Baked Feta

  • 1 (8-oz) feta cheese block
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

Place feta in a ziplock bag. Whisk together olive oil, red pepper, lemon zest, garlic, black pepper and oregano. Pour over feta and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature OR overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place feta and marinade ingredients into a small cseramic dish. Bake for 20 until feta becomes soft and slightly golden brown.

Serve with french bread slices or pita chips.

Source: Plain Chicken 

Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Sauce

This recipe is an adaption of Martha Stewart's recipe by Journey into Unschooling that I have further adapted. It has a African flavor to it. This dish can be assembled up to eight hours ahead of time; refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to bake (add a few minutes to the cooking time).


1 1/2 lbs. leftover chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
6 red onions, thinly sliced
2 tea. salt
1/4 tea. black pepper
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1 small can (15 oz.) sweet potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon chili powder
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1 quartered jalapeno pepper, if desired



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken and red onions. Season with 1 tea. salt and the black pepper; set aside.
In a blender, pureed pumpkin, sweet potatoes, garlic, chili powder, 2 1/2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt. and the jalapeno, if you are using it. Hold top firmly as blender will be quite full.
Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish.
Lay tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Roll up tortillas; place, seam side down, in baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Place dish on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes.

It will be easier to spoon out, if you let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
For my children who can't have cheese, I leave the cheese off, and they like it fine without it.
If you are serving children who are sensitive to spicy dishes, you may want to leave out the jalepeno pepper.

Harissa

Harissa is a hot chili paste that is commonly found in North African cooking, mainly Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine.

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds. In a food processor combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend. Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste.


Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. Will keep for a month in the refrigerator.

source: About.com

Italian Chicken over Pasta

4-5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-14 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2-3 Tab. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tea. sugar
2 Tab. flour

1 large package boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
fresh basil
pasta of your choice

Put chicken breasts in a baking dish and salt and pepper them. Mix first seven ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread on top chicken breasts. Bake in 350 oven for 40 minutes. Take chicken out of the oven and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. Place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes {keep an eye on it!} until the cheese is golden brown and the vegetables are caramelized. When you pull the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle some fresh basil on top and the heat of the dish will wilt the basil. Serve over pasta.

For a vegetarian version, cook the topping either stir-fry in a pan or bake in the oven in a casserole dish, without the chicken. Serve over pasta.

For a gfcf version, use gfcf flour, cheese (or leave the cheese out) and pasta.

adapted from Our Story

Italian Wedding Soup

photo and recipe originally from Cooking with My Kid
We adapted this recipe for my gluten and casein-free kids and  it was so good.

1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup fine plain bread crumbs or 3/4-1 cup gluten-free crumbs
8 cups good chicken broth
2 large carrots, cut in rounds
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup orzo (or rice, for gluten-free cooking)
1/2 package or about 5 oz. fresh spinach, trimmed and torn
salt & fresh cracked pepper

In a large pot bring broth, carrots and celery to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix meat, egg, onion, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste. Shape into 1 inch balls and set aside. Add orzo and cook 5 minutes or rice and let it cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the meatballs and simmer more 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked. Stir in spinach just before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

This may not be the healthiest meal you can make, but this version of grilled cheese is healthier than its usual American counterpart, especially if you use sourdough bread, vegan margarine and low fat cheeses.The genius idea of combining the goodness of jalapeno poppers and grilled cheese to make a more adult sophisticated grilled cheese comes from Closet Cooking which I found via Becky Bakes. The original recipe, however, is a bit complicated, roasting fresh jalapenos before even beginning with the sandwich. I wanted to go for something simplier to compile, and replaced the jalapenos with canned pickled jalapenos. The slight vinegar taste adds wonderfully to the sandwich. I also added pepper jack cheese, which melds the flavors wonderfully.
2 pickled jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 slices bread, preferably sourdough
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, room temperature
1 tablespoon cream cheese, room temperature
1 slice cheddar cheese
1 slice pepper jack cheese

These are made just like regular grilled cheese with the addition of the cream cheese, which is spread on one side and topped with jalapeno peppers before being put together. Grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Kale and Chickpea Salad



1 bunch kale, stems removed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro or a combination of the two
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper, to taste
Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated to taste

Put kale, parsley or cilantro olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine the blended mixture with the chickpeas and add salt, pepper and grated cheese to taste and mix well.

slightly modified from the recipe at Wishful Chef

Lamb Curry

This dish takes all day to make. It is a curry recipe given to my husband from a friend who lived in India when he was younger, so it is spicy. When we first made this dish, we didn't see "Curry" listed as one of the spices and we could not figure out how curry could be made without curry powder, so we added some curry powder, and boy, was it hot! It wasn't until later we found out that curry powder is a combination of spices -the combination that is in this recipe!

