Zucchini Rollatini

Zucchini Rollatini
2 large-sized zucchini, washed and sliced thin lengthwise
16 ounces ricotta cheese
6 Crimini Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin (baby bella mushrooms)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Romano/pecorino, and three tbsp for sprinkling on top
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Need: 3 cups marinara/tomato sauce, a couple parchment paper covered baking sheets, 1 plate, and a 9×13 baking pan.

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices.  Place on parchment covered baking sheets.

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Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over zucchini slices. Sprinkle with salt. Roast till the veggies are pliable/slightly under fork tender, around 15 minutes.

Remove slices and allow to cool.. you may turn off the oven, or set it to 375F for the next cook.

In a large bowl, beat egg then mix the ricotta, parsley, Romano cheese, nutmeg, and salt/pepper .

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In the 9×13 pan-drizzle a tablespoon of oil then add a 1/2 cup of sauce, stir together. Set aside for the next step.

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Add the mushrooms to the remaining sauce, then set aside for next step.

*Preheat oven to 375F if you turned it off.

Grab a plate to start filling the zucchini slices.  Be gentle with the cooked zucchini; they can be fragile and tear easily.

Lay a zucchini slice across the plate, then smear a spoon of the cheese mixture across then roll up firmly.

Place the roll into baking pan, atop sauce, seam side down. Continue with remaining zucchini lining them up tightly in the pan.

Use toothpick if needed to keep rolled (then remove before next step).

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Evenly distribute the mushroom marinara sauce on top of the rollatini.

Cover with grated cheese and mozzarella.

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Bake for 35 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly, slightly browned and the zucchini are absolutely fork tender.

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DONE!   Zucchini Rollatini!
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Pasta with Cauliflower and White Beans

Pasta with Cauliflower and White Beans
1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can white beans/cannelini beans
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup room temp water
a pinch of salt and pepper for taste

1 lb pasta, cooked

 

Instructions

1. Before starting, bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs.

2. In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, let heat through.

3. Add cauliflower. Stir, coating with the oil and garlic.  

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4. Add a 1/4 cup water, then add beans.

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5. Cook through till cauliflower is soft when poked with a fork, adding salt and pepper to taste.

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6. Toss with cooked pasta and Romano cheese.

DONE!

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Ingredients

    • 3 Italian sausage links, removed from casings
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2/3 cup of fresh baby spinach, torn by hand (or a rustic chop)
    • 1/4 cup room temperature water
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Grated Romano Pecorino cheese
    • 1 lb of your favorite pasta

 

Instructions

1. Before starting, bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs.

2. Remove casings from sausage, crumble by hand onto a dish.  Set aside.

3. In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, let heat through. Add crumbled sausage.  Cook sausage, crumbling it more with a wooden spoon, until it is cooked through. Turn heat down to a simmer. (at this point you should be close to an al dente cook to your pasta)

4. Add water, simmer until you see a yellowish hue to the sauce.

5. Add spinach, salt and pepper to taste.

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6. Add pasta to mixture; mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pasta is tender, and sauce is absorbed.  Toss with cheese, then top for presentation.

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Done!

Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks organic celery, chopped 
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2  28oz cans kitchen ready plum tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, fresh from mill

 

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Instructions

1 . Heat oil on medium in a large stock pot. Add minced garlic, stir, then add chopped onion, carrot and celery to the pot.  Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat well.

2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Crumble the meat, stir well and cook until the beef is no longer red in appearance.img_4525

3. Stir in nutmeg.

4. Add wine, let simmer until evaporated.

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5. Add tomatoes, stir thoroughly. As it starts to bubble, add water, stir until incorporated into the sauce, turn the heat down to a low simmer. Stir often until the heat comes down to simmer.

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6. Cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste to check salt and pepper preference, add if necessary.

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DONE!

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup
2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
8 cups low sodium or no salt beef stock
2.5 cups tepid water
1 cup fast cook barley
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp low sodium soy
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 bay leaf

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

 

Over medium-high heat, heat up a large stock pot.  Add beef to pan; cook until browned, stirring frequently.

Remove beef from pan. Spoon out any left fat juices.

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In same pan, heat olive oil.  Add garlic, let sweat for one minute.  Add in carrot, celery, onion.  Let sweat while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Then add in 1/2 cup of water, and continue to stir scraping the bottom.  Cook until liquid almost evaporates.

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Add beef, remaining water, beef broth, herbs and bay leaf.

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Bring to a boil then add in tomato paste.  Add in soy. And add in mushrooms.

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Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.

 

In a separate sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil; add barley.  Partially cook barley. Drain. Add to the beef soup.

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Cover and simmer until barley is tender. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Discard bay leaf.

Ready to serve!

Pulled Pork

Finally, I have an easy recipe for pulled pork that anyone can handle!

Pulled Pork
4 lb pork butt or picnic cut (For this I used picnic cut)
4 cups water
2 cups orange juice
3 tsp salt

Cut the pork into large strips. About 3 inches long and 1 inch or more thick.

*Do not remove the fat!  This is essential in keeping the pork moist during this long cooking process.

Add pork strips to large stock pot, turning the heat on high.

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Add in liquids and salt.

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Bring to a rolling boil, then turn heat down to medium heat.

