Step aside sweet pumpkin pie…
There’s a new tart in town. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Ricotta’
Step aside sweet pumpkin pie…
There’s a new tart in town. (more…)
January is a month for reflection. Looking back on things past, and looking forward with hope and optimism to what lies ahead. For many of us, January 1 brings a laundry list of changes: new diet, new workout routine, newly organized pantry, closet and desk, etc. Then by January 31 few of any of these changes have become permanent habits.
Why? I think it’s because we’re too hard on ourselves.
We want to make that perfect version of ourselves a reality overnight, all at once, when the true reality is that baby steps toward our goals are much more likely to have lasting impact. And we don’t need to wait until the start of a new year to do something that we know will make us happier, healthier, or more prosperous. Each morning is a fresh beginning.
Which is why I am a huge proponent of eating a healthy breakfast…how can you expect the rest of your day to go well if you start with bad fuel or no fuel at all? (more…)
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would get excited about vinegar. Vinegar, of all things. Either my life has gotten that dull (lol!) or this vinegar is really that exciting. An eternal optimist, I’m going with scenario two. :)
A couple months ago I received a few oil and vinegar samples from Vom Fass. Right away the name intrigued me; it means “from the cask” and it conjures up an old-world, artisanal feel, doesn’t it? I don’t know what I was expecting when I tried the samples, but whatever it was, everything I tried exceeded all my expectations. Scratch that; everything blew my mind. (more…)
I had a couple of beautiful portobellos in my fridge and I was going to make them into giant stuffed mushrooms…but, there are a million recipes out there for stuffed mushrooms and you probably don’t need another. (Plus I was in the mood for something a little different!) I thought the mushrooms would also make the perfect base for individual gratins so I decided to do that instead. (more…)
Every year stuffed mushrooms of some sort grace my family’s Christmas Eve dinner table. To switch it up, each year or so I try make a different kind of stuffed mushrooms…some have had ground turkey (my personal favorite, since the gamey turkey pairs so nicely with earthy mushrooms), some had crab, some spinach, others Cheddar. I wanted to do something different this year, so to get some inspiration I went to my fridge. And then I saw it, a beautiful trinity of cheeses that complement each other so perfectly…mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan were all staring up at me, longing to be made into cheesy stuffed mushrooms.
You can serve these mushrooms as an appetizer or first course, but they’re also substantial enough to serve as an entrée with a plate of salad greens.
Three Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
(Yield: Serves 8 as an appetizer or first course, or 4 as an entrée)
2 TB olive oil
24 oz whole button mushrooms (white or brown)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Italian herb mix (or 2 tsp each minced fresh thyme and rosemary)
3 large eggs
1/2 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 c breadcrumbs
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1-2 TB minced fresh parsley
Butter, to grease the pan
9 by 13-inch casserole dish
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease the casserole dish with butter. Use a dry or slightly damp cloth to gently remove any dirt on the mushrooms. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set the mushroom caps aside for now; finely chop the mushroom stems (for me, this was about 1 1/4 c of chopped stems). Heat the oil on medium to medium-high heat, then add the chopped stems and sauté for about 10 minutes, until they’re starting to brown. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the onion, and sauté another 5 minutes until the onion is softened; add the garlic and herbs and sauté another 2 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
To the cooled onion mixture, add the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper and stir thoroughly; then mix in the breadcrumbs. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the mushroom caps, and place them in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the mushrooms and broil a couple minutes until melted (watch carefully while they’re in the broiler). Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.
To Reheat: Preheat the oven to 350F, cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil, and heat the mushrooms for about 20 minutes until they’re warm throughout.
Zucchini is like a blank canvas. It’s hard to find a vegetable that’s so versatile, so amazingly delicious in so many recipes, from zucchini Milanese, to zucchini latkes, to stuffed zucchini, to zucchini cookies, etc. This time of year, everyone I know is trying to find new ways to use up their zucchini.
The great thing about this pie is that you can use any roasted vegetable you have on hand. If you have the time, don’t skip the roasting step because it really deepens the vegetable’s flavor. This pie is delicious deconstructed as well…just cook up some pasta and top it with marinara sauce and roasted zucchini. Or the roasted zucchini is incredible with hummus on a whole wheat roll. Zucchini’s possibilities are truly endless.
Instead of making your own marinara sauce you can use pre-made (just make sure it’s extra thick), but making your own sauce is a great way to use up an abundance of fresh tomatoes. When I make this sauce I usually make at least a double recipe because it can be used in so many things.
Roasted Zucchini Spaghetti Pie
(Yield: 1-9” pie)
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 TB olive oil
¼ lb whole grain spaghetti noodles (I used Barilla)
2 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg white
¼ c fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 ½ c Thick Marinara Sauce (recipe below)
Pinch salt and pepper
Thick Marinara Sauce (should yield ~1 ½ c):
½ TB olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1 ¼ c coarsely diced tomato (or 16 oz canned diced tomato, with the liquid drained out)
1 ½ oz tomato paste
1 bay leaf
¾ tsp dried basil or 1 TB fresh chopped basil
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
Pinch ground black pepper
9” pie plate
Preheat the oven to 450F. Coat the sliced zucchini with 1 TB of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper; arrange the zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for ~18 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time; when it’s done roasting, the zucchini will be golden in spots.
For the marinara sauce, heat the olive oil over medium heat in small pot with a lid. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften; add the garlic and carrot and sauté another 5-10 minutes (just until the veggies start to take on a little color). Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, salt, and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings. Simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes.
Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Cool the pasta to room temperature, then add 1 egg, 2 TB grated Parmesan, and pinch of pepper; stir to combine.
To the ricotta cheese, mix in 1 egg, 1 egg white, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat the pie pan with cooking spray; spread the pasta on the bottom of the pie plate, then spread ½ of the ricotta mixture on top of the pasta. Arrange the zucchini on top of the ricotta (it’s okay if it overlaps a little), then spread the rest of the ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini. Spread the marinara sauce on top of the ricotta. Bake the pie for 20-30 minutes until it’s set. Sprinkle the remaining 2 TB of Parmesan cheese on top and allow to cool slightly before cutting.
I love breakfast meals. They’re filling, nutritious, relatively fast to make, and usually cheaper than other meals. Why not eat the most important meal of the day (breakfast!) for any meal?
The recipe below is for one serving, because I’m sad to say my husband doesn’t like breakfast foods (aside from eggs, sunny-side up or scrambled), but also because this makes it easy to adjust for any number of people.
Oatmeal Ricotta Pancakes with Cherry Topping
(Yield: 1 serving)
2/3 c rolled oats (I used Quaker Old-Fashioned)
¼ c plus 1 TB ricotta cheese, divided
½ small banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 c fresh cherries, pitted and halved
In the blender, pulse the oats until powdered, and transfer them to a separate bowl. In the blender, purée the cheese, egg, banana, vanilla, and salt, then add the oat powder and blend until just mixed. Heat a small 6” pan over medium heat, lightly spray it with cooking spray, then add half the batter. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the pancake is golden on the bottom; flip and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until the pancake is golden on the second side. Repeat with the remaining batter (you will end up with 2 pancakes, each 4-5” in diameter). For the cherries, lightly spray a separate pan with cooking spray and cook the cherries on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until they start to soften. Top the pancakes with the cherries and 1 TB of ricotta cheese.
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