepared cookie sheet. Bake until walnuts appear crystallized and toasted, about 8 minutes. Set aside

Place 4 to 6 dry lettuce leaves on each plate. Randomly place orange segments, onion slices, and walnuts on top of each lettuce bed. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing on top of each salad and serve.


Ravioli Vegetable “Lasagna”
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 packages chopped frozen spinach, defrosted in microwave
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans quartered artichokes in water, drained well
Salt and pepper

White Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and black pepper
1 sack, 2 cups grated provolone or Italian 4 Cheese Blend, from dairy aisle, 10 ounces
1 large package (marked “Family Size”) fresh ravioli, such as Contadina brand, 24 to 28 ounces, or choose your favorite filling, such as wild mushroom or 4 cheese
1 pound thin asparagus spears, trimmed of tough ends

Bring a pot of water to boil for ravioli.

While water comes to a boil, drain defrosted frozen chopped spinach by wringing it dry in a kitchen towel, working over a garbage bowl or your sink. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons or 2 turns of the pan, and the garlic. Saute garlic in oil 1 minute, then sprinkle spinach into the garlic oil. Add artichoke heart pieces to the pan and turn to combine and heat through. Season vegetables with and remove from heat to a bowl. Place skillet back on the heat and melt butter. Whisk flour into butter and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk stock into flour and butter and let it bubble. Whisk in cream and Parmesan. Season sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper and thicken 1 to 2 minutes.

Preheat broiler to high. Set rack between middle of oven groove and top rack groove, about 8 inches from heat.

When water boils, salt water, add ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Ravioli should be less than al dente, still a bit chewy — it will continue cooking when combined with sauce and vegetables. Place a colander over ravioli as it cooks and add asparagus to it. Cut thin, trimmed asparagus into 2-inch pieces on an angle. Steam the chopped asparagus while pasta cooks, 2 to 3 minutes, until just fork-tender, but still green. Remove asparagus and add to bowl with spinach and artichokes. Place colander in your sink and drain ravioli.

Drizzle a touch of extra virgin olive oil onto the bottom of a medium oval casserole or a rectangular baking dish and brush pan to coat evenly. Arrange a layer using 1/2 of cooked ravioli in the dish. Layer 1/2 of the cooked vegetables over the ravioli. Next, add a few ladles of sauce, then vegetables, then top casserole with the last of the ravioli. Dot top of “lasagna” with any remaining sauce and cover liberally with grated provolone or 4 cheese blend. Brown cheese 8 inches from broiler, 5 minutes


Autumn Potato Gratin
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 8 servings

4 pounds mixed baby potatoes, such as Red Bliss, Peruvian Purples, and Fingerlings
2 cups heavy cream, plus some to cover
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 sprigs each fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary
2 garlic cloves, cracked
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Halve the potatoes and toss them into a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, put the cream, butter, herbs, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, to infuse the cream with flavor. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the hot cream mixture through a strainer over the potatoes, (discard the herbs and garlic), if there is not enough cream to go 3/4 of the way up the potatoes then pour some additional cream on top to make up the difference. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and top begins to brown. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.


Pesto Pea Salad
Ina Garten

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups of frozen peas
2 tablespoons pignolis, toasted (see note)
2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
4 tablespoons pesto, recipe follows

Cook the peas in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Immediately immerse the peas in a bowl of ice cold water, and drain when fully cooled.

To assemble, place the spinach leaves in a salad bowl. Sprinkle the peas and pignolis over the spinach. Add the pesto and toss.
Note: To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until evenly browned, tossing frequently.

Pesto:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis
3 tablespoons diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.


Steamed Green Beans
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Yield: 4 servings

Green Beans:
1 pound green beans, trimmed
Olive oil
2 to 3 strips bacon (about 2 ounces), cut crosswise into pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 can (28 ounces) whole, peeled tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Break the beans in half and put them in a colander large enough to fit over a pot of boiling water; set aside. Now heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan, crushing them in your hand as you do so, to break them up. Stir in the sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Put the colander over the pot and cover the whole thing with aluminum foil. Cooking until the beans are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the colander from pot and dump the beans into the pan with the tomato sauce; fold in the beans and season with salt and pepper.


