Monday, December 28, 2009

Baked Ravioli and Cheese

*not my picture

I got this recipe from my Martha Stewart "Great Food Fast" book (thanks Shawna!)
Here is the recipe, with my additions of extra fresh vegetables.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, or oregano
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes 
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (I used one large jar of stewed tomatoes, because I had it on hand)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (I added this because it seemed too runny without it! perfect consistency once I added this)
  • 2 pounds store-bought ravioli (I used frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, spinach, mushrooms and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-10  minutes. Add thyme and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, add tomato paste, and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.
  3. Toss sauce with pasta. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Low(er) Fat Baked Mac n' Cheese

You need:
1/2 finely diced white onion
1 tbspn minced garlic
1 generous handful of spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, coarsely chopped
1 small handful of sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 cup non fat or low fat milk
2 cups (8 oz) grated cheese- (i used a bag of reduced fat cheddar) you can use all cheddar or your favorite cheese or a combination whatever you have on hand
4 cups elbow noodles cooked (8oz uncooked)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika

1. Boil and drain pasta according to directions on box.
2. Sauté onion and garlic in a small amount of butter. Add the spinach, red peppers, and mushrooms and continue to sauté over medium/low heat, until leaves are wilted (about 5 minutes).
3. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, and shredded cheese in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
4. Add sauteed veggies to the cheese mix, and mix together. Add the noodles and place into a casserole dish.
5. Sprinkle paprika over top of casserole (about 1-2 tsp), and then cover lightly with bread-crumbs.
6. Cover with foil, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes (or 45 if you make this the night before like I did).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Potato Side Dish

You need:
-Several medium sized potatoes, enough to fill a casserole dish when sliced
-1 cup white wine
-1 squeeze of Italian blend herbs from the tube (about a 2 inch squeeze)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
-Roughly 8 shakes of "Season All" or just salt and pepper
-Parmesan cheese (1-2 handfuls)

1. Slice potatoes and arrange in a greased casserole dish.
2. Mix the next 5 ingredients together in a jar (put the lid on and shake)
3. Pour dressing mixture over potatoes - If there isn't enough sauce to cover the potatoes, make another batch and pour again.
4. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
5. Cover in foil and bake at 350 for 1.5 hours.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mexican Style Chicken Casserole

I N G R E D I E N T S :

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 spoonful chopped garlic
Vegetable cooking spray or olive oil
2 cups chopped and cooked chicken breasts (I got a rotisserie chicken and used the meat from it, no skin)
1 (10-oz) can cream of onion soup
1 (10-oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 small container fat free sour cream
1 (10-oz) can diced tomato and green chiles (rotel or generic brand, mild or medium)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 bag chili-cheese flavored Fritos
1 (8-oz) bag shredded cheddar cheese

D I R E C T I O N S :

Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a large skillet coated with cooking spray or olive oil over medium-high heat 5 minutes, or until tender.

Stir in chicken and next 7 ingredients; remove from heat.

Layer Fritos on the bottom of a 13x9-inch (or 2 8x8-inch) baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with half of the chicken mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pork Chops and onions in a white wine sace

This turned out really well and i served it with the hashbrown casserole (recipe below). I got this from my sister's blog, YUM

You need:
-4 pork chops (about an inch thick)
-1 onion
-3 tbspn butter
-flour, salt, pepper
-3/4 cup white wine
-1 tbspn soy sauce

1. Sautee the onions and butter in a skillet, remove. In the same skillet, brown the chops on both sides.
2. Place chops in a small baking pan. dust with flour, salt, and pepper then top with onions.
3. mix together the wine and soy sauce, and pour over onions and pork chops.
4. Bake at 350 for 1.5 hours

Monday, March 30, 2009

Grilled Vegetables with herb dressing and feta

1 eggplant
1 red pepper
1 zucchini
1 squash
1 container feta cheese
1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Gourmet Garden brand "Italian Seasoning Herb Blend" (this product comes in a tube, and is found in the gorcery store with the fresh herbs)

For Dressing:
 In a jar, combine olive oil, the juice of one whole lemon, and the herb blend. shake until blended together.

1.Grill all vegetables. Set aside until cool enough to handle and chop into bite sized pieces. 
2. Toss vegetables in with the herb dressing, and fold in feta cheese.

Pasta Salad w/ Red Pepper, Feta, and Olives

You need:
1 lb rotini pasta noodles
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 jar sliced roasted red peppers, chopped
1 container feta cheese
1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Gourmet Garden brand "Italian Seasoning Herb Blend" (this product comes in a tube, and is found in the gorcery store with the fresh herbs)

1. Cook rotini according to directions, drain, set aside (wait until noodles are cool to add other ingredients)
2. In a jar, combine olive oil, the juice of one whole lemon, and the herb blend. shake until blended together.
3. Toss olives, red peppers, and herb dressing in with the noodles. 
4. Fold in the feta cheese last (turns out better to add cheese right before serving)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

This is what i add to regular spaghetti sauce to make it taste better.