3 lbs. lamb (you can use beef instead), cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cups finely chopped onions
4 tea. finely chopped garlic
3 Tab. finely chopped ginger root
1 Tab. ground cumin
2 1/2 tea. turmeric
3/4 tea. red pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped canned tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh)
1 Tab. salt
2 Tab. ground coriander
4 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed

Brown rice, for serving


Heat 4 Tab. oil over high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan. When oil is hot, brown meat in the pan. Remove meat when it is brown and add the remaining oil to the pan. Reduce heat and fry onions until they turn dark brown -about 2o minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic, cumin, turmeric and red pepper and continue frying for about 10-15 minutes. Return meat to the pan, along with the tomatoes with their juice and salt. (You may need to add additional water -check ever so often to make sure there is enough liquid for it not to stick.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and continue simmering covered until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes.) Turn off heat and let it sit for at least 30 minutes -preferably 2 hours. When ready to serve, simmer until heated through. Serve over rice.

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons, if fresh squeezing)
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup olive oil

In a medium bowl or jar, combine lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, coarse salt, and ground pepper. Whisk, or cover and shake, until salt and sugar have dissolved. Add oil; whisk or shake until thoroughly combined.
Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Source: Martha Stewart

Lemon-Garlic Tilapia

This recipe was only slightly modified from the original at Budget Byteswith the addition of Old Bay and cilantro.
photo from Budget Bytes 

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves pulled from stems
1 med lemon, more for garnish, if you wish
2 clove garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Old Bay (optional)

 Put the cilantro leaves in a blender or food processor. Zest and juice the lemon and put in the blender. Add the garlic, olive oil, salt, Old Bay and pepper. Blend until the cilantro and garlic are finely minced and the mixture is well combined. Place the thawed fish fillets in a shallow dish and pour the lemon-garlic-cilantro mix over top. Make sure both sides are covered. Some may run off but that is okay. Spray the grill surface with non-stick spray and preheat for 5 minutes. Place the fish fillets in the hot grill, close the lid and set the timer for 2 minutes. Check the fish after two minutes. If you want the fish more browned, cook for one additional minute. Carefully remove the fish from the grill as it will be delicate. Serve with additional slices of lemon if desired.

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli

This recipe comes from Confessions of a Homeschooler. The original recipe called for onions and was changed to broccoli. I changed the meat/broccoli ratio. We like less meat and more vegetables. I also added the onion as optional because it does give some variety to the dish if added, but it is not necessary. This dish is a little complicated at first, but as you learn how to make it, it becomes easier. I find it easier to have the meat cut and the broccoli cooked (in the microwave) in advance.photo from Confessions of a Homeschooler

2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp Ginger, minced
2 tbsp Garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1 cup Dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 lb Flank steak or sirloin sliced thinly
1/4 cup Cornstarch
4 cups Broccoli florets, steamed
3 Green onions sliced (optional)

Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add ginger and garlic and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add soy sauce. Gradually add the brown sugar and let it dissolve while stirring. Let the sauce come to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut the flank steak into thin strips against the grain. Place meat and corn starch in a bag and shake to coat the meat. Let meat sit for 10 minutes, so the cornstarch sticks to the meat.
Put 1/2 c. vegetable oil in a wok/ skillet and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the meat to the wok and brown for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
Clean the pan out and return meat to pan and cook on high for about 2 more minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook for another minute. Add the green onions and/or broccoli and cook for 1 minute longer.
Remove from heat and serve with rice.

Mushroom-Tomato Bisque

  • 1/2 cup sliced leeks or chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery (1 stalk)
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1-14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-14 ounce vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Sauteed mushrooms, a few fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • In a 3-quart saucepan cook and stir leek, celery, and garlic in hot butter until tender. Add mushrooms; cook and stir about 5 minutes more or until mushrooms are tender. Stir in undrained tomatoes, broth, whipping cream, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Let soup cool slightly. Transfer soup mixture, half at a time, to blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return all of the soup mixture to saucepan; heat through. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. If desired, top each serving with additional mushrooms. Makes 4 servings.
source: bhg

Olive Salad or Tapenade

1 can black olives, chopped
1 large jar green olives, chopped
1 can green black olives, chopped
2 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped pickled red peppers
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sliced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh oregano, sliced
1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme
Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium-size bowl, mix together both olives, anchovies, red pepper, lemon juice, oil and vinegar. Add oregano, thyme, and parsley; toss to combine. Season with Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Cover and transfer to refrigerator; chill overnight before using. Great on Muffaletta.

Santa Fe Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

This recipe and photo come from Recipes for You.
romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 cup black beans, drained
1/2 cup corn (either from a can or frozen) drained

Layer everything in a large bowl.