Allow to simmer for approx. 2 hours.

Do not touch the pot, let the meat cook without interruption.

After two hours, the juices/fats will have reduced dramatically.

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Turn heat a touch higher to continue cooking the pork through; stirring the meat till browned all around.  The pieces will start to fall apart on their own as you stir.

This process can take up to forty -five minutes.  All the meat will be browned, and the fat pieces that are no longer breaking down further can be removed.  All the liquid will be gone.

Pulled Pork

Closer up.

Pulled Pork

Pasta with Swiss Chards

Pasta with Swiss Chards
1 lb swiss chards, stems removed, washed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 cup grated Romano cheese
a pinch of salt and pepper for taste

1 lb pasta

Swiss Chards
Swiss chards whole. Remove stems. Wash to remove debris. Then roll a few leaves at a time, and slice into strips

 

In a large stock pot, start boiling water for pasta.

Then proceed with the recipe while working on the pasta –Add in a pinch of salt when the water comes to a boil. Add pasta. Cook till al dente during this recipe process.

In a separate stock pot, heat up olive oil over medium heat.

Add garlic and onion.  Cook till translucent.

Add in the swiss chards.

Sprinkle with the vinegar  Stir.

Wilt Swish Chard

Cook until the chards have wilted and the inner stems of the leaves are tender.

Toss with cooked pasta and cheese…  Voila!!

Pasta with Swiss Chards

Sirloin Steak Tip and Baby Bella Mushroom Stew

Sirloin Steak Tip and Mushroom Stew
2 lbs sirloin steak tips, trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
20 baby bella mushroom caps, quartered
2 cups yellow onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 of a tomato paste can
2 cups beef broth
2 cups thawed frozen peas
1 cup tepid water
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2/3 cup red wine
3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

 

Prepped Onions, Garlic and Mushrooms
Prepped Onions, Garlic and Mushrooms
Ingredients: peas, wine, beef stock, s&p and thyme
Ingredients: peas, wine, beef stock, s&p and thyme
Cut tips in as much of a uniform cut as possible.  i use my finger as a guide.
Cut tips in as much of a uniform cut as possible. i use my finger as a guide.

Place steak in a large bowl and sprinkle with flour; turn to coat.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
 
Add the steak (shake off excess flour) and sear until browned on all sides but still pink in the center.
 
Sear Flour Coated Tips
Sear Flour Coated Tips
Remove steak and set aside on a plate.
Remove meat.  Use same pot to cook veggies, utilizing the bits left behind
Remove meat. Use same pot to cook veggies, utilizing the bits left behind
 
In same pan, add garlic and onions.  Cook about one minute, stirring constantly while scraping up any browned bits.  
 
Add the mushrooms.
 
Add the leftover flour to the vegetables; stir to coat.
Add veggies, scraping the bottom.
Add veggies, scraping the bottom.

Then add remaining ingredients..tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, broth, thyme, wine, and water; decrease the heat to medium. 

 
Bring to a simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes till the sauce thickens.
 
Now add peas and steak, with all the drippings from the plate.
Add flour, broth, tomato paste, thyme and peas.
Turn down heat and let stew for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally scraping the bottom continually.Turn down heat and let stew for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally scraping the bottom continually.

Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Done!  

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I love to serve this stew with crispy roasted potatoes on top or a giant slice of a crunchy Italian bread..or both like shown here!  Yum!

 

Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes

Oven Roasted Sausage and Potato
1 lb. Italian pork sausage, for this garlic & cheese sausage links were used
1.5 lb. red bliss potatoes, scrubbed and cubed (with skin on)
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 can tomato paste
2 fresh sprigs of thyme, or, 1 teaspoon of dry thyme
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the sausage.

Transfer to a deep baking pan then place the sausage atop.

Sausage and Potato before

Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven.

Remove sausage from the pan.  Let stand apart and mix the roasted vegetables well.

Cut each link into thirds.  Place back on top of the potatoes.

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Place pan back into the oven.

Roast for 15-20 minutes until the sausage is completely browned and the potatoes are fork tender.

sausage and potato after

Done!

Classic Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew
1.5 lb Beef stew meat
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 8
3 cups of tomato sauce
1 can (14.5oz) stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup red wine
12 Mini red potatoes, cut in half
10 Cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced then quartered
4 Stalks of organic celery, roughly chopped
5 Large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for browning beef

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Add all the ingredients except, beef, potatoes, and mushrooms into an ovenproof French or Dutch oven (4Qt).

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The prepped carrots, celery and onion.

In a medium non-stick skillet, drizzle oil and heat then add beef. Sear/brown on all sides

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Brown the beef on each side.

In French oven add beef to the vegetable mixture.

Then use the wine to deglaze the pan. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet.

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After removing meat, deglaze pan with a 1/3 cup of red wine- for this I used a mild Merlot.

Add liquid to French oven. Mix well.

Cover; bake 2 hours, stirring once.

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Cover your French or Dutch oven, and insert into heated oven.

After two hours.
After two hours.

Stir in potatoes and mushrooms; mix well.

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Cover; bake 1 hour 30 minutes longer or until beef and vegetables are tender.

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Done!

Classic Beef Stew!
Classic Beef Stew!