You will need:
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic
1 packet Good Seasons brand Italian dressing mix
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large size jar regular pasta sauce

1. Sautee onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil and Italian dressing mix
2. Add beef and cook until browned
3. Add entire jar of pasta sauce, simmer 10 minutes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fish Tacos

Not much to this recipe other than the fresh guacamole from previous blog (

You will need:
-2-3 tilapia fillets
-2 limes
-taco seasoning

1. Marinate tilapia fillets in the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, and salt and pepper for at least an hour.
2. Grill tilapia (I use my George Foreman grill) and serve in taco shells (i like the blue corn shells) topped with fresh guacamole and other toppings of choice. 

Fresh Guacamole

You will need:
-2 avocados
-1 large tomato
-1 lime
-1/2 red onion
-1/2 cup chopped FRESH cilantro
-1 clove minced garlic*
-1 tsp salt

1. Dice tomato and onion. In a bowl, mix in with garlic, salt, and chopped cilantro.
2. Squeeze lime juice over everything, and mix.
3. Cube avocados, and add last. Fold into other ingredients gently - otherwise, things get mushy.

Enjoy with tortilla chips, on top of salad, or fish tacos (see recipe)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup

I got this recipe from Food Network's Giada de Laurentis.

you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce (recommended: San Marzano brand)
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth (or vegetable for vegetarian style)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup pastina pasta (or any other small pasta - I use Ditalini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Tortellini-Basil Soup

You will need:
-4 cups chicken brother (sub vegetable broth to make this one vegetarian)
-1 can Cannellini beans, drained
-1/2 cup shredded FRESH basil
-1/4 tsp salt
-2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-1 (9 oz) package of any fresh cheese-filled tortellini, uncooked (I use DiGiorno mozzerella-garlic)
-1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
-2 tbspns balsamic vinegar
-2 cloves garlic

1. Sautee garlic in olive oil in the bottom of a pot large enough to cook the soup in.
2. Add broth and bring to a boil, then add tortellini and cook 5-6 minutes.
3. Stir in tomatoes and beans. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, stir basil, parmesan, salt, and vinegar together. Add to soup once it has been removed from heat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vegetable Casserole

You will need:
-1 diced red bell pepper
-1 diced onion
-4 stalks diced celery
-2-4 minced cloves of garlic
-1 packet Good Seasons brand italian dressing mix 
-1 can peas
-1 can of corn
-1 8oz carton of low fat sour cream
-1 can of cream of celery
-1 round of Ritz brand crackers
-half stick of butter

1.Sautee onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery in olive oil and italian dressing packet until all vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes)
2.Add entire cans of corn and peas, along with cream of celery and the sour cream. mix thoroughly, and place in a 9x12 casserole dish.
3.Melt butter in a pan and stir in crushed ritz crackers. Pour evenly over the top of the casserole.
4. Bake at 350 until bubbly (about 20 minutes)

Ginger-Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

This is a great sauce for any type of stir-fry.

You will need:
-2/3 cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable for vegetarian style)
-1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
-3 tablespoons sugar
-1 tablespoon sesame oil
-1/4 tsp pepper
-2 tablespoons cooking oil
-2 cloves garlic
-1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
-2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

1. Saute garlic and ginger in cooking oil.
2. Add all other ingredients except for cornstarch/water mixture. Bring to a boil.
3. Add cornstarch/water mixture and reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

Mixed Winter Vegetable Soup

You will need:
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 onion
-3 cloves garlic
-2 leeks (white part only)
-1-2 cups diced smoked turkey sausage (not as greasy as regular sausage, tastes better)
-one 32 oz container of chicken broth
-one can diced tomatoes
-2 medium parsnips (or carrots) peeled and diced
-1/2 sweet potato peeled and diced

1. Sautee onion, garlic, leeks, parsnips, and sweet potato in olive oil until softened.
2. Add sausage, sautee for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes or more.

Vegetarian "Veggie" Tacos

You will need:
-one onion
-one bell pepper (any color)
-one package Morning Star Farm brand "grillers" or Quorn brand is also very good. This product resembles ground beef and is usually in the frozen section.
-one tablespoon taco seasoning
-roughly 2 cups salsa of choice
-one cup corn or mexicorn*
-one cup black beans*


also, you will need any choice of toppings and soft taco shells.

1. In a very large skillet, Sautee onion and bell pepper over medium heat until soft (4-5 min)
2. Add entire bag of 'grillers' cook until heated (about 2-3 min).
3. Add taco seasoning, salsa, corn, and black beans. Stir until everything is blended, and heated throughly (2-3 min).
4. Fill taco shells with taco mixture, and top with anything! I like cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and jalopenos.