Chili Lime Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tablespoon honey mustard
salt
pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 Tablespoon canola oil

Whisk first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Add oil and continue whisking until smooth and glossy. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, toss and serve.

Moroccan Chicken, Onions and Olives

1 tbsp. kosher salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground turmeric
5 tbsp. olive oil
4 skinless bone-in chicken thighs and 4 skinless bone-in chicken drumsticks (chicken breasts can be substituted)
1 tsp. crushed saffron threads, optional
4 medium yellow onions, cut into 12 wedges each
black pepper, to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed
1¼ cups pitted green olives or a mixture of green black olives and green olives
⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
Cooked rice, for serving

Make a spice paste with garlic, cumin, paprika, and turmeric. Stir in 3 tbsp. oil, and then add chicken thighs and drumsticks; toss until evenly coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or put in a large Ziploc bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Heat remaining oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken pieces, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside. Add saffron and onions to pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Return chicken to pot along with lemon slices and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat, and scatter olives and cilantro over chicken; serve with rice.

Peanut Wraps

This recipe, from Little Birdie Secrets is SO good! You just have to try it to believe it!

1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tbs canola, olive or sesame oil.
1 bag broccoli slaw
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Tortillas

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 tbs soy sauce
5 tbs water
3 tbs cooking oil ( I used 1 tab. sesame, 2 tab. canola)
1 tsp. garlic powder

Season chicken strips with garlic salt and pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken in hot oil on medium-high until no pink left. Put aside and keep warm.
In same skillet add broccoli mix, onion, and ginger. Cook until crisp but tender.
Make peanut sauce while veggies cook. In a small saucepan combine sauce ingredients, heat and stir until dissolved.
Serve by layering the veggies, chicken, and sauce in a tortilla. Wrap it up. Enjoy.

Pineapple-Glazed Salmon Steaks

photo from Country Living
2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4-6 oz. salmon steaks

Put the pineapple juice in a small (non-aluminum) saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook until the juice is reduced to 1 cup. This takes quite some time. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in soy sauce. Place the salmon in a shallow casserole dish and pour the pineapple-soy sauce mixture over the fish. Add a bit of black pepper. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the fish after the first hour.
Place in a very large nonstick saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the salmon and cook for 3 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the fish over and cook for 3-4 minutes, until just cooked through. Do not overcook. Meanwhile put the remaining pineapple-soy mixture into a small skillet.Cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the salmon with some of the reduced marinade. Remove the fish from the pan and serve.

This marinade can also be used on poultry.

Mild Kenyan Curry: Dry Potato Sak



4 boiled potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup boiled peas
2 tsp cumin
6 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 onion, chopped
1 hot pepper, chopped (optional)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 piece ginger, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil. Add cumin and turmeric. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato and cook for a few more minutes.

Sprinkle salt and cayenne on the potatoes. Add the potatoes and peas to the oil, spice, and onion mixture. Stir until the potatoes are coated with oil and are yellow. Heat everything well.

Makes 4 servings
source: Mermaid's Creations

Pumpkin-Black Bean Soup

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups canned vegetable stock
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup milk or milk substitute
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt

Saute onions in the olive oil about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and puree in a food processor. Return to pot and add broth, milk, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve.
Adapted from: Plant Based Diet Recipes

Pumpkin Stew in a Pumpkin

I believe I got this recipe from one of those freebie calendars with recipes put out by A-1, but I have since looked for the recipe and cannot find it.

3 TAB. FLOUR
3/4 TEA. SALT
1/2 TEA. BLACK PEPPER
2 LBS. STEW BEEF
5 CUPS NATURAL STYLE APPLE CIDER
1/2 CUP VINEGAR
1 CUP BROWN SUGAR
6 TAB. A-1 SAUCE
2 BAY LEAVES 
3/4 TEA. DRIED THYME
1 MEDIUM ONION CHOPPED
3 MEDIUM CARROTS CUT INTO CHUNKS 
3 MEDIUM POTATOES CUT INTO CHUNKS
1/2 POUND FRESH GREEN BEANS (1 LARGE PACKAGE FROZEN MIXED STEW VEGETABLES can be substituted for the carrots, potatoes and green beans)
6-8 POUND PUMPKIN


In a plastic bag combine 3 TAB. FLOUR, 3/4 TEA. SALT & 1/2 TEA. BLACK PEPPER. Add 2 LBS. STEW BEEF. Shake to coat. In a large stew pot or dutch oven heat 3 TAB. OIL. Brown coated beef well on all sides. Stir in 5 CUPS NATURAL STYLE APPLE CIDER, 1/2 CUP VINEGAR, 1 CUP BROWN SUGAR, 6 TAB. A-1 SAUCE, 2 BAY LEAVES AND 3/4 TEA. DRIED THYME. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally 1 1/2-2 hours.
Add 1 MEDIUM ONION CHOPPED, 3 MEDIUM CARROTS CUT INTO CHUNKS 3 MEDIUM POTATOES CUT INTO CHUNKS, and 1/2 POUND FRESH GREEN BEANS (OR 1 LARGE PACKAGE FROZEN MIXED STEW VEGETABLES).
Cut and remove the top off of a 6-8 POUND PUMPKIN. Thoroughly clean out seeds and membranes, but leave the pumpkin meat. Spoon stew in pumpkin and bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 1-1 1/2 hours. Scoop out a bit of the soft pumpkin flesh with each portion of stew.

