Quick Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna
If you'd like a meat-free lasagna, substitute the Italian sausage for vegetarian sausages, or experiment with hearty vegetables like eggplant or portabella mushrooms.
8 oz. Parmesan
8 oz. Romano
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. marjoram
1 1/2 tsp. thyme
1 lb. Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. red wine
4 2/3 c. pasta sauce
12 oz. lasagna noodles
16 oz. ricotta
Directions: Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a small bowl, stir together the grated Parmesan and grated Romano. Set aside.
In a large skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onion, basil, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. Sauté until starting to soften, 5-6 minutes. Add the sausage and break up with the back of spoon. Sauté until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute, then pour in the wine. Simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Spread 2/3 c. of pasta sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch casserole dish. Place noodles (about 4, it's okay if they overlap a bit) in a layer over the marinara sauce. Cover with another cup of sauce, then with 1/3 of the ricotta and 1 cup of the Parmesan-Romano mixture. Spread 1/3 of the sausage mixture over the cheese. Repeat twice with the noodles, sauce, ricotta, Parmesan-Romano mixture, and sausage. Finish with a layer of 4 noodles, then 1 cup of sauce and remaining 1 cup of Parmesan-Romano. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is browned and lasagna is bubbling at the edges. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Grating
Warm and comforting.
1 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 lb. cauliflower
2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. chopped shallots
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 c. dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c. pine nuts
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water, submerging them to stop the cooking. Drain well.
In a large saucepan, stir together the cream, shallots, and sage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and reduce the mixture to about 2 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and remove from heat. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool. Stir in the pine nuts and parsley, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with 1 cup of the Parmesan. Layer the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower over the cheese, and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Pour the cream mixture over the vegetables, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake covered for 40 minutes. Uncover, then top evenly with the breadcrumb topping, and bake uncovered for 15 more minutes. Enjoy
Peppercorn Steak Salad with Roasted Carrots and Gold Beets
Adapted from www.simplyfreshdinners.com
This fresh dinner salad is made with sweet, roasted carrots and beets, and spicy, peppery steak atop a bed of tender greens.
1 onion, sliced
3 beets, cut
1/2 lb. carrots, sliced
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. maple syrup
3 Tbs. black peppercorns
3 Tbs. butter
8 c. arugula
1 c. walnuts
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Directions: Combine the onion, beets, and carrots in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with salt. Sprinkle the crushed peppercorns over both sides of the steaks, pressing them to stick. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steaks in the skillet, turning once. For medium, it will be 10-15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 155ºF. When they are cooked to your desired doneness, transfer to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Let stand for 5 minutes, then slice into thin slices against the grain.
Divide the arugula between 4 plates. Arrange the sliced steak over the greens, then top with the roasted vegetables, crumbled goat cheese, and walnuts. Finish each salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten
Deliciously flavored with grapefruit, this cake is light and springy. Nice for a sweet breakfast, or of course, for dessert.
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. yogurt
1 c. sugar + 1 Tbs.
1 Tbs. grapefruit zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. grapefruit juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment, and grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup of the sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold the vegetable oil into the batter until well incorporated. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Simmer the grapefruit juice and last tablespoon of sugar in a small pot over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack over a sheet pan. Pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to be absorbed. Let the cake cool, then enjoy.
Radish, Arugula, and Red Onion Salad with Tangerines
Adapted from www.epicurious.com
Crunchy and vibrant, this salad is flavorful and refreshing.
12 radishes, finely chopped
1/2 c. red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1 fennel bulb
3 c. arugula, chopped
1/4 c. mint, minced
Directions: Finely grate 1 teaspoon worth of rind from the tangerines, place in a small bowl and set aside. Use a sharp knife to slice the top and bottom from each tangerine, then remove all peel and white pith, following the curve of the fruit. Slice vertically in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
Add the finely chopped radishes, the chopped red onion, and lemon juice to the bowl of tangerine peel, stir to combine, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the sliced radish, sliced onion, fennel, arugula, and mint in the bowl with the sliced tangerines. Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl, and enjoy.
Crispy Peanut Tofu Stir-Fry over Cauliflower Rice
Adapted from www.minimalistbaker.com.
This crispy tofu is baked, not fried, and glazed with an easy sauce that only has five ingredients. If you’ve never tried cauliflower rice, it’s a game-changer - so fast and yummy, and a great way to get more vegetables in your diet! Use gluten-free soy sauce, and this recipe is gluten-free as well as vegan.