Latin Slaw
Makes: 12 servings, 1/2 cup each

1/2 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup canned whole kernel corn, drained or black beans
2 cups each: shredded green and red cabbage
2 serrano chiles, seeded, minced
8 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup sliced green onions
COMBINE mayo, lime juice, hot pepper sauce and salt; set aside.
COOK corn in large skillet on medium-high heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. Place in large bowl.
ADD cabbage, chiles, bacon and onions; mix lightly. Stir in mayo mixture. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Broccoli Casserole

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
3 ounces cream cheese — softened
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 10 oz pkgs frozen chopped broccoli
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
Melt butter. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add milk and continue
cooking, stirring, until thickened. Add cheeses and cook until cheese
melts and mixture is smooth.
Cook and drain broccoli according to package instructions. Stir
cheese mixture into broccoli. Turn into a buttered 1/2-quart casserole dish.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Ten-Minute Chilaquiles

Yield: 6 servings

The sauce:
1 cup salsa (preferably medium hot)
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed well in a strainer
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

The fixings:
1 (11-ounce) bag corn chips (about 8 cups)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack
2 tablespoons minced cilantro, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Pour half the sauce into a shallow 2 1/2-quart (12 by 7 by 2-inch) baking dish, and top with half the corn chips. You can crumble the chips slightly to make an even layer. Drop little spoonfuls of half the sour cream all over the chips, then sprinkle on half the cheese. Top with the remaining chips, sauce, sour cream, and cheese.

Bake 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly around the edges. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the cilantro and serve. You can cut it into squares and serve using a spatula, or use a large spoon to scoop out the chilaquiles.

Cook’s Note: Some packaged corn chips are very salty. Look on the back of the bag for the sodium content and choose a brand that has no more than 110 milligrams of sodium per serving. These will be the most flavorful corn chips and won’t be overly salty to eat or use in the casserole.

For advance preparation: Make the sauce up to a few hours ahead and lay out all the other ingredients. Don’t assemble chilaquiles, however, until the last minute so the corn chips retain a tiny bit of texture when baked.


The Lady’s Cheesy Mac
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the milk, then the sour cream, butter and salt. Add to the macaroni mixture the cheese. Lastly add in the beaten egg and make sure it is well incorporated. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.


Spinach and Cheese Cakes
Recipe courtesy Rachel Ray

2 packages frozen chopped spinach, 10 ounces each
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 for onion, 2 tablespoons to fry cakes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, 3 handfuls
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 handfuls
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Defrost spinach in microwave. Wring spinach dry by nesting in kitchen towel and twisting towel over garbage bowl or sink until spinach has given off all of its liquid. Place spinach in a medium mixing bowl. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add oil and onion and saute the onion until soft, 5 minutes. Add onion to spinach in bowl and return pan to stove top. Turn off heat.

Add remaining ingredients to spinach: bread crumbs, cheese, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Combine mixture with a fork, then form into 3-inch patties. Set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to spinach cakes pan and set cakes in to cook. Work in 2 batches if necessary. Cook cakes 3 minutes on each side.


Confetti Macaroni Salad
Yield: 24 servings

1 (16-ounce) package salad macaroni (or ditali pasta)
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup yellow or white onion, diced
1 cup medium cheddar, diced
1 cup Swiss cheese, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1 cup dill pickles, diced
1 (6-ounce) can large pitted black olives, drained (or 1 cup diced or sliced)
1 to 2 tablespoons Lowry’s garlic salt
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
1/4 teasspoon dried horseradish
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 (3-ounce) jar diced pimentos, rinsed and drained
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Add 2 quarts of water to a medium stockpot and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until it is al dente, approximately 9 minutes. Do not overcook the pasta or it will fall apart when the salad is tossed together. Rinse macaroni until cool. Drain well and let it dry out slightly.
Add pasta to a large bowl. Carefully fold in celery, onion, cheddar, Swiss cheese, Parmesan, dill pickles, and black olives. Refrigerate the mixture, uncovered, overnight (or refrigerate for at least 2 hours).
Mix the Lowry’s garlic salt, minced garlic, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard and celery salt together. Add to salad. Fold in the pimentos. Fold in 1 cup of mayonnaise to start. Add up to a 1/2 cup more of mayonnaise if needed. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes to 1 hour.


Roasted Winter Vegetables
Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Yield: 8 servings

1 pound carrots, peeled
1 pound parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1 to 1 1/4-inch cubes. All the
vegetables will shrink while baking, so don’t cut them too small.

Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt,
and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once
with a metal spatula.

Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.


Roasted Eggplant Spread
Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 medium eggplant
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the
garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the
vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and
pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.


Wild Mushroom Frittata
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Yield: 6 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
12 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, a couple of handfuls, stems removed, chopped
1 cup oyster mushrooms, a couple of handfuls, chopped
Coarse salt and pepper
12 eggs, beaten
Dash of half-and-half
2 teaspoons hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1/2 cup Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet, with oven safe handle over medium to medium-high heat. Wrapping a rubber handle in foil will allow the pan to transfer to oven as well. To hot pan, add oil and mushrooms. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until all of the veggies are tender. Beat eggs with salt and pepper, dash of half-and-half and hot sauce. Pour over the mushrooms. Lift and settle eggs in the pan as they brown on the bottom. When the eggs are set but remain uncooked on top, transfer to oven for 7 or 8 minutes, until frittata is golden brown and puffy. Sprinkle the frittata with cheese and return to the oven for 1 or 2 minutes.

Serve frittata from the hot pan and cut into 6 wedges at the table.


Easy Cheesy Fondue

Yield: 4 servings

12 fingerling potatoes, cut in 1/2, 1-inch baby potatoes may be substituted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 jigger dry sherry
1 cup half-and-half
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups steamed broccoli florets
1 pound asparagus, trimmed of stems, tips reserved
2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped or chopped
1/2 French baguette, cubed
12 cherry tomatoes

Cornichons or baby gherkin pickles
Marinated mushrooms
Pickled onions

Cover potatoes with water and bring the water to a boil. Salt the water and simmer potatoes 10 to 12 minutes, until just tender. Drain potatoes and return to warm pot to dry the potatoes. Drizzle potatoes with a little oil to keep them from discoloring and to shine them up.

Fill a second skillet or saucepan with 2 inches of water. Cover and bring the water to a boil on the stovetop. Salt the water, replace the cover and reduce heat to simmer.

To a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and the chopped shallots. Saute shallots for 2 or 3 minutes, then add sherry and allow it to almost evaporate, a minute or 2. Add half-and-half to the pan and reduce heat to low. Cut cream cheese into 1-inch slices and add it to the pot. Allow the cream cheese to slowly melt into the half-and-half, 5 minutes. Add Parmesan and shredded Gruyere or Swiss to the sauce and stir until cheese is melted and fully incorporated. Stir in lemon juice. Season sauce with, nutmeg and black pepper. Place a candle underneath a wire rack or warm a fondue pot. Transfer cheese sauce to fondue pot or place saucepan over wire rack and burning candle.

To simmering, salted water, add broccoli and cook florets, covered, 3 minutes. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate and add asparagus tips. Cook asparagus tips 2 minutes, then remove with tongs to a plate.

Arrange the items for dipping on a large serving platter. Garnish the cooked potatoes with chives. Set the cubed baguette on the opposite end of the platter, to balance color. Between potatoes and bread, arrange cooked broccoli, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Set out fondue forks or bamboo skewers for dipping. Place small dishes of cornichons, marinated mushrooms and pickled onions near dipping station for accompaniments.

 


Chili Releno Casserole

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients:
1 -7 oz. can Ortega Chilis â„¢ (whole)
1- 4 oz. can Ortega Chilis â„¢ (diced)
2 Tbsp. Butter
3 Eggs
1/2 lb. Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
2 C. Milk
1 C. Bisquick

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 325ª. Combine Cheeses in a bowl. Melt butter in 13″ x 9″ casserole dish. Lay whole chilies on melted butter, covering bottom of dish. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cheese on chilies. Mix the milk, eggs, bisquick until smooth, add diced chilies and pour over cheese. Top with remainder of cheese. Bake for 45 min. Or use the toothpick method.


Mushroom Stew

Ingredients:
1 lb. Fresh Mushrooms
4 large Yellow Onions
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 stick Butter or 4 Tbsp.
3 Tbsp. Flour
Salt & Pepper

Preparation:
In a large pot, cook sliced mushrooms with 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat. Drain the water that cooks out of the mushrooms until they give no more. (reserve this stock for soup.) Sauté chopped onions in small amount of oil until brown. In a
cast-iron skillet or wok, melt 1 stick of butter over low heat. Add sifted flour until thick, stirring constantly. Add sour cream and stir until mixture is warm. Add more flour if necessary to thicken. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Salt and pepper to
taste. Serve over fresh mashed potatoes.


