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Loaded Veggie Italian Tortellini Salad.

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This is one salad that I absolutely love to make during the summer months. It’s pretty much versatile that you can make it just about anytime of year but, summertime is my fav for this beauty. Made with olive oil, lemon, fresh dill, salt and pepper, it’s a cold salad that you’ll truly want to make for every event.

1 bag Tri color Tortellini

1/2 cup crumbled Ricotta Salata ( you can also substitute using Feta cheese)

2-3 Roma Tomatoes diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 purple or red bell pepper diced

1 large cucumber diced

2 Celery stalks diced

1 small onion diced

1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini

2 teaspoon fresh dill

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 lemon squeezed

Salt and pepper

Dice all vegetables and add to a bowl. Cook Tortellini as directed salting the water before dropping. Drain and add back to pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil, toss and let cool for 10-15 mins. Once Tortellini is cool, add cooked Tortellini to veggie bowl. Add about 1/4 drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, dill and squeeze half of your lemon into bowl. Toss mixture and check for seasoning. Add crumbled Ricotta Salata into bowl and re-toss. Let Salad sit in the fridge for about and hour and serve.

Cooking time approx: 8 mins.

Prep time approx: 10 mins

EDF,VEG,KF

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Spaghetti Pepperoni pie 


Is it a pizza??? Nope it’s a pie. We’ll sort of? My kids were complete ecstatic when this big beauty came out of the oven tonight.  This is so super easy and has all the great flavors of a delicious spaghetti dinner. You can most certainly substitute with any GF spaghetti instead and I highly recommend using a “corn” spaghetti.  I really hope y’all get the chance to make and enjoy this recipe just as my family and I did tonight.  Ciao. ❤️

1 1/4 lb Long Spaghetti ( substitute corn spaghetti for GF option)

1 package of sliced Pepperoni

1 1/2 cans crushed or puréed tomatoes

2 cups Shredded mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Chopped fresh Basil or parsley for garish

 

Boil spaghetti as directed making sure to salt your pasta water before dropping the actual pasta itself.
Drain pasta and add back to pot. Pour in about half your crushed/puréed tomatoes and combine. Add about 1/2 cup of grated parm and some black pepper and combine
Once combined, add spaghetti to an 8/9 inch springform cake pan. Using a wooden spoon shape and form spaghetti to pan. Add 1 circular layer of Pepperoni, then add the rest of your tomatoes. Next add your mozzarella and top with the rest of your grated parm. Lastly, layer top with Pepperoni going around the edges.
Cover top with tin foil and bake in a 350 oven for 30 mins. After 30, remove tinfoil and bake uncovered at 400 for an additional 10/12 mins till cheese is slightly golden on top.
Remove and let sit for about 15 mins before removing and cutting. Sprinkle some fresh chopped basil of parsley and serve.
Cooking time about 45 mins

Prep time about 20 mins
Serves 6-8 peeps
KF,EDF,GF( with substitution)

Ciambotta over Creamy Parmesan Polenta

This is such a wonderful Vegetarian Dish. Great for #Meatless Monday and is actually done in less than 30 mins. Freezes BEAUTIFULLY for a large crowd or just as a quick 1 person meal. Lots of veggies hearty veggies that stand up to any protein, pasta or creamy polenta as I like best. I love doing this dish for basically anytime of the year. Perfect and hearty with tons of great earthy flavors. STEW is ON!! 
1 can San Marzano tomatoes 

1 med sized Eggplant Diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 large onion diced

2 med zucchini diced

2 large Potatoes peeled and diced

2 carrots peeled and diced 

3 celery stalks diced 

4 gloves Garlic grated or chopped 

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

3 fresh basil leaves ripped and torn

3 fresh oregano leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley 

Olive oil

Salt and pepper
Polenta: ( I use Quick cooking polenta) 
2 cups Vegetable stock ( I usually use Chicken stock for polenta cooking but, this is a vegetarian dish so using veggie stock instead is perfect) 

2 cups Quick cooking Polenta 

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan 

Salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium high heat, drizzle olive oil, salt and add all veggies except for potato and zucchini Cook till veggies have cooked down and are slightly soft (about 6 mins) . Add in veggie stock and canned tomatoes breaking up the the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add in herbs potatoes and zucchini a dash of salt and pepper. Lower heat to med and over a low boil, cook till potatoes and zucchini have softened and stew has cooked down to about 3/4 of the way( (about 12 mins) . Turn off heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 
Cook polenta as directed on package. Once polenta is fully cooked and smooth add Parmesan, butter and salt/pepper at the end. 
Place a mound of polenta in a bowl, press down in the middle of polenta and add Stew right in top. Garnish with ripped Basil leaves and serve. 
Prep time approx 15 mins
Cooking time approx 20-25 mins depending on big or small you dice your veggies. 
Serving size is based on 6-8 peeps 
GF,VEG,EDF

Summer Heirloom Tomato Panzanella with Mint.


This is the PERFECT warm summertime salad. Not only is it super quick and easy but, it’s delicious to enjoy just about anytime of the year. A tradition Panzanella salad is usually made with day old bread or so called “stale” bread but, I absolutely love going to the store, picking out a delicious fresh loaf of whatever kind and drying it out myself. This recipe I created just as a quick side to a hearty protein of as a quick lunch while on the go.  Beautiful too look at but even more delicious to devour. 