12 oz. tofu
2 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil
1 small head of cauliflower
2 cloves garlic
1 c. soy sauce
4 Tbs. light brown sugar
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
2 1/2 Tbs. peanut butter
Directions: Wrap the tofu in a dish towel or paper towels, place on a cutting board, and top with a heavy weight. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, and up to 45.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cube the tofu, and arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce, and peanut butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the tofu, once cooled, to the bowl of sauce. Toss to coat in the sauce, and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
Use a large box grater or a food processor to shred the cauliflower. If using a food processor, don’t over-shred it, just shred it to the texture of rice.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Use a slotted spoon to spoon tofu into the skillet, and add a little sauce on top to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until browned (don’t worry if some sticks to the pan). Transfer to a dish and set aside.
Rinse the skillet under hot water and scrape to remove any residue. Heat over a medium flame and add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan. Add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned and tender, 5-8 minutes. Stir in a few spoonfuls of the peanut sauce.
Serve the cauliflower rice topped with the peanut tofu.
Adapted from The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook
A unique bean burger that utilizes avocado in the patty rather than as a condiment. A very nice variation on the veggie burger.
1 medium avocado
1 c. cooked soybeans
1/2 small onion
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 Tbs. tomato puree
sea salt, to taste
whole wheat bread crumbs
2 burger buns
Directions: Combine avocado, soybeans, onion, mustard, tomato puree and sea salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and turn in bread crumbs until mixture holds together. Shape into patties. In a heavy skillet, fry in oil until browned on both sides. Toast buns as desired and serve with lettuce, tomato, and your favorite condiments.
Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from www.food52.com
If grilling won't work for you, you can broil the chicken breasts instead. See the note for cooking instructions. This take on Green Goddess sauce calls for 1/2 cup of fresh herbs, and you can use any combination you like. Some good ones to try: basil, chives, cilantro, and parsley, or chervil, mint, and tarragon.
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 c. fresh herbs
7 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
4 sandwich rolls
1 c. baby spinach leaves
Directions: Prepare grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Brush both sides of the chicken with sunflower oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Set on the grill, and cook, flipping once, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF and there’s no longer any pink, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until minced. Add the herbs, and pulse until finely chopped. Add the avocado, yogurt, honey or agave, lemon juice, vinegar, white pepper, and the last 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pulse until creamy and well-combined.
Assemble the sandwiches on the rolls with grilled chicken, Green Goddess sauce, and baby spinach. Enjoy!
Grapefruit-and-Sugar-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from www.saveur.com.
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1/4 tsp. cayenne
5 clove garlic
1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
Directions: Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place the sugar, paprika, cumin, fennel, cayenne, garlic, grapefruit zest and segments, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Purée until smooth and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pork tenderloin and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a parchment-lined baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Cook about 20-45 minutes until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140˚F, and the outside is lightly caramelized. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
Linguini with Roasted Beets, Tarragon, and Caraway
Adapted from www.foodandstyle.com
This striking, dark pink pasta dish looks as good as it tastes. A simple green salad is all you need to make this the star of a special meal.
6 red beets
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 Tbs. salt
1 lb. linguini
4 clove garlic
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
Directions: Slice the beets into 1/8” slices, then cut into julienned strips. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil, caraway seeds, and sliced beets. Sauté 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beets look dark around the edges and lose their moisture. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add a tablespoon of salt, then add the pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Heat the beets over high heat. Stir in garlic and vinegar, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the drained pasta, reserved cooking water, and tarragon. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Remove from heat and use tongs to toss the pasta until well-coated with sauce. Serve immediately.
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Shelia Lukins
A delightful cauliflower dish full of protein and flavor.
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
5 Tbs. fresh breadcrumbs
1 hard cooked egg
2 Tbs. parsley
1 head cauliflower
monterey jack or parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in small skillet and brown the breadcrumbs over medium heat (about 5 minutes). When finished, set aside. Press the hard-boiled egg through a sieve, or chop until very finely minced. (A food processor will also work very well). Combine the crumbs, egg and parsley in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside. Bring large pot of water to a boil and add then cauliflower. Simmer until just tender, 6-8 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet and lightly sauté the cauliflower until heated through (3-4 minutes). Season with salt and sprinkle with the reserved garnish. Toss to coat well. Serve immediately, with big helping of cheese and pepper.