Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad

Green Bean & Penne Pasta Salad
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 lb tomatoes, chopped (about 2c)
1 lb fresh green beans
8 oz Spinach Penne Pasta
4 oz Aged Feta, crumbled

In a large owl, combine 2 cloves of minced garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, a handful of chopped basil, and the chopped tomatoes. Set aside so flavors can marry.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash, trim, and rinse your green beans. When water boils, toss in green beans. Let cook for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove green beans. Add pasta to the boiling water. Let boil for 3-5 minutes. When pasta is almost done, throw beans back into water for just a minute. Strain beans & pasta into colander. Run under cool water to stop cooking.

Toss penne & green beans into bowl with tomatoes. Mix all together. Top with crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, choped
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper
2 cloves onion, minced
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 28-ounce can can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices

1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices
¼ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt for garnish
⅓ cup chopped green onion for garnish
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder to taste and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until the onions, bell pepper, and carrot are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juices and salt; cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in beans and cooked quinoa. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes.

Garnish with yogurt and green onion.

Root Veggie Fajitas

Root Veggie Fajitas
Filling:
4 large carrots or parsnips
3 large watermelon radishes, turnips or beets
4 small sunchokes {also known as Jerusalem artichokes}
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 -3 dashes of cayenne pepper {optional}

Accompaniments:
{all optional}
soft corn tortillas
fresh guacamole
chopped red onion
microgreens or thinly shredded kale
avocado slices
lime wedges
sliced black olives
feta cheese
your favorite hot sauce

Scrub all of your veggies well, peel if desired and slice into thin strips, doing your best to keep pieces uniform in shape and size (will help ensure they cook at the same rate).

In a small mixing bowl combine all your spices + whisk together to combine well. In a large mixing bowl toss your veggies with the olive oil and lime juice, then add in the spices and coat evenly.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, evenly distribute the root veggies. Bake for about 40 minutes or until are cooked through and starting to brown, flip veggies halfway.

To assemble: warm your soft corn tortillas and top with your favorite fajita toppings.

Spaghetti Squash Spinach Lasagna

Preparing spaghetti squash for another dish? Roast another and save it for this recipe, to cut down on prep time.

Spaghetti Squash Spinach Lasagna
2 small spaghetti squash (about 1 ½ lb)
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 oz fresh spinach
½ c part-skim ricotta cheese (or whole milk ricotta, if that’s your preference)
⅛ tsp salt
2 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella
8 oz ground beef, ground turkey, hot italian sausage, or sweet italian sausage, or combination
1 ½ c marinara sauce (did you put up jars of sauce over the summer? Good for you! Time to bust that out! Otherwise, any jar of your favorite marinara will work.)
1 oz grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 350.

Start squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds; discard. Place squash halfs, cut side up, on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

While squash cooks…Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add spinach, cooking only until it just wilts. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle.

Place spinach on a clean dishtowel. Squeeze until barely moist. (Or, just grab handfuls of spinach in your fist and squeeze over the sink until most of the moisture has been squeezed out.) Set aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ground beef (or turkey or sausage). Cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain any fat.

Add marinara sauce to meat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Finish squash.Remove squash from the oven. (Increase oven temp to 425.) Squash should be tender. Let stand 10 minutes, to cool. Scrape the inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands. Place strands on a clean dishtowel. Squeeze until barely moist. (Or, just grab handfuls of squash in your two hands and squeeze over the sink until most of the moisture has been squeezed out.)

Combine spinach, ricotta, salt and half of mozzarella in a medium bowl. Mix and mix until ricotta and spinach are well incorporated.

In a 9×11 glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, layer all of sauce/meat, followed by all of squash, ending with spinach/ricotta mixture on top. Spread evenly. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Easy Green Smoothie

Easy Green Smoothie
Green Smoothies ARE easy to make! Choose 1 of each from the ingredient list below, blend, and enjoy!

Choose your liquid: 1 c
Coconut Water / Coconut Milk / Almond Milk / Soy Milk / 2% Organic Milk / Water

Choose your green: 2-3 c
Spinach / Kale / Collards / Romaine / Bok Choy / Swiss Chard / Dandelion Greens

Choose your fruit: 1-1.5 c
Banana / Berries / Mango / Orange / Avocado / Peach / Pear / Apple / Pineapple / Grapes
Note: Frozen fruit makes for a better smoothie

Choose your booster: 1-2 tbsp c
Chia Seed / Coconut Oil / Protein Powder / Almond Butter / Hemp Seeds / Cacoa / Acai Powder / Cinnamon / Flax Seeds