Punjabi Eggplant and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

slow-cooker-Punjabi-eggplant-with-potatoes
source


2 medium eggplants, stem end removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice (approx. 10-12 cups)
1 large Idaho or Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium yellow or red onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ginger paste (or grated fresh ginger root)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced, optional
1 tea. ground cumin
1 tea. ground red chile pepper
1 tea garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt, or to taste
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, to taste

Combine eggplant, potato, onion, ginger, garlic, jalapeño peppers, cumin, ground chile pepper, garam masala, turmeric and oil in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Stir as best you can to distribute the spices and oil. (The smaller cooker will be frighteningly full, but don't worry; the eggplant will cook down.) Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, stirring after 1 hour.

After the first two hours of cooking, stir well. There should be a nice amount of moisture in the cooker, and the eggplant should have collapsed a bit. If there is plenty of liquid in the pot, continue cooking on LOW for 30 minutes, uncovered. If there's not much liquid, cook on LOW for 30 minutes with the cover on.

Add the salt and cilantro, to taste. (Salt added during the cooking will draw more moisture out of the eggplant, so it's best added at the end.)

Serve over rice.

Sesame Chicken Salad

4 cups water
4 slices of ginger, about 1⁄4 in  thick

1 medium onion, sliced
3 boneless chicken breasts(1 lb)
1 cucumber, cut into chunks
2 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
6 green onions ( or scallions), finely chopped
1⁄4 cup sesame oil
Vinegrette dressing (see below)
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Mixed Salad Greens

(Ahead of Time) Bring the water, ginger, and onion to a boil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the chicken breasts. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let chicken sit in the hot liquid 
for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the stock, and when it is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with your hands. Place the chicken back into the stock in a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to use.


Layer a bed of mixed salad greens on the serving plate. Arrange a layer of cucumbers around a large serving platter. Remove the cold chicken from the stock and place it down the center of the platter. Surround the chicken with the tomato wedges and top it with green onions.
In a small pat, heat the sesame oil over a low flame until bubbles appear (approximately one minute.) Turn off the heat and pour the oil evenly over the green onions and chicken. Drizzle vinaigrette over the chicken and vegetables.

Vinaigrette
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
salt & pepper to taste

To make the Vinaigrette, mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute and set aside.


Adapted from this recipe at Steamy Kitchen Recipes

Sesame-Miso Cucumber and Avocado Salad

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons white miso or soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 cups thinly sliced seeded cucumber
2 cups thinly sliced avocado

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cucumber and avocado and toss to coat.

Shrimp and Hotroot Soup

4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 large onions, chopped
4 medium leeks, chopped and well washed
3 cups vegetable stock or water and a cube of vegetable bouillon
6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder or chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
16 ounces of peeled, cooked shrimp
2 cups milk

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and leeks and cook, stirring until soft, (about 5 minutes.) Do not let the vegetables brown.

Add the vegetable stock, potatoes, curry or chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are very soft, (about 20 minutes.)

Add the shrimp and milk and gently heat.

Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 4-8

source: The Redwall Cookbook by Brian Jacques

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Kale, ripped into small pieces
2-4 Tab. Olive Oil
1 Clove Crushed Garlic
sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 Lemon, Sliced and Halved
Sliced Kalmata Olives
Anchovies
Shredded Mozzarella or Italian Cheese

Toss the kale with the olive oil. Start this with 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil and add additional oil if needed. This will vary based on how much kale you use. Toss in and mix the crushed garlic in with the kale and olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients to the kale and mix the salad well, being sure it's evenly coated.
Serve or chill until ready to serve.

modified from the recipe at Mommy Hates Cooking

Red Beans and Rice in the Slow Cooker

1 pound dried red beans
7 cups water
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1-3 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 1/2 cups rice
3 cups water
Garnish: sliced green onions

Place first 8 ingredients in a 4-quart slow cooker. After 3-4 hours add rice and additional water. Cook, covered, at HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender. Garnish, if desired.