Veggie Burgers

Makes 6 to 8 burgers

Ingredients

1 cup bulgur
3/4 cup boiling water
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 1/8 cups eggs
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 dash hot pepper sauce

Directions

1. In a large bowl, soak bulgur in water and soy sauce for 10 minutes, or until all the water has been
absorbed.

2. Grind cashews and sunflower seeds in a food processor.

3. To the bulgur, add eggs, ground nuts, chili powder, garlic, and hot pepper sauce. Mix well. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

4. Prepare grill.

5. Form mixture into patties. Grill over medium flame for 10 minutes, turning once. Cooking time may vary according to thickness of patties and heat level.


Gardenburgers

Make a double batch and keep individually frozen patties on hand for nights you’re just too tired to cook.

1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup coarse bulgur
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 ounces frozen peas and carrots, optional
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup grated mozzarella

Serving suggestions: Serve with grilled onions, grilled portobello mushroom slices, and mixed greens, or, burger style with mango ketchup

Pour onions into a 3-quart saucepot with the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add bulgur, chickpeas, and frozen vegetables, stir until combined. Turn off heat, cover and let stand 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Remove pot from heat. Using a potato masher or spoon back, mash ingredients together making sure all chickpeas get smashed. Form into four burger patties. Lightly coat a 10-inch non-stick pan with cooking spray and turn heat to medium. Place all burgers in pan when hot and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until heated through and golden.

Optional: Fold in 1/4 cup grated mozzarella to mashed bulgur mixture before forming into burgers.

Tip: Because the kids loved tacos, we seasoned the gardenburger mixture with taco seasoning mix, but any seasonings you like will work.

Yield: 8 servings


Kraft Deluxe Original
Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

8 cups water
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Cheez Whiz
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Bring 8 cups (2 quarts) of water to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan. Add elbow macaroni to water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
2. As macaroni boils, prepare sauce by combining cheddar cheese, Cheez Whiz, and milk in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir cheese mixture often as it heats, so that it does not burn. Add salt. When all of the cheddar cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth, cover pan and set aside until macaroni is ready.
3. When macaroni is ready, strain water, but do not rinse the macaroni.
4. Using the same pan you prepared the macaroni in, combine the macaroni with the cheese sauce, and mix well. Makes about 4 cups.


Elvis Presley’s Grilled Peanut Butter
and Banana Sandwich

* 2 slices of white bread
* 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
* 1 small ripe banana mashed
* 2 tablespoons butter

Spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread and the mashed banana on the other. Press the slices gently together. Melt the butter (or to be truly Elvis-like, melt bacon fat!), over low heat in a small frying pan. Place the sandwich in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Eat it with a glass of buttermilk.

Please note: Elvis tended to eat 12-15 sandwiches a sitting! So belly up!


Broccoli Cheese Soup

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food, cubed
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water

Directions

1 In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until softened. Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
2 Reduce heat, and stir in cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.
3 In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.

Yields 6 servings

 


White Veggie Lasagna
This is a quick and easy recipe for white veggie lasagna

I use a jar of alfredo or roasted garlic sauce.

First, I saute some mushrooms(about 10) with 1 medium onion, 3-4 cloves of
chopped garlic in about 2 tbsp. butter.

Then add 1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained), 1 medium
zucchini sliced, 1 shredded carrot, and about 1 cup fresh chopped broccoli. Heat
until broccoli is soft. Set aside.

In a 9×13-inc baking dish spoon a small amount of sauce top with unbaked
lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, 1/2 cup jack cheese, then start with
noodles again ending with jack cheese.


Hot and Spicy Noodles

1 lb. Chinese noodles or vermicelli or fettuccini (cooked & rinsed)
1 tsp. sesame seeds (lightly browned in frying pan & removed from heat about 4
min.)
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. Szechwan chili oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. ginger (optional)
3 tbsp. peanut butter

Add to frying pan all of the following: Place frying pan over low heat
enough to melt peanut butter and blend ingredients. Mix sauce in with cold, rinsed
noodles. Top with 4 tablespoons chopped scallions. Refrigerate. Eat cold.