Blend your liquid and greens first. Then add fruit and boosters.
Add a frozen ice cube or two to chill it and thicken it up, if necessary.
Consider adding (room temp) avocado for a smooth and creamy smoothie.
Makes 1 serving.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms
16 large white button mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped baby spinach leaves, plus a few leaves to serve
1⁄2 cup fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs
1⁄2 cup finely chopped nuts—whatever you have on hand: pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts would all work
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1⁄3 cup grated
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems, shallots, garlic and zucchini, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped spinach, bread crumbs, nuts, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the mushroom caps, hollow side up, in a single layer in a lightly sprayed shallow ovenproof dish or on a lightly sprayed baking tray. Heap some of the shallot & zucchini mixture into each mushroom cap and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top. (The mushrooms can be prepared 2 to 3 hours ahead and kept, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.)

Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Serve warm, on a bed of spinach leaves, if desired.

Preparation time 25–30 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Makes 16 mushrooms
Nutritional information

Each serving (one mushroom) provides: calories 53, calories from fat 36, fat 4 g, saturated fat 1 g, cholesterol 4 mg, carbohydrate 4 g, fibre 1 g, sugars 1 g, protein 2 g.

Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This is a favorite recipe for so many reasons. Use what you’ve got on hand&mdahs;no sweet potato? Use butternut squash. Pork sausage, sage sausage, or breakfast links will all work. Bread? Perfect to use up that leftover Italian loaf or dinner rolls. Plus, make this ahead, then just pop it in the over on Christmas morning. So easy!

Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole

6 ounces Sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes – leftover dinner rolls would also work. Use what you’ve got on hand.
1 (8-ounce) sweet potato
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
6 ounces uncooked sausage
3 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided – Cheddar our Gouda would also work

2 cups your favorite milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 large eggs
Cooking spray
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place bread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, stirring once. Cool on pan 5 minutes.

3. Pierce potato with a fork. Place potato on a microwave-safe paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until done. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel potato, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

4. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage to pan; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.

5. Place bread, sweet potato, half of sausage, and half of cheese in a large bowl. Combine milk and next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk; pour over bread mixture, and toss gently to combine. Let stand 20 minutes.

6. Scoop mixture into an 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining half of sausage and remaining half of cheese. Cover with foil lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake at 350° an additional 20 minutes or until done. Let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup
For the Meatballs:
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 lb ground ground pork
1 small yellow onion, grated
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (more if needed)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Soup:
1 whole roasting hen
3 quarts homemade chicken stock, canned low-sodium chicken broth, or a combination of the two
1-2 heads Escarole, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 lightly packed cups)
1 batch of uncooked meatballs (see above)
1/2 lb cooked Ditalini pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
First:
Roast the chicken. Either serve the roasted chicken for Sunday dinner, reserve leftover meat for soup and stew the carcass to make broth. Alternately, use prepared stock and cooked, shredded, chicken breast.

Make the Meatballs:
Gently mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Don’t overwork it. Using teaspoon-sized scoops, form the meat mixture into small balls about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

Make the Soup:
Bring the stock or broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Carefully add the meatballs, one by one, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Do not stir the pot at this point or you’ll risk breaking up the meatballs! Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.

Add the escarole and continue to simmer until wilted, about 2-3 minutes more.

Add the cooked chicken and pre-cooked pasta to the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.

Tatsoi & Scallops

Tatsoi & Scallops

6 each sea scallops
4 slices bacon
2 clove garlic minced
2 each shallots minced

8 cups tatsoi (or spinach)
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crispy.

Remove the bacon to paper-towel lined plate, leave 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the skillet and reserve the left bacon fat to sear the scallops.

Add the shallots to the skillet, cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tatsoi and sauté until wilted.

Add the balsamic vinegar, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Remove tatsoi from the skillet and divide between two plates.

Wipe out the skillet with paper towel, add the reserved bacon fat, and return to the heat.

Thoroughly dry the scallops with paper towel, season with salt on both sides.

When the skillet is hot, lay the scallops into the bacon fat.

Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the scallops are browned, turn over to the other side, and cook for 1 minute or until just barely cooked through.

Remove the scallops and arrange the bed of tatsoi, 3 per plate.

Crumble bacon slices and sprinkle over scallops & tatsoi. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a super versatile recipe: sub whatever squash, hardy greens, and sausage you have on hand or prefer. The end result is still a tasty combination and impressive presentation.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed (you could also stuff a Kobacha, Butternut, or Sweet Dumpling squash)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed (sweet sausage or turkey sausage would also work)

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups tightly packed torn Kale (Tat Soi or Chard would also work here)
5 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes.

Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl.

To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and mushrooms and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage.

Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.