source: Southern Living

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Shrimp


1/3 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested then half cut into thin slices and the other half into wedges
3-4 fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil or thyme sprigs
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
spaghetti/pasta, couscous or rice for serving
1 pound fresh shrimp, medium-sized, deveined with tails off
5 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a 9×13 baking pan combine olive oil, lemon zest and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta, couscous or rice.
Remove pan from oven, add shrimp, garlic and the thin sliced lemons (don’t squeeze them), toss to coat with oil mixture. Bake for 8-10 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink and start to curl. Serve over pasta, couscous or rice tossed with additional lemon wedges for serving.
Source: Cinnamon Girl Recipes

Spiced Yellow Rice and Vegetables with Chicken

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced medium
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium potato, diced medium
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 head (or about 3 cups cauliflower florets)
1 cup frozen peas
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower third. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until golden and crisp, 6 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, 6 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, and potato to pot. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until onion is translucent, 4 minutes. Stir in coriander, turmeric, cumin, and rice, and cook 1 minute.
Add cauliflower, peas, and broth, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken, skin side up, on top of rice mixture. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and place in oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

source: Martha Stewart

Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

source
2 pounds fresh,jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Add all of the ingredients except the shrimp in a saucepan, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let cool.
Arrange the shrimp in an oven- proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake shrimp for 15 - 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with crusty French bread, new potatoes and a crisp salad.

Spinach and Mushrooms

1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks or onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh baby spinach
(optional: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan)

In a large skillet, melt the margarine and olive oil together over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leeks and garlic, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, soy milk, lemon juice, and salt; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach, and lower the heat, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
Optional: Sprinkle in the cheese and stir to combine.

source: modified from Paula Deen's recipe

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

serves 4

4 large Portobello mushrooms
1/8 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
pinch each dried cilantro, dried thyme, salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated hard cheese such as Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil.
Pull the stems from the mushroom caps and put the caps on the baking sheet, stem side up.Chop the stems finely.
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add the chopped mushroom stems Cook 4-5 minutes, until soft. Take the pan off the stove.
Stir in breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and herbs/spices into the pan.
Spoon filing into the mushroom caps. Sprinkle each with the grated cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes. The stuffing should be golden brown and the cap should be tender.

source: The Redwall Cookbook, Brian Jacques

Summer Squash

Mom's Summer Squash (photo)
source: Simply Recipes

2 lbs squash and/or zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced
2 smallish tomatoes or one large tomato, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Olive oil
5 or 6 slices of cheese - jack or cheddar
Basil, either dry or chopped fresh
Salt and pepper

Put onion, garlic, squash, bell pepper into a large saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Put on high heat and brown the vegetables slightly to develop flavor. As you are browning, sprinkle either dried basil or chopped fresh basil on the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and cook at medium hi heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When vegetables are slightly browned, remove from heat, add the slices of cheese, and cover the pan. Salt and pepper to taste.

Southwest Tacos with Mango Salsa

Southwest Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado
source: I Wash, You Dry
This is one of my new quick meals, the time to make shortened by some pre-prepared foods.


6 small flour tortillas
6 oz package of Tyson Grilled & Ready® Southwestern Chicken Breast Strips
1 jar of mango, pineapple, peach or other fruit salsa (see fresh mango salsa recipe below)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 avocado, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and warm the tortillas one at a time for about 15-30 seconds per side, or until warm throughout. Keep covered with foil or in a tortilla warmer.
In the same skillet place the chicken breast strips and heat for about 3 minutes or until warm throughout.
Assemble tacos by laying a couple strips of chicken on a tortilla, top with a couple tablespoons of mango-fruit salsa, and then add some diced red onion, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado and jalapeno slices as desired.

If you would like to make your own fresh mango salsa:
1 ripe Mango, diced into cubes
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Combine the mango, red onion and cilantro in a bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, honey, and salt. Pour the lime and honey mixture over the mango mixture and gently toss to coat. Set aside.

Homemade Tomato Sauce: Italian Gravy & Meatballs

This recipe is from Suzanne at Blueberry Cottage. She writes, "There was always a big pot of gravy on the stove Saturday's, simmering away for Sunday dinner. The smell of it cooking is heavenly! The meatballs and sausage were cooked right in the gravy and if Nana had a pork chop or slice of sirloin hanging around that was thrown in also. You were also encouraged to "boon" a piece of Italian bread in that big pot too.

After the gravy has cooled you can freeze in ziploc bags or whatever you like to store in. This is a great way to get a few meals ahead and have light cooking duty some eves. Or if you get called to make a meal for someone sick you have it ready so it isn't a burden to make one."