1 loaf Garlic infused Ciabatta bread 

2 Heirloom Tomatoes ( Sliced into 8 slices each) 

1 container fresh Baby mozzarella 

1 red onion thinly sliced

1 bushel of Fresh Mint 

1 teaspoon dry Basil 

1 teaspoon dry oregano 

1/2 of fresh Lemon

1 to 1/2 teaspoons  of crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Olive oil 

Preheat oven at 400. Cut ciabatta bread into small cubes. Place all cubes into a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and above seasonings including some salt and pepper. Toss together evenly and spread out on a medium sized baking sheet. Bake for roughly 5-6 mins just till the bread cubes become slightly brown. Remove and add back to your large bowl. Add sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion and fresh mozz and some of the mint leaves. Drizzle a tad bit more of the olive oil, a squeeze of half a lemon, salt and pepper and toss lightly. Add finished salad to a large platter placing the rest of your fresh mint on top and serve. 

Cooking time: approx 5-6 mins

Prep time: approx 10 mins

Serves 4 people 

Red Velvet Valentine Truffles 

These little cuties are perfect for any Valentine’s Day party or just handing them out to those special people in your life that mean the most. They’re super easy to make and totally kid friendly. Now, you don’t have to over pay for those big gigantic boxes of chocolates, when you can literally make these for a fraction of what you would pay in the stores. Wicked cute and wicked GOOD!!! 

1 box Red Velvet cake mix 
1 8oz container of softened cream cheese at room temp
2 bags White Chocolate chips
Colored candy or sprinkles for garnish

Make cake mix as directed (Note:I always add “hot” water to any boxed “chocolate” cake mix instead of using cold, this step really helps bring the chocolate to life in the cake mix. When cake is done, cool the cake completely. Once cake has cooled, crumble cake into fine pieces into a large bowl. Fold in cream cheese ( I usually just use my hands using latex gloves to mix cake pieces and cream cheese) mix till cream cheese is fully incorporated.  
Once combined, take mixture and start forming “meatball” sized balls ( you should be able to get 24 out of mixture) and place each one on a small baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hr. 
Melt 1 bag of the white Chocolate in the microwave for about 1 1/2 mins, removing every 15 secs to stir. Stir in the 2nd bag of chocolate a little at a time till the whole bag is combined with the 1st ( you possibly might need a little bit more cooking time in the microwave for this step if the bowl holding the chocolate isn’t warm enough. Once chocolate is melted, dip each truffle into the melted white chocolate making sure to coat the entire truffle. Place each one back on top a parchment covered baking sheet and add colored candy or sprinkles on top immediately after dipping..Let the melted chocolate dry for about 15 mins before handling. 
Cooking time: about 15 mins
Prep time about 20 mins 
Makes 24 truffles 

Cheesy Sweet potato and chicken Taquitos


There is really only just one word for this recipe!! DELISH.. This idea actually came to me in a dream which is something that happens quite a bit to me.  This dish is completely Gluten free and a real crowd pleaser. My little 6 yr old Emma is SUPER picky about her food choices. Getting this kid to eat a fruit or vegetable is sometimes rather challenging so, sneaking them in is sometimes the best way to for me to get her to actually eat any veggie or fruit.  These are quite easy to make.  Some may think the flavor combo might be a little strange but, let me tell you it’s one of best recipes I have wrote in a while.  Creamy, Cheesy a tad bit sweet and a whole lot of crunch. Crunchified is the correct word for these babies. 
1 lb boneless chicken tenders ( boiled, cooled and shredded) 

1 sweet potato ( cubed) 

12 corn tortillas 

1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp coriander 

1 tsp cumin 

1 tsp chili powder 

1 tsp smoked paprika 

3 tbsp butter 

Salt and pepper 

Canola oil cooking spray

Boil chicken in water till cooked ( about 10-12 mins). Let cool and shred. Boil cubed potato till softened. Drain and add back to pot. Add butter, above spices and season with salt and pepper. ( make sure to taste for seasoning before adding cheese). Whip on medium speed till completely creamy. Add in shredded cheddar, sour cream and shredded chicken and combine again tasting for seasoning. 
Microwave tortillas between 2 dampened paper towels on high for 20 secs. This makes the tortillas flexible enough to roll. Place warm tortilla on a flat surface leaving the rest between paper towels. Place about 1 large tbsp of filling on one side of tortilla dragging filling down from top to end with a spoon. Roll and place each one cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Spray tops of taquitos with canola or vegetable cooking. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 mins. Remove, season tops with salt and plate up alongside your favorite salsa and sour cream. 
Cooking time: 20 mins 
KF, GF,EDF

Stuffed Pepperoni and Cheese loaf. 


So I’ve always heard that brown food means good food right?? Well, according to Chef Anne Burrell this statement is completely true.  While shopping today, I came across this beautiful Pepperoni and Cheese loaf and after 10 mins of drooling, I picked it up, threw it in my cart and knew right away exactly what so was going to do with. Well, that was a perfect example of a run-on sentence.  Basically this is a bread loaf that has layers of pepperoni and cheese on the inside.  So I decided to really amp up the “Pep and Cheese game and yes, more pepperoni and cheese.  This is a wonderful party app just as it is a great way to start any “game” day festivity!! And hey, I’m a New England girl and with the “Pats” playing,  this is a SURE winner!!  

1 loaf of pepperoni and cheese bread( you can also substitute with a loaf of ciabatta or any long and thick crusty artisan style bread loaves) 
2 1/2 ( about a bag and a half) cups 5 blend cheese ( Mozz,provolone,asiago,Parm, Romano)
1 small bag of mini pepperoni
1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp dry parsley
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400
Cut a large circle out of the top middle of loaf going about half way down. Fill with 1 cup of cheese blend, pepperoni and then lastly the other 1 cup of cheese and top the rest with pepperoni. Drizzle top with olive oil and sprinkle dry herbs and grated Parmesan cheese. 
 Bake for about 20-25 mins. Once top crust and Cheese are golden brown, remove, cut into slices and serve with your favorite marinara. 
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: approx 20-25 mins ( depending on you own ovens temp, loaf could take shorter or longer cooking time) 
KF,EDF,