Basic Egg Pasta with Flavor Variations

3 cups all-purpose flour – unbleached
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water — OR olive oil

To make by hand: Pour the flour (reserving 1/2 cup to add as necessary) into a
mound on a floured work surface and make a well in the center of the mound.
Crack the eggs into the well, then add the oil or water, salt and optional
flavoring. With a fork, carefully beat the liquid ingredients within the well,
then gently incorporate the flour into the liquid as fast as you can. Begin
kneading the dough by folding, pushing, and turning it, adding the reserved
flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is smooth and not sticky. Shape
dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest for 20 minutes. To make
in food processor: Insert metal blade and place all ingredients EXCEPT for 1/2
cup of the flour. Process, adding enough of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 1
tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Let the
machine knead the dough for a couple minutes. Remove from work bowl and
shape
into a ball on a floured work surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest 20
minutes. Roll small amounts of the pasta and cut into desired shape or use
manual pasta machine (following directions). Dry on a pasta rack or lay it out
on a tea towel dusted with rice flour for 1 to 5 hours or until dry.

To the basic egg pasta recipe, add what is listed below, taking careful not of
changes to the number of eggs used or amount of water or oil included.

Here are the variations for that recipe:

Artichoke Pasta: Use 3 eggs. Add 1 6oz jar of artichoke bottoms, drained
and pureed.

Basil and Garlic Pasta: Add 3 tablespoons minced basil and 6 large garlic
cloves, chopped fine.

Beet Pasta: Use 2 eggs. Add 1 cup drained canned beets, pureed.

Black Pepper Pasta: Add 4 tablespoons cracked black pepper.

Cornmeal Pasta: Substitute 1 cup cornmeal for 1 cup of the flour.

Curry Pasta: Omit water or oil. Add 1 to 4 tablespoons curry paste, to
taste.

Dried Tomato Pasta: Omit water or oil. Use dried tomatoes that are not
bottled in oil Reconstitute 1/3 cup dried tomatoes in 1/2 cup very hot
water. Squeeze dry and puree with eggs. Add to rest of ingredients.

Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Pasta: Use 2 eggs. Add 6 ounces (small jar)
roasted red pepper, drained and pureed.

Hot Paprika Pasta: Add 2 to 4 teaspoons hot paprika, to taste.

Jalapeno Pasta: Use 2 eggs. Add 1 4oz can of diced jalapenos, drained
and pureed.

Lemon Pasta: Use 4 eggs. Add 6 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons
lemon zest.

Mushroom Pasta: Use 3 eggs. Cook 1 cup sliced washed mushrooms in a pan
until water in mushrooms evaporates. Puree mushrooms, and blend with
eggs. Add to remaining ingredients.

Orange Pasta: Use 4 eggs. Add 6 tablespoons frozen orange juice
concentrate and 3 tablespoons orange zest.

Roasted Garlic Pasta: Use 3 eggs. Roast 2 whole garlic heads. Squeeze
garlic from cloves, and blend with eggs. Add to rest of ingredients.

Saffron Pasta: Add 1 teaspoon saffron.

Semolina Pasta: Substitute 1 cup semolina flour for 1 cup of all purpose.

Spinach Pasta: Use 3 eggs. Cook 1 10oz package of frozen spinach, drain,
and squeeze dry. Puree spinach with the eggs. Add mixture to remaining
ingredients.

Sweet Potato Pasta: Use 2 eggs. Add 1/2 cup cooked and pureed sweet
potato (or 6oz jar sweet potato baby food).

Tomato Pasta: Use 2 eggs. Add 1/4 cup tomato paste.

Whole Wheat Pasta: Use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.

 


Chinese Fried Rice

3/4 cup finely chopped onions
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 drops soy sauce
3 drops sesame oil
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots (very small)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove from wok.
2. Allow wok to cool slightly.
3. Mix egg with 3 drops of soy and 3 drops of sesame oil; set aside.
4. Add 1/2 tbsp oil to wok, swirling to coat surfaces; add egg mixture; working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok; when egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly; remove from wok, and chop into small pieces.
5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add carrots, peas, and cooked onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes.
6. Add rice, green onions, and bean sprouts, tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes.
7. Add 2 tbsp of light soy sauce and chopped egg to rice mixture and fold in; stir-fry for 1 minute more; serve.
5. Set out additional soy sauce on the table, if desired.

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