Italian Gravy
2 -28 cans crushed tomatoes
2-28 cans tomato puree
4 cans of water--use the 28oz size cans for this
1-8oz can tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, chopped rough
2lbs sweet or hot sausage, cut each link into 3 pieces
1 cup red wine, cabernet or merlot
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups parm/romano cheese grated or more if you like it cheesey
S&P to taste
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
4 basil leaves
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons sugar
*you can adjust spices to how you like it adding more or less

In a large stockpot heat the pan on med heat. When the pan is hot add the olive oil and the garlic and sausage quickly. *Hot pan, cold oil, foods won't stick! Turn the temp down a bit and brown the sausage and garlic then add the wine. Don't let the garlic burn. Let simmer for 5 minutes and add the tomatoes , water and paste. Stir to combine good and add all the rest except add your cheese last. Turn the temp to med/low about 4-5 on electric and cover partially and let simmer. Now you will add the meatballs...
Meatballs:
2 lbs ground chuck/hamburger
3-4 lbs of ground pork or pork/veal mix
1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 cup milk
S&P to taste
1.5 cups Parm /Romano cheese
1/8 cup garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
Mix this all together. Form into balls the size you would like and drop in the pan. If your pan isn't large enough to hold all the balls you can bake some in a 350 oven for 20 minutes and add to the gravy later. Simmer all this for about 6 hours stirring every 20-30 minutes or so. Adjust seasonings and cheese as the gravy cooks.

Serve over pasta, make pizza, grinders or boon that bread in a nice bowl of gravy!

Hawaiian Fried Rice

This is a great way to use leftover ham and leftover rice.

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce (more or less to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1-2 cups cooked, chopped ham
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
6 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
5 cups cooked rice, white or brown, cold
3 large eggs
1-2 cups or 1 can pineapple pieces

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet or electric frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until rippling and hot. Add red bell pepper, and the chopped white parts of the green onions. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and the red pepper is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Scrape the mixture onto a plate and set aside.
Heat another teaspoon of oil in the skillet until hot. Add the cold rice and cook, breaking up large clumps, until the rice is heated through, 5-6 minutes.
Push the rice to one side of the skillet and heat the last teaspoon of oil on the empty side of the skillet. Crack the eggs into the hot oil and stir lightly with a spatula or wooden spoon, cooking until the eggs are lightly scrambled and set. Stir the eggs and the vegetable mixture into the rice. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the rice and cook, stirring, until thoroughly combined and hot. Add ham.
Off the heat, stir in the pineapple and green parts of the onions.

Quick and Easy Cream of Tomato Soup


2 (15-ounce) containers, chicken or vegetable stock
1 (28-ounce) can concentrated crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
salt and black pepper
optional: about 20 leaves fresh basil

Combine broth and tomatoes and about 15 of the basil leaves, if using, in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When soup bubbles, transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to pan and stir in heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt and pepper and simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with the remaining basil leaves, finely chopped, on top.

Tuna Nicoise Salad


1 1/2 pounds small red new potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 bunches arugula (4 to 6 ounces each), ends trimmed, washed and dried
1/4 cup Lemon Vinaigrette
2 cans (6 ounces each) tuna in olive oil  or water, drained
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place potatoes on sheet. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes to potatoes on baking sheet; toss. Cook until potatoes are tender and tomatoes are lightly browned and soft, about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss arugula with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Arrange roasted vegetables, arugula, tuna, and olives on platter; drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Serve.

Source: Martha Stewart

Turkish Shepherd Salad (Çoban Salatası)

1 cucumber
2 medium ripe but firm tomatoes
2 spring onions (white and green), sliced
half a green chili or jalapeno, sliced thinly
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Mix all the vegetables up in a large bowl. Mix the dressing (recipe below) up in a small bowl, pour all over and mix thoroughly. Letting the salad stand for 10-15 minutes before serving improves the flavor.

Dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
dash/pinch black pepper

Mix the all ingredients up in a small bowl, pour all over salad and mix thoroughly.

source: adapted from the recipe at Linsfood

Ribollita, A Tuscan Soup

Ribollita is a Tuscan country soup. when literally translated means “reboiled”. This is the soup to make to clean out your vegetable drawer. Often the recipe calls for you to add stale bread to the soup once cooked. In lieu of that, you can have slices of fresh bread, homemade croutons or garlic bread with it. 


4 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 ( 14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
splash worcestershire sauce
3 cups of water
2 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes
few drops tabasco
4 tbsp oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Heat 2 tbsp oil and sautee the celery, carrots, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. (Reserve 1/2 a grated garlic clove.) Add the cubed potato. Pour in 3 cups of water. Add the diced tomatoes, a few drops tabasco, a splash of worcestershire sauce and crumble 2 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes in there. Mix it up, bring to a boil, put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. Add white beans and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Also add 1/2 of your chopped cilantro. Simmer the soup for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with bread as mentioned above.

Source: Kayotic Kitchen

Mushroom Agrodolce with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

This is Steven's favorite dinner, so I thought I would share it with you, in case you would like to try it.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Halve two spaghetti squashes lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place cut-up side up in 11 x 13 glass baking dishes.

Heat 6 Tab. olive oil, 2 teaspoon chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the garlic is tender (about 8 minutes.)

Using about 2 Tablespoons of the garlic oil, brush the cut sides of the spaghetti squash and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven and roast until tender (about 1 hour.) When it is done, hold squash with a towel and, using a fork, pull off the flesh in strands and place in the baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If this gets done before the rest of the dinner, you can reduce the oven to 200 degrees F and cover the baking dish with foil; keep it warm in the oven.

While the squash is cooking in the oven, add to the rest of the garlic oil, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 6 Tablespoons of sugar. Simmer over medium-low heat until syrupy and caramelized (about 5 minutes.) This is the Agrodolce sauce. Set aside until later.

We eat this as a vegetarian meal, but if you wish to have meat in the dish, you can grill beef, chicken or fish. Our younger kids do not like the dish, so we serve them strips of meat and the spaghetti squash with butter and fresh Parmesan cheese.

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 24 ounces of Shiitake and/or Portabella mushrooms, season with salt to taste and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add 2 sweet peppers, (yellow, orange, red, green or a mixture), sliced into strips. Transfer to a dish. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the pan with 2 cups of cherry tomatoes and toss until they blister. Add 2 Tablespoons of the Agrodolce sauce and a splash of water. Cover and cook until the tomatoes burst (about 5 minutes.) Return the mushrooms to the pan with the tomatoes and warm through. Sprinkle about half of the Agrodolce sauce over the vegetables.

You may want to re-heat the Agrodolce sauce before you serve. We often add fresh basil to it when we re-heat it.

To serve place a serving of roasted spaghetti squash on the plate. Spoon over it vegetable mixture. If you want meat on it, add it now. Top with a sprinkle of Agrodolce sauce. Yum!

Quiche

Original recipe can be found in
From a Monastery Kitchen
by Elise Boulding and Brother Victor Antonio Avila and Sister Jeanne-Marie Pearse

French Tart shell
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tab. butter
3 Tab. margarine
1/2 cup water (approx.)

Work flour, salt with butter and margarine. Sprinkle on water until dough will just hold in a ball but is not sticky. Refrigerate dough, covered, at least 2 hours, preferably more. Roll out and line a 9" pie plate.

Basic Quiche Filling
2 Tab. flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
pinch salt
4 ounces cheese, cut into small bits

Mix the flour with the milk by diluting first with a little milk, and then gradually adding the rest so that there are no lumps. Beat the eggs. Combine liquid and eggs, beating together until well mixed.

Add seasonings such as:
for a savory quiche
4 more ounces cheese, cut into small bits (making 8 ounces altogether)
4 ounces mushrooms

Place a layer of a little more than half the mushrooms on the bottom of the pastry crust. Layer cheese on top. Layer basic quiche filling on top. Top with the rest of the mushrooms.

OR,
for those who do not like mushrooms, you can leave them out, for a plain cheese quiche. Or, you can add shrimp and a pinch of thyme instead. You can experiment with flavorings to taste.

OR,
for a sweet quiche
1 tsp. vanilla
raisins to taste
sprinkle of nutmeg

Mix vanilla, raisins and nutmeg into the basic quiche filling and pour into the crust.


For any of these recipes, you can put the crust and fillings into individual ramekins instead.

Mexican Beans and Rice

This recipe comes from Recipes for You. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture until after we had eaten most of it. The photo shows it without the cheese topping.

3 cups water
2 bullion cubes
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups rice
2-15 oz. cans black beans
2 10 oz. cans Rotel Tomatoes and Chili Peppers
shredded chedder cheese to taste



Bring water, bullion cubes and salt to a boil.
Add rice. Simmer 15 minutes.
Add cans black beans cans of tomatoes and chili peppers.
Simmer a few minutes to blend.
Top with cheese. Because some of our family cannot have cheese, we add top individual portions with it. It is good even without the cheese.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

This super fast and easy soup from Mom's Budget also has the bonus that it can be stored in your freezer and warmed up to use when you want it.
2 16-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chunky medium (or mild) salsa
1 tsp ground cumin

Combine ingredients in a blender, and blend until the soup is your desired consistency. Warm on the stove and serve or freeze as a bach or in single serving sizes.
To use from frozen: Defrost soup, and heat in saucepan over low heat. Serve immediately.

Smoky Eggplant Lasagna

This recipe is from Hide the Cheese and is a wonderful marriage of lasagna and eggplant parmasean. The smoky flavor blends so well with the eggplant.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 eggplant, diced
2-28oz. cans chopped tomatoes
1 tea. Liquid Smoke
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound lasagna noodles
1-15-ounce container ricotta
1 pound shredded mozzarella
about 30 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup parmasean cheese

*You can use Smoky mozzarella instead of mozzarella and Liquid Smoke

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and eggplant and Liquid Smoke andcook until they soften, 10-15 minutes. If you are adding fresh tomatoes, add them with their juice. If you use canned tomatoes, drain most of the water, but add enough to make the vegetables slightly saucy. Cook with the tomatoes and until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I use the lasagna noodles that cook while they bake, but if you are using regular lasagna noodles you will want to cook the lasagna noodles now according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and run cold water over them stirring them gently with a wooden spoon or your hands to keep them from sticking.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Arrange a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Spread a large spoonful of ricotta across each noodle. Top with a few basil leaves. Add a layer of sauce. Repeat with another layer just like that, noodles, ricotta, basil, sauce. You should have enough ricotta for a second layer. For the next layer, use noodles, mozzarella, basil, and sauce. Keep adding layers until you run out of sauce or space in the dish, whichever happens first. For me, this was a total of four layers of noodles. The last layer should have sauce topped by mozzarella. Top with parmasean cheese.

Bake the lasagna until the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. If you would like the cheese on the top to brown a bit, remove the lasagna and heat the oven to broil. Put the lasagna back in for a couple of minutes, until the cheese begins to turn a golden brown. Watch very carefully because it will brown quickly and the last thing you need is to burn the lasagna. Remove from the oven immediately. Let it rest for a couple of minutes before you slice and serve.

Mini-Greek Salads

photo and recipe from Cooking With My Kid
2 cucumbers, sliced in rounds
1 pint cherry tomatoes (smaller ones)
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 block of feta, cubed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon greek seasoning
toothpicks

Set up an assembly line with veggies and cheese in bowls. Use a toothpick to skewer the tomato, then the cucumber, then the olive and finish with a cube of feta. Stand the skewer on a platter. Repeat until all ingredients are gone. Put lemon, oil, greek seasoning with a little salt and pepper to taste in a jar and shake. Drizzle dressing over skewers just before serving.

Savory Mashed Potato Pie

original recipe and photo from Cooking with My Kid
3 russet potatoes (or about 2 cups roughly mashed)
1/2 stick butter
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups shredded cheddar
salt & pepper
pie dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut potatoes into chunks and boil for 30 to 40 minutes until tender. Drain and transfer most of it, setting a portion of it aside for later, to the bowl of a mixer. Add butter and garlic. Blend together and then add milk. Slowly add eggs. By hand, mix in the saved out chunks of potato, the cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Allow it to cool a bit before slicing and serving.

Frittata

recipe and photo from You Know How We're An Art Family
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 med potatoes, diced
2 cup baby spinach, chopped
1-2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
dash pepper
1/2-3/4 cup grated cheese

Saute potatoes and olive oil in cast iron skillet on med low heat for 10 min, stirring frequently. Add spinach and crushed or chopped garlic for another 5 min of sauteing. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper and pour over veggies, then sprinkle with cheese and pop into 350 oven for 30-40 min until cheese is golden brown.

You can substitute any kind of veggies that you like or are in season instead of the potatoes or spinach- such as broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, onion and tomato. You can also use most kinds of medium to hard cheese on top.

Havana Black Beans II

recipe and photo from the parsley thief
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced {any color}
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt {or, to taste}
1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo {or, to taste}
2 {15 ounce} cans black beans, rinsed & drained
1 {15 ounce} can coconut milk {regular, or light}

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions & saute for about 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the bell pepper & garlic; saute for another 2 minutes. Stir in the spices & chipotle chile; cook for another minute. Add the beans & coconut milk; stir to combine & bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer & cook for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Taste for seasoning; adjust if necessary & serve.

Pesto-Stuffed Shells

This recipe will make two pans of stuffd shells. One for dinner and one for the freezer or a blessing for another family. This is modified from the recipe at Budget Bytes.

12 oz. jumbo shell pasta

2-15 oz. part skim ricotta
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded mozzarella
1cup basil pesto
2 large eggs
3 cups fresh spinach
2 Tbsp. oil
2 jars pasta sauce


In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, pesto and the egg. Roughly chop the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Refrigerate the filling until you are ready to use it.
Cook the pasta for 12 min., adding a pinch of salt and 1 Tbsp of oil to the boiling water. Gently stir a few times during cooking. Be careful not to over cook the pasta. Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let the pasta drain.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The shells roll up tight when they are cooked so use the fingers on one hand to hold them open as you spoon about 3 Tbsp of pesto-cheese mix into the center of each. There should be enough pesto cheese mix to fill the shell so that it stays open just slightly (the edges should be about 1/2 inch apart). Spread one cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Place all of the shells in the baking dish as close together as possible and pour the remaining 2 cups of sauce over top.  Place in the freezer with foil or plastic wrap over the pan or bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges. To cook from frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight and cook as